The Blackpool Illuminations are now switched off for the 2013 season.
Blackpool just wouldn’t be the same without a trip to the world-famous northern lights – the Blackpool Illuminations. More than three million visitors a year can’t be wrong!
2014 will see the Illuminations run again for 73 nights from Friday 29th August until Sunday 9th November.
Once described as ‘Artificial Sunshine’, the Illuminations have been a major part of Blackpool’s attraction since 1879 and have been a guiding light for visitors to the resort ever since.
And to ensure this year’s event was the most spectacular yet, there were a whole host of new and revamped displays including Theatre D’Amour, Venus Reborn, Talbot Square and Brilliance, which are designed to dazzle and delight the crowds with new programmes, sounds and shows. Not forgetting the magnificent jewel in the crown, Blackpool Tower helped showcase just why the Illuminations are regarded as a truly world class lighting attraction.
For information on Blackpool including updates about the 2014 illuminations, register for VisitBlackpool newsletters here.
Blackpool’s Illuminations evoke a sense of nostalgia, and to this day retain the magic and excitement which every visitor experiences on their first trip through the Lights. The styles and technology however are constantly adapting to address the green issues of conservation and energy efficiency.
Blackpool Illuminations have a limited number of spaces available for £49.99 which will give you the chance to have you, members of your families or even a pet’s image “displayed” in the 2014 Headlights display” located on the cliffs section (opposite the old Miners Home) in the world famous Blackpool Illuminations.
If you would like to have your image after the display we can send it to you for an additional £9.99 which will make a great souvenir to treasure!
Images need to be a head and shoulders shot. We will accept digital images by email (minimum of 3mega pixels) or photographs (min 10”x8”) by post
We will then apply our colourising special effects to your image .This image will be displayed in Headlights 2014.
Details of how to submit your image will be provided with your order confirmation.
Terms and Conditions
• Actual size of image will be 520mm x 520mm
• Pets images are allowed.
• The Council reserve the right to accept or reject images for display. If an image is rejected you will not be charged.
• If you require your image to be returned to you at the end of the Illuminations, the Council will return the same image to you as used in the display, which of course will make a great souvenir to treasure!
• We can accept no legal liability for any copyright or associated issues with this promotion.
Holidaymakers first tripped the Lights fantastic in Blackpool in 1879 when just EIGHT arc lamps bathed the Promenade in what was described as artificial sunshine... The principle is still much the same 130 years later.
But the sheer scale, style and professionalism of today’s fantastic free show reveals just how much Blackpool’s Illuminations has developed as one of the iconic annual British events.
Gone are the days when the lights went out as the tide came in because water leaked into the cast iron wiring pipes on the seafront!
In May 1912, lights were erected on Princess Parade to mark Blackpool’s first royal visit – Princess Louise officially opened this new section of Promenade.
They were so impressive that the council staged them again in September and thousands of people visited the resort and the commercial potential was tapped the following autumn.
The First World War called a temporary halt to the display in 1914, but by 1925 the Lights were back with giant animated tableaux being added and extending the Blackpool Illuminations to almost six miles from Squires Gate to Red Bank Road.
The Illuminations were halted again when the Second World War broke out and did not come on again until 1949 when Anna Neagle pressed the switch.
More than 3.5 million visitors flocked to Blackpool to see the Illuminations last year.
An army of staff including artists, electricians, joiners, mechanics, painters and engineers work throughout the year to ensure the display is ready for the big switch-on.
Altogether 65,000 staff hours are used on maintenance, preparation, erection, operation and – when it is all over – dismantling the feature, fixtures and fittings.
The Lights’ cable and wiring stretches more than 74 miles (120km) and there are more than 400,000 lamps of various types and styles.
Electricity consumption has been reduced by nearly half in recent years with the introduction of the latest technology low-voltage neon, lamps and micro processor controls.
Top designer and television personality Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen has been drafted in to the Illuminations team and created its acclaimed “Decodance” and “Venus Reborn” features.
