Outdoor Brilliance – LightPool Extravaganza

18 September 2015

Blackpool’s ‘Brilliance’ arches will play host to a month of outdoor performances and live music throughout October as part of Blackpool Illuminations’ LightPool programme.

The programme will see the arches, based on Birley Street in the town centre, become the centrepiece of eleven different shows over five weekends during the month.

The shows, which range from a joy filled bicycle ballet performance to a spectacular piece of wired aerial theatre, are expected to draw more people in to Birley Street and in to the town centre.

They will make up part of this year’s Blackpool Illuminations display (Sept 4 – Nov 8) and are funded thanks to a £2m grant from the Coastal Communities Fund along with contributions from Blackpool Council and LeftCoast.

The grant will fund Blackpool’s new LightPool project which includes a series of shows, exhibitions and a widening of the Illuminations display to include more of Blackpool town centre, as well as the Promenade.

Deputy Leader of Blackpool Council, Cllr Gillian Campbell, said: “This year’s Illuminations display is gearing up to be one of the best ever. 

“Not only do we have the regular display and the fantastic projection show onto the Blackpool Tower, but these shows at Brilliance will be another big draw for people to come and enjoy.

“The Illuminations are well-loved and bring millions of tourists into Blackpool, but we are working hard to make sure that those visitors are coming in to the town centre so that more of our local businesses can profit from them as well.

“These events look incredible and even better, they are free for everybody. I hope that everybody who comes to watch enjoys them and I hope that the nearby businesses will be able to make the most of the increased footfall.”

Coastal Communities Minister Mark Francois said: “I am delighted we have been able to support Blackpool Illuminations’ through a £2m grant from the Coastal Communities Fund.

“This investment will help boost the local economy and the Northern Powerhouse. We are committed to help drive investment in the north and helping our seaside communities thrive.”

Artistic Director of LeftCoast, Michael Trainor, said: “What we’re doing is bringing the Illuminations to life, giving people something that is live and happening all around them. We’ve managed to attract some really exciting and talented artists to take part – but let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to star in Blackpool Illuminations.”

Throughout October, every Friday and Saturday evening will see a different performance taking place underneath the arches.

An outdoor dance performance on bikes, Strictly Night Cycling, will start the events on Friday 2 and Saturday 3 October.

On Thursday 8 October, a set of acclaimed poets will read their literary works out over the arches’ speaker system, as part of National Poetry Day.

An amazing piece of aerial acrobatics will then return to Blackpool on Friday 9 and Saturday 10 October. The Wired Aerial Theatre group will bring their suspended skills back to Blackpool after wowing the crowds with the ‘As the World Tipped’ display at Blackpool Cricket Club last year.

Circus acts and street artists will perform on Friday 16 and Saturday 17 October, while illuminated umbrella parades will lead people from the Promenade in to Birley Street on Friday 23 and Saturday 24 October.

The festival of acts will finish with two special live music sessions on Friday 30 and Saturday 31 October. Performers will take over the street to play popular tracks to a crowd along Birley Street.

All the events will be free to attend, although some of the Brilliance sessions will require booking. The timings of each show will be announced very shortly.

For more details on this year’s LightPool, go to www.visitblackpool.com/lightpool. For more information on Blackpool Illuminations, visit www.visitblackpool.com/illuminations

A list of the acts in full

Friday 2 and Saturday 3 October – Strictly Night Cycling

It’s ballet on bikes at night! Bicycle Ballet are a performance company who create exhilarating outdoor dance performances on bikes, exploring the joyful highs and gritty lows of cycling. The choreographed cycling mixes dance and physical theatre with visual spectacle, comedy and striking soundtracks.

Thursday 8 October – National Poetry Day

Let the words flow over you. The Brilliance arches are actually a huge permanent sound and light system and on National Poetry Day brilliant poets will read their poems over it live, filling the streets with words and images.  This will take place throughout the afternoon and early evening.

Friday 9 and Saturday 10 October – Wired Aerial Theatre

Wired Aerial Theatre bring their stupendous suspended performance to the skies of Blackpool. Flying high above the audience let them amaze you with feats of aerial skill and agility, and captivate you with their movements. Wired Aerial Theatre are one of the UK’s leading aerial performance companies and previously performed ‘As The World Tipped’ at Blackpool Cricket Club to an audience of thousands and hundreds of thousands around the world.

Friday 16 and Saturday 17 October – Circus Steet!

Amazing circus performers and street artists perform to live music under Brilliance’s spectacular lightshow. Artists include Acrojou who blend acrobatics, hand-built structures and sublime visuals, to create unique circus experiences for everyone.  –

Friday 23 and Saturday 24 October – The Umbrella Project

Be part of the Illuminations! The Umbrella Project allows you to join a parade with specially created illuminated umbrellas by Cirque Bijou that will take you from the seafront to Brilliance to be part of an amazing art installation. The whole event will be filmed live and made in to a short film to be shown on the LightPool’s website. Become an illumination. Umbrella holding skills are required.

Friday 30 and Saturday 31 October – The Brilliance Sessions

Two nights of live music brought to you by LightPool at Blackpool Illuminations. Combining an awesome soundtrack with the spectacular Brilliance lightshow this is an event not to be missed.

Elsewhere in LightPool at Blackpool Illuminations

Don’t miss Djonny Chen’s Ninth Letter Project from 10 September throughout the Illuminations. Indonesian film maker Djonny has interviewed hundreds of residents of the Fylde coast and produced a series of beautiful video portraits that will be projected on a giant screen on the promenade near Gynn Square.

Also, a Las Vegas style projection show on The Blackpool Tower will take place every evening during the illuminations, using spectacular mapping technology to transform the front of the Tower building.

As part of LightPool, leading artists from around the world are also undertaking spectacular new commissions involving light at Blackpool’s Grundy Art Gallery and around the town as part of the “Sensory Systems” exhibit.

Blackpool now also has a team of new, enthusiastic Resort Ambassadors. The team has already started work and is getting to know everything there is to know about Blackpool’s famous illuminations display. They will help guide our guests around the exciting display, signpost people towards our exciting new features and tell the story of the new LightPool project.

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