The world-famous Blackpool Illuminations have been one of the UK’s most endearing and enduring visitor attractions for more than a century. Thanks to new investment and innovation year after year, the seafront show remains as compelling as ever.
For 2022, the season will be extended for the third consecutive year, shining from 2 September - 2 January, 2023. Expect to see the largest 3D installation ever seen in the annual display and some extravagant new additions. Don't forget to join us for Lightpool Festival, a fantastic free programme of events, light installations and art trails from 14 - 29 October.
New features for 2022
Location: Chapel Street to Talbot Square
Earlier this year, Blackpool was one of the first of 101 towns in the UK to secure funding from the Government’s £3.6bn Towns Fund. With the help of this support, funds were allocated to upgrade the world-famous Blackpool Illuminations to attract new visitors by developing new features and lighting technology. The new Golden Mile area in the Illuminations is just one of the new centrepiece attractions delivered from the Towns Fund*.
Whilst new installations such as the soon-to-be-revealed Odyssey will attract visitors on foot, the revamped Golden Mile dazzles all drivers and passers-by. It’s another record-breaking first for the Illuminations as this area marks some of the largest roadway sections ever built and the first step change in the display.
Totalling 21 flamboyant overhead light installations and designed by Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, the Golden Mile Neo Neon features have been created to directly reference the golden era of the Illuminations during the super-glamorous flirty thirties.
Measuring almost 14 metres in length, the Art Deco-styled pieces are divided into three separate styles - arches, wings and fans. Llewelyn-Bowen, curator of Blackpool Illuminations explains that the abstract arches create “dynamic corridors of scintillating coloured light”.
The roadway section is entirely programmable, giving the Illuminations team full control of the spectacle. Not only is the display completely spellbinding, taking you on an explosively colourful journey through the nostalgic era of the thirties, but it showcases the true creativity of the talented in-house Illuminations team.
Photo Credit: Dave Nelson Photography
Location: The Cliffs
A special tribute is to be paid to England’s all-conquering women’s football team in this year’s Blackpool Illuminations display.
The portraits of manager Sarina Wiegman and her 23-player squad will be put up in lights in a new promenade display celebrating their amazing triumph over Germany in the European Championships final.
The team captured the nation’s hearts after a stunning victory at Wembley Stadium on July 31. On the night of the game, the famous Blackpool Tower was lit in red and white to mark the occasion.
Now the Illuminations manufacturing team have gone a step further by creating a tribute that will remain in place for an extended four-month autumn and winter season. We are delighted that the Football Association has given us the go-ahead to celebrate the enormous legacy that they have created for women’s sport in this country
Location: Princess Street
For many people, Blackpool Illuminations signal the end of summer as we edge into the colder, darker nights of autumn and winter. The hot summer days relaxing in a striped deckchair, building sandcastles and playing ball games on the beach might be almost over for this year, but we’re embracing all that we love about the seaside in this year’s Illuminations display.
Hang on to summer nostalgia with this new road section for the 22/23 season, featuring brightly lit neon sandcastles and multi-coloured waves.
Made up of nine columns either side of the road, the waves which have been upcycled from the NHS display in 2020 and the Genting Casino castles from 2017, is a vibrant nod to summer days at the seaside.
You will also find nearby on the Tower Festival Headland a giant ice cream tableau that will never melt. The two giant pixelated beach balls – seven metres tall to be exact – will also make a return to the headland. Each ball, made up of 7,000 tiny beach ball lights, is a walk-through experience, giving visitors a fun photo opportunity. If you’re lucky, you might spot the giant deckchair that makes an appearance every now and again too.
Oh it’s so good to be beside the seaside!
Location: South Promenade
The Venus Reborn tableau at South Beach was originally created by Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, the Illuminations’ creative curator, back in 2008 as a water feature with Greek gods, fountains and LED lighting. Fast forward to now and it has been reimagined by the star of Changing Rooms as Venus Remixed, a drag-themed attraction with three giant digital screens.
Drawing its inspiration from local drag artists, it incorporates a brand new sound and light show featuring a dazzling tribute performance of the song, Venus, originally by 70s pop legends Bananarama.
Star of the digital show is DJ Zoe from the Funny Girls burlesque bar who performs alongside Miss Amber, Scarlett and Marie La Rae. There is even a tongue-in-cheek cameo performance from Laurence himself.
The Venus Remixed digital show plays every 10 minutes during the Illuminations.
Location: Tower Festival Headland
During Illuminations season, we will be introducing Odyssey, the largest 3D installation in the Blackpool Illuminations to date.
Standing almost 10 metres high and located on the Tower Festival Headland (opposite The Blackpool Tower), the installation comprises six large-scale structures that are combined with state-of-the-art technology to create an immersive and interactive projection show themed on creatures from the deep sea.
Odyssey has been created by international designer Jack Irving in collaboration with a talented team of computer scientists from Lancaster University.
Jack, who grew up in Blackpool and produced costumes for the Hot Ice show at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, has since gone on to specialise in extravagant, wearable art sculptures and has created unique costume designs for the likes of Lady Gaga. Jack and the talented Lancaster University team created the Odyssey concept after winning a competition in 2020 to deliver a new installation for the Illuminations. The competition attracted designers from all around the world.
