An Illuminations app, Sooty tableau and a gallery of street art will be the main new features in this year’s Illuminations.
The display is set to run for a tenth week this year, thanks to a partnership agreement between Blackpool Council and Merlin Entertainments.
TV celebrity Jonathan Ross is set to switch the lights on this year, following a concert by rockers The Script and Eliza Dolittle. Buy tickets for the switch on concert here.
Take a read through the list of new and updated Illuminations displays below or see a gallery of images from the preview event on our Facebook page.
Illuminations guide phone app
Location: Full length of the display
In its 101st year, the Illuminations is set to get hi-tech. The brand new ‘Blackpool Experience’ app, developed Black Ridge Technologies with the help of Stay Blackpool, will be available on Apple iOS devices and Android smartphones.
It will bring the lights to life as 3D hologram characters pop up through the Promenade display, as they are triggered by set markers along the route.
The app can be tried on limited scale for free, with the full version available to purchase for just £1.99. Anybody who buys the app will also be able to enter the Pleasure Beach completely free.
Some of the characters, otherwise known as the Giltterball Gang, have been voiced by local school children.
A portion of the revenue raised by the app will go to the Illuminations and also to the NSPCC.
Stay Blackpool president Claire Smith said: “We are thrilled to be supporting such an innovative and exciting addition to the illuminations, by actually funding this we hope to raise the profile of both Stay Blackpool and the illuminations display”
“Art for walls” sponsored by Graham and Brown
Location – Just north of the Metropole hotel
The biggest gallery of original illuminated urban art in the world.
Comprising 48 panels from 12 artists, these are all original street artworks overseen by Blackpool resident Robin Ross and co-curated by Laurence Llewlyn Bowen.
The 12 artists from around the country, including Blackpool, have created the world’s first illuminated street art gallery.
The artists are: Inkie, Osch, Catch22, Foundary, Lowdown, Oliver Winconek, Danny O'Connor, Agent Provoceteur, Infected by Design, TeaOne, Neil Ennui and The Legendary Toasters.
This section is sponsored by Graham and Brown Design.
Graham and Brown design and marketing director, Mark Radford, said: “It is great to be supporting the iconic Blackpool Illuminations, our long association with Laurence Llewelyn Bowen was instrumental in introducing us to the show but now we have seen what has been produced we are extremely happy with the product, and feel it is highly worthwhile for Graham and Brown to be financially supporting both the illuminations and fresh creative and artistic talent like this."
Location – On the cliffs opposite Penbroke Avenue
Just 65 years young this year, the Blackpool legend is finally realised in the illuminations for the first time ever, in a colourful new tableaux depicting Sooty, Sweep and pals in exciting action, coupled with a spectacular video montage of some of Sooty’s favourite moments from his ever popular ITV series.
Sooty’s owner and presenter, Richard Cadell, said: "It’s fabulous in our 65th year to see Sooty, born in Blackpool in July 1948, brought to life, for the first time ever, in the Illuminations. It's so fitting that the lights switch on coincides with the launch of yet another new TV series for ITV and I know so many Sooty fans - young and old - will be thrilled to see Sooty, Sweep and Soo in lights.
“Sooty is truly a British institution - but his home will always be Blackpool.
"Sooty is thrilled to be working with another great institution - Blackpool Illuminations! Together they are planning a very magical display to celebrate Sooty’s 65th Birthday - Izzy Wizzy - they are certainly very busy!"
Arches – Sponsored by Knight Rigging Services
Location- Starr Gate
The arches at South Shore have received a massive makeover in 2013 with a brand new sponsor and new vibrant colour scheme fully revitalising the classic favourite.
KRS founder and managing director, Sven Knight, said: "It is wonderful to this year support Blackpool Illuminations. The Illuminations have a great historical and cultural significance with the nation and KRS has built its reputation on facilitating the creative industries throughout the country with a core staff sourced from the Blackpool and Fylde area.”
Blackpool Calling 2013
Location – Cliffs South
These fabulous “Rock” images are taken from Ray Lowry's original sketches for the Clash's Iconic 'London Calling' Album sleeve.
Ray passed away in 2008 and the images have not been seen prior to this display, this collaboration with the Ray Lowry Foundation has been very rewarding seeing how the Illuminