LightPool Festival

Lightpool Festival, Blackpool’s award-winning Festival is returning this October half-term with two weeks of extraordinary free entertainment.

The festival, which will take place between October 11 and 26, will provide an amazing mix of live performance and light-based art installations including a replica planet Earth in The Tower Ball, the world premiere of a large-scale Sun in the Winter Gardens and a display of giant illuminated seesaws.

The programme also includes the return of the Carnival of the Lights; an illuminated children’s football tournament; fire and light based shows; 3D projections on to the front of The Tower building; and a town centre art trail.

This year’s festival is being staged in a collaboration between VisitBlackpool, LeftCoast, Blackpool Town Centre BID, Northern Rail, Access Fylde Coast, Primary Futures and The Blackpool Tower.

Cllr Gillian Campbell, Deputy Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “We are thrilled to be able to announce that the Lightpool Festival is being extended to two weeks over the October half-term.

“Over the past three years, it has developed in terms of scale and ambition and has proved hugely popular with residents and visitors alike.

“This year, we are planning to showcase some extraordinary art installations in two of the most iconic venues in the UK – The Blackpool Tower and the Winter Gardens.

“Blackpool is once again doing what it does best – producing world-class entertainment that is free for everyone to enjoy.”

These are the events already lined up, with more to be added in the weeks ahead:

GAIA : Monday 14 to Saturday 26 October (Blackpool Tower Ballroom)

Gaia is a touring artwork by celebrated UK artist Luke Jerram who brought his ‘Museum of the Moon’ to Blackpool in 2018. Measuring seven metres in diameter, Gaia features extraordinarily detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface. The installation will be located in the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, giving visitors the opportunity to dance around the world!

A specially made surround sound composition by BAFTA award-winning composer Dan Jones will be played alongside the sculpture. The installation will be officially launched on the evening of Thursday October 17 with a special dance event.

The artwork is created in partnership with the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Bluedot Festival and The UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres. With supporting partners Culture Liverpool and Liverpool Cathedral.

SUN: Monday 14 – Saturday 26 October (Olympia in the Winter Gardens)

Sun, a new installation by artist Alex Rinsler, is a 7m sphere with NASA projections of the sun’s outer surface projected from the inside. The result is a creative and dynamic 360˚ experience.

A world first, the work is sponsored by Access Fylde Coast. The festival team will work in partnership with Professor Robert Walsh from the University of Central Lancashire to provide educational sessions for schools.

WAVEFIELD: Wednesday 23 to Saturday 26 October (St John’s Square)

A collection of eight giant seesaws to be shipped from Canada for a special interactive display in Blackpool town centre, sponsored by LeftCoast. Although they are ridden like any other seesaw, their motion activates built-in lights and speakers, to create a unique and unforgettable user experience.

FIT2GLOW FOOTBALL : Heats during October, with final on Wednesday 16 October

Teams from local schools will once again don neon bibs and glow-in-the-dark accessories for a five-a-side competition with a difference.

The heats will take place at indoor sports facilities across Blackpool, transforming the spaces into a playground of ultra-violet light and glow-in-the-dark matches. The final will take place on Wednesday 16 October, venue to be confirmed.

LATE AT THE LIBRARY: Friday 18 October (Blackpool Central Library)

Lightpool Festival will this year feature a late-night opening for Central Library, when the lights are dimmed and installed lighting illuminates the venue. Inside this magical atmosphere, there will be workshops for children, themed book reading, archive film footage of Blackpool Illuminations, a local art exhibition and close-up magic.

LUMIDOGS: Workshops: 12 and 13 October

The much-loved Lumidogs returns, sponsored by Houndshill Shopping Centre, offering dog-owners a chance to make light-up costumes for their beloved pets, culminating in a grand finale to pick the best dressed pooch. Participants will then be encouraged to join us for a mass-illuminated dog walk as part of the Carnival of the Lights.  Workshop details to be announced.

CARNIVAL OF THE LIGHTS: Thursday 24 October (Blackpool Promenade)

Back by popular demand, the Carnival of the Lights is a unique illuminated tram parade showcasing Blackpool’s rich heritage with a fleet of illuminated trams travelling in convoy along Blackpool Promenade. The parade presents a unique opportunity to witness Blackpool’s historic collection of illuminated tramcars featuring a battleship, trawler and Great Western train. This year, for the first time the parade will be joined by the East Midlands Caribbean Carnival Arts Network who will bring a troupe of fabulously costumed, illuminated revellers!

PYRONIX: Saturday 26 October (Comedy Carpet)

Belgian performance troupe Pyronix invite you to immerse yourself in a fantastic universe where fire is at the heart of an endless struggle. With precise choreography and intense music, this exclusive UK performance of the Ignipotens production will take you be on an astonishing visual journey. The free show begins at 7pm on the headland opposite The Blackpool Tower.

BLACKPOOL TOWER PROJECTIONS: Friday 11 October – Sunday 3 November (Blackpool Tower)

The final three weeks of Illuminations season, will see the front of The Blackpool Tower bathed in a sea of light, colour and sound, as stunning, digitally-mapped multi-media shows  are projected on to this iconic building. When the Blackpool Illuminations are shining, get out of your car, stroll along Blackpool Promenade and soak in the experience!​ The 3D projection shows are sponsored by Northern Rail and continue for an additional week after the festival ends.

ART TRAIL: Monday 14 – Saturday 26 October (Blackpool Town Centre)

Throughout the Lightpool Festival, there will be a fantastic free art trail throughout the town centre with varied, bright and thought-provoking installations celebrating Blackpool’s unique place in history as the home of illumination.

For more information and regular festival updates, Click on the link below.