Watch out for the date of the launch of Odyssey during the extended Illuminations season.
Location: North Promenade, opposite the Imperial Hotel
Strobetastic is another project produced via the Towns Fund that comes to fruition for the 22/23 season*. The festoon, directly opposite one of the most historic hotels in Blackpool, the Imperial Hotel, has undergone a sparkling refurbishment complete with over 1,000 new strobes.
The multi-coloured display will give a flashy and sparkly welcome to North Promenade and, if driving from North to South, the display boasts an exciting build-up to the iconic Blackpool Tower and all the action on the Tower Festival Headland.
Location: The Cliffs
A welcome addition to The Cliffs, a brand new LED screen brings the tableaux section into the 21st century and adds another digital dimension to the area. Kindly sponsored by Merlin Entertainments until November 6, look out for Peter Rabbit on the 8-metre screen and don’t forget to give him a high-paw!
Blackpool Illuminations sponsors
Thanks to the generous support of our new and returning commercial sponsors and public donations, the world-famous Blackpool Illuminations continue to attract and entertain millions of visitors each year. Here is a list of new and returning sponsors for last year's display.
GREAT! movies christmas
GREAT! movies christmas is the ultimate free-to-air pop-up channel, bursting with feel-good seasonal films 24/7. They offer a whole host of Christmas classics, new premieres and weekends jam-packed with movies for every festive theme. We are delighted to have the channel as a sponsor of our Tower projection shows until November 6 for the first time.
One of the world’s largest attraction operators, Merlin Entertainments, will be coming on board for this year’s display. Merlin, who have a prominent presence here in resort with a portfolio of eight attractions, will be taking the brand new LED display on The Cliffs, showcasing their beloved Peter Rabbit on the big screen.
Peter Rabbit™ Explore & Play, located next to Madame Tussauds, is Blackpool’s newest attraction which opened its doors for the very first time on the Promenade earlier this year.
TalkTalk, one of the UK's leading connectivity providers, will be sponsoring the greatest free light show on Earth for the first time. The telecoms provider will be taking border boxes in this year’s display.
Returning sponsors for this year's display:
We are always proud to welcome back companies and organisations that have supported us financially and operationally over several years.
Affinity’s third year with Blackpool Illuminations helps bring awareness to their Fleetwood-based outlet retail park, home to over 40 top fashion, footwear, homeware and beauty brands.
In 2019, the public were encouraged to make cashless donations to support one of the UK’s most-loved free attractions. In collaboration with Barclaycard, fast contactless systems were introduced at kiosk collections points at the north and south gateways to the display.
Barclaycard’s support in agreeing a greatly reduced merchant charge enables us to receive the maximum amount of donations to help maintain the fantastic light show. Find out more about how you can donate to help the Lights shine for many years to come.
Blackpool Promotions returns for a third year with their border box feature in this year’s display.
Back for their second year after sponsoring the Illuminations in 2021, City Fibre, the UK's largest alternative provider of wholesale fibre network infrastructure, has its very own bespoke road section near Sandcastle Waterpark.
Ahoy me hearties! 2020 marked a particularly special year for one of the largest tableaux in the display. Thanks to sponsorship from Coral Island, the Pirate Tableau, a firm family favourite in the Blackpool Illuminations, has undergone a major refurbishment – or should we say had its timbers shivered? The main structural pieces have been rebuilt and the moving parts refurbished, giving them an extra spring of life.
For the third year running, Coral Island is a returning sponsor of the much-loved tableau.
Fylde Coast Women’s Aid
Fylde Coast Women’s Aid returns for a third year with their border boxes along the Promenade.
Hangar 42 Visitor Centre
In the 2020 display, one of the replica Spitfires named Holly was placed as the centrepiece at Gynn Roundabout in a touching tribute to the Battle of Britain.
The Spitfire was refurbished and converted back into a Mark VB Spitfire by the Illuminations team in collaboration with Blackpool’s aviation museum, Hangar 42. The fighter plane is once again tastefully illuminated with sweeping search lights on Gynn roundabout.
Nickelodeon returns for another year with their family-friendly road section, featuring Spongebob and his pals next to Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
2022 marks Northern's fourth year with their illuminated arches throughout the display.
Partingtons Holiday Parks
We were pleased to welcome Partingtons Holiday Parks as a sponsor in the 2021 display. They are now returning for a second year with their blinging display of lights that wow spectators on foot or in the car.
Sooty and Friends
To honour the town’s long-term association with Sooty, the Illuminations team created some additional features of Sooty, Sweep, Soo and Richard. These will appear across the roadway along the promenade in the form of 3D neon characters.
The White Ribbon’s border boxes return to this year’s Blackpool Illuminations to raise awareness of domestic abuse.
*A selected number of features in this year's Blackpool Illuminations are supported by the Towns Fund. The Towns Fund is part of the government’s plan for Levelling Up the UK economy. Towns across England are working with the Government to address their growth constraints, deliver economic benefits and improve the lives of people within their communities. The overarching aims of the Towns Fund are to drive sustainable economic regeneration and productivity across the UK.