Blackpool’s award-winning Lightpool Festival is back for 2021 – and it’s bigger, bolder and brighter than ever!
28 September 2021
Fun, free, family event in Blackpool
The 16-night programme, which will run from October 15-30, features a spectacular mix of extraordinary light installations, live performance and 3D projection shows.
The festival, which is free to access and staged across a range of indoor and outdoor venues, will showcase 16 new illuminated artworks including nine world premieres.
It will be complemented by the world-famous Blackpool Illuminations, the celebratory display of the World Fireworks Championship Blackpool and a new seafront festival village opposite The Blackpool Tower.
Festival Director Phil Holmes said today that the 2021 programme was on a scale that had never been seen in previous years.
He said: “Over the past two years we have been sourcing a range of world-class light installations that will truly take this year’s festival to another level. We have a total of 27 artworks, some of which have never been seen in this country before.
“Along with the return of tried and tested favourites such as the illuminated tram parade, larger-than-life carnival characters, the Spark! LED drummers and new outdoor projection shows, it promises to be the most magical two weeks imaginable.”
These are just some of the programme highlights:
ART TRAIL (6pm to 10pm nightly, Monday 18 October to Saturday 30 October)
House of Cards*, Central Promenade
Premiering in the UK for the very first time, House of Cards is a multi-sensory display that collapses and rebuilds before your every eyes. The outdoor art display consists of 128 LED light boxes in the form of playing cards, programmed with superb choreography. The stunning installation has already wowed audiences in Amsterdam, Berlin, Bucharest and Milan.
Aqualux, Tower Festival Headland
A stunning eco-friendly light feature to highlight the importance of water. On selected days, an impressive illuminated Peterbilt truck will tour the streets of Blackpool with Aqualux on-board..
Spiro, Tower Festival Headland
Take a walk on the light side! Spiro is an immersive walk-through tunnel of light spanning 26 metres in length and made up of individually mapped LEDs.
Tower Projections, Comedy Carpet
Immerse yourself in the mesmerising 3D projections as they light up the historic Blackpool Tower building. Experience Astral Dreams, a stunning laser-powered performance; Moon Folk, an enchanting adventure of charming fantasy animals as they overcome their fears, and the spectacular Tower Light Show.
Digital Playground, Bickerstaffe Square
A walk-through forest installation of oversized robotic flowers. As visitors move around, the sculpture will subtly change in mood and appearance.
And Then I Slipped, Winter Gardens
New for 2021, slip under the shimmering lights of the waterfall and see where it takes you. This unique installation allows you to step into a scene reminiscent of childhood films, a dreamy space where anything could happen.
Luma (available 27-30 October), Winter Gardens
Luma is a huge, eight-metre long, robotic inflatable snail who loves an audience. She looms above visitors with a presence which is gentle, welcoming and very surreal!
Power the Tower, Winter Gardens
Can you pedal hard enough on our specially adapted light up bikes to generate enough power to light up our Blackpool Tower model? Put your pedal power to the test!
500, Pavilion Theatre, Winter Gardens
Since the 1800s, Blackpool has been Britain’s most popular beach resort. At 500, we showcase just four of the resort’s glittering entertainment venues that have been a mainstay of Blackpool for more than a century. Grab a deckchair, relax, and enjoy a taste of our wonderful history.
The Nature Take Over, St John’s Church
It’s not every day a landmark town centre building is reclaimed by nature as large vines, flowers, fruit, fungus and creatures take over the church exterior. This large-scale projection shows bold and colourful hand-drawn animations as they beautifully dance and sweep over the building’s surface, synchronised to music.
Blackpool Light of My Life, Grundy Art Gallery
Blackpool Illuminations, Grundy Art Gallery and Lightpool Festival are excited to announce a new light art installation by the internationally recognised artist, Chila Kumari Singh Burman. After high-profile projects for Tate Britain and Covent Garden in London, the artist has now turned her sights to Blackpool and the exterior of the town’s Grade II listed Grundy Art Gallery. Prepare to be amazed.
White Tiger*, Houndshill Shopping Centre
The beautifully bright White Tiger roars into Blackpool, also courtesy of Chila Kumari Singh Burman. The car was originally created to celebrate the launch of the critically-acclaimed film The White Tiger, which is based on the New York Times bestseller and 2008 Man Booker Prize-winning novel of the same name. Netflix partnered with Burman to bring the car to life.
Big Bird, Abingdon Street
New for 2021, this 3.5 metre high pigeon sculpture is made out of the parts of 10 London taxis and illuminated by the Blackpool Illuminations team! It’s a unique installation and not to be missed.
Lasertonic, Adelaide Street West
Also new for 2021, this immersive laser projection uses sound and colour to transform its surroundings. Come along and relax in a sonic and visual journey.
100 Local Lanterns, The Old Electric, Springfield Road
Beautiful lanterns created in a series of workshops will be on display in The Old Electric, forming an immersive community exhibition.
LIVE PERFORMANCES (various dates/venues)
Symphony of Light, Olympia, Winter Gardens, 7pm–9:30pm, Friday 22 October
An unforgettable live experience with music, lasers, artwork and immersive lighting effects. Shows every 30 minutes.
World Fireworks Championship Blackpool, Tower Festival Headland, 8.30pm, Saturday 23 October
The finale of the fireworks championships featuring a celebratory display by Titanium Fireworks will light up the night sky.
Illuminated Tram Parade Featuring Spark!, Central Promenade, 5.30pm, Wednesday 27 October
Back by popular demand and for one night only, the illuminated tram parade features a battleship, trawler and Great Western train travelling in convoy, joined by the high-impact drumming and superb choreography of the Spark! LED drummers, Lumidogs and a cast of illuminated giant puppets. A show not to be missed!
Global Grooves Carnival, The Blackpool Tower Ballroom, 6pm and 8pm, Thursday 28 October
An exhilarating menagerie of illuminated carnival characters will hit The Blackpool Tower Ballroom floor for an electrifying performance of music, puppetry and dance.
Silent Disco, The Blackpool Tower Fifth Floor, 7pm-9.30pm, Friday 29 October
Suitable for all ages, our Silent Disco will have three different music choices playing continuously throughout the night.
The Nixies of Oakpool by The Electric Sunshine Project (Springfield Road) 6.30pm and 7.30pm, 27, 28, 29 October
A spellbinding, interactive story using animation, puppetry, lights and music to retell how the Illuminations really came about.
For the most up to date information please visit visitblackpool.com/lightpoolfestival
Photo Credit: Gregg Wolstenholme