A long list of luminaries
Although Lights displays were staged in 1879, 1912, 1913 and then 1925 through to 1933, it was not until 1934 that a proper Switch-On ceremony was devised to launch the Summer Season's Grand Finale. Lord Derby did the honours, followed by an impressive roll call of celebrities.
1930's & 1940's
1934 Lord Derby
1935 Audrey Mossom (Railway Queen)
1936 Sir Josiah Stamp
1937 Alderman Ashton and the Duke of Kent
1938 Councillor Mrs Quayle
1939 Cancelled when war broke out, no display during War years or indeed until..
1949 Anna Neagle
1950 Wilfred Pickles
1951 Stanley Mathews
1952 Valerie Hobson
1953 George Formby
1954 Gilbert Harding
1955 Jacob Malik (Russian Ambassador)
1956 Reginald Dixon
1957 John H Whitney (American Ambassador)
1958 A E 'Matt' Matthews
1959 Jayne Mansfield
1960 Janet Munro
1961 Violet Carson
1962 Shirley Ann Field
1963 Cliff Michelmore
1964 Gracie Fields
1965 David Tomlinson
1966 Ken Dodd
1967 Dr. Horace King (Speaker)
1968 Sir Matt Busby
1969 Canberra Bomber
1970 Tony Blackburn
1971 Cast of "Dad's Army"
1972 Danny La Rue
1973 Gordon Banks
1974 Wendy Craig
1975 Tom Baker (Dr Who)
1976 Carol Ann Grant (Miss United Kingdom)
1977 Red Rum
1978 Terry Wogan
1979 Kermit the Frog and the Muppets
1980 Cannon and Ball
1981 Earl & Countess Spencer
1982 Rear Admiral "Sandy" Woodward
1983 Cast of "Coronation Street" (Doris Speed)
1984 Johannes Rau (Minister-President, North Rhine Westphalia & David Waddington, QC, MP (Minister of State, Home Office)
1985 Joanna Lumley, BBC "Children in Need"
1986 Les Dawson
1987 Frank Bough, Ann Gregg & Kathy Tayler, BBC "Holiday" programme
1988 Andrew Lloyd Webber and Sarah Brightman
1989 Frank Bruno
1990 Bet & Alec Gilroy "Coronation Street" (Julie Goodyear & Roy Barraclough)
1991 Derek Jameson and Judith Chalmers
1992 Lisa Stansfield
1993 Status Quo & Radio One
1994 Shirley Bassey
1995 Bee Gees & Radio One
1996 Eternal & Radio One
1997 Michael Ball & Radio Two
1998 Chris De Burgh & Radio Two
1999 Gary Barlow & Radio Two
2000 Westlife & Radio Two
2001 Steps & Radio Two
2002 Ronan Keating & Radio Two
2003 Blue & Radio Two
2004 Geri Halliwell & Radio Two
2005 Chris Evans & Radio Two
2006 Dale Winton & Radio Two
2007 David Tennant & Radio Two
2008 Top Gear Team & Radio Two
2009 Alan Carr & Radio Two
2010 Robbie Williams & Real Radio and Smooth Radio
2011 Keith Lemon & Real Radio and Smooth Radio
2012 Team GB - Gymnasts Beth Tweddle, and Max Whitlock, rower Sophie Hosking, boxer Luke Campbell, cyclists Stephen Burke and judo player Karina Bryant
2013 Jonathan Ross
Details of 2014 tram tours coming soon...
Experts will be on hand throughout the Illuminations season, offering a personal insight into everything you ever wanted to know about the history and making of the Lights.
VisitBlackpool are giving coach parties the chance to have their very own Guide for the Illuminations. The guides will accompany the tour on their six-mile journey of electrifying lights, telling you everything you could want to know about new features, an insight into the history of the Illuminations and some quirky behind the scenes facts.
Our knowledgeable and friendly group of guides, have spent many years working behind the scenes in Blackpool’s Illuminations Department, or across Tourism businesses in resort, making them the perfect ambassadors for the job.
A fee is charged for all our guide services with discounted rates for multiple bookings. If you would like to book a guide for this year’s Lights, please contact Steven Deakin on 01253 477150.
Please download a copy of the recommended coach route for the Blackpool Illuminations.