Lightpool Festival Is Back For 2018 – Arts Council England and BBC Philharmonic announced as partners

15 June 2018

Blackpool’s award-winning Lightpool Festival is back for October half-term.

The festival will provide a spectacular mix of live performance, light-based art installations, the return of the illuminated tram parade and a special collaboration with BBC Philharmonic.

The inaugural Lightpool Festival was staged in 2016 and went on to be named as best major event in the Lancashire Tourism Awards. A smaller-scale festival was held in 2017, introducing for the first time a promenade parade of Blackpool’s unique collection of illuminated heritage trams.

Thanks to a grant of £85,000 through Arts Council England’s National Lottery funded Grants for the Arts programme as the main funder, other key partners include VisitBlackpool, LeftCoast and the BBC Philharmonic.  The 2018 festival will revert to a large-scale festival, with events taking place over two weeks at the end of October.

Jane Beardsworth, Director North, Arts Council England said: “I’m delighted that we are supporting this year’s Lightpool Festival with funding from the National Lottery. The festival is a great way for residents and visitors alike to enjoy an amusing and thought provoking programme of light works which accompany the world famous Illuminations.”

The festival programme will be launched in the week commencing October 15 with Light Odyssey, a fully immersive light and sound spectacular featuring the BBC Philharmonic in the iconic Empress Ballroom in the Winter Gardens.

Over the following week, there will be a light-based art trail along the promenade and through the town centre, with live fire and light-related performances from October 25-27. These will include the return of last year’s hugely successful illuminated tram parade as part of a dazzling Carnival of The Lights on 25 October.  On Friday 26 October, LeftCoast will present an epic dance production featuring projections and pyrotechnics with a locally recruited cast of more than 100 people.

The festival programme will be complemented by the Lightpool 3D projection shows, which will be projected each night on to the Blackpool Tower buildings throughout the Illuminations season, August 31 to November 4.

Cllr Gillian Campbell, Deputy Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “We are delighted that Arts Council England has come on board as a lead partner, giving us the opportunity to create another large-scale festival during the October half-term.

“Over the past two years, the festival events have proved hugely popular with residents and visitors and from what is already planned, we know that this year’s event is going to be bigger and better than ever.”

Most of the events will be free to access, although the Light Odyssey show will be ticketed. Further details on all the events will follow in the coming weeks. For regular updates, go to

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