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Graham Clark
Features Writer
11:06 AM 23rd June 2020

Blackpool Illuminations To Light Up The Town Until Next January

Blackpool’s annual Illuminations display is to be extended by two months to provide an invaluable boost to the resort’s tourism season.

VisitBlackpool has also revealed that the traditional Switch-On concert will be replaced this year by a free-to-access streamed event in association with MTV.

The annual Switch-On concert was scheduled to take place on the night of Friday 4 September on the Tower Festival Headland in front of a 20,000 capacity audience. However, the social distancing restrictions arising from COVID-19 means it cannot go ahead in its usual format.

It will be the first time in more than 70 years that the resort has been unable to hold a live Switch-On celebration – but also the first time that a Switch-On event has been accessible to a national and international audience.

The streamed hour-long concert, which will feature a mixture of exclusive pre-recorded, at-home performances, as well as live performances at a closed event, filmed inside the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, acting as the curtain-raiser for the extended Blackpool Illuminations season, which will now run from September 4 to January 3, 2021.

It will be hosted by Diversity’s Ashley and Jordan Banjo, and will feature a star-studded line-up of talent, leading up to the all-important Switch-On moment.

Cllr Gillian Campbell, Cabinet Member for Tourism & Culture for Blackpool Council, said:
“The annual Switch-On event is the biggest night in Blackpool’s events calendar. Sadly, it is simply not possible to stage an event of that scale given the current restrictions around social distancing and mass gatherings.

“However, it would be unthinkable not to launch our Blackpool Illuminations season with an extraordinary event. Staging the first ever virtual Switch-On concert to a mass audience watching from home does exactly that.

“We are very much aware of how much our tourism businesses are suffering as a result of the pandemic and we hope that by extending the Blackpool Illuminations season by two months, it will give them an opportunity to bring in some additional trade.

“We are planning for a safe, socially distanced Illuminations experience and will be keeping all Government health guidance under review as we move towards the autumn season.”

Details of the Switch-On concert line-up will be revealed in the coming weeks, along with details of how you can view the streamed event, plus a sneak preview of the new features in the 2020 Illuminations display.

The ballot for tickets for the 2020 event has now been closed.

Watch out for details of how to apply for next year’s event. Go to www.visitblackpool.com/switchon for regular updates.