97th Blackpool Dance Festival provided £6m boost for local economy

8 June 2023

The 97th Blackpool Dance Festival has been hailed as ‘an event to remember for years to come’ and provided a £6m boost for local economy.

 The organisers of the Blackpool Dance Festival have thanked the 2000+ couples who travelled from over 50 countries to take part in the world’s largest and longest-running event in Blackpool’s Empress Ballroom at the Winter Gardens.

The Winter Gardens has been ablaze with colour as almost every room in the 4.9 acre site was utilised to make the dance event the biggest yet. Bar areas became boutiques as dress, jewellery and shoe designers descended to showcase their designs to competitors.

For the first time, a full-size dance floor was commissioned by the organisers and laid in the new £30M conference centre so that couples could put in some final practice – a move which delighted dancers wanting to put in some last minute rehearsal time.

Over the 14 days almost every inch of space has been utilised with over 40 meetings taking place, exhibitions and showcases unveiled and three designated practice areas for students and teachers, including a sprung floor in the Pavilion, meaning that the whole complex was humming with action.

Festival Stats

  • Over £6m economic benefit for Blackpool
  • 50 countries took part in the Dance Festival
  • 2000+ couples dancing at Winter Gardens Blackpool
  • Over 3000 dances performed across the 13 days
  • 13,000 spectators – with many events standing room only
  • 12 months preparation for the event each year
  • Brand new Ballroom floor this year measuring 34m x 14 m
  • Practice floor built in the new Conference Centre

Christopher Hawkins, President, British Dance Council said: “Congratulations to every competitor who has taken part. It was brilliant to see the packed audiences, with crowds on their feet and to hear the famous ‘Blackpool Roar’ in response to the spirited and passionate performances of the couples.

“It has been a festival to remember for years to come and everyone in attendance will be left with memories to last them a lifetime. It has been true inspiration for anyone who loves to witness dancing from the heart, the dancers danced with such courage and passion. What an incredible event.

“I am full of admiration for the level of professionalism that was displayed in all areas of the running of the festival. The traditions of excellence over many years have been quietly and expertly achieved.”

Michael Williams said, Managing Director, Winter Gardens Blackpool said: “This year has once again brought thousands of competitors from all over the world to realise their dream and dance in the Empress Ballroom.

“As the longest-running and largest dance festival in the world the event is a full year in the planning. This year was the biggest to date with extra days added to the schedule. A huge thank you to all the dancers, judges and everyone who makes it a huge success year after year.”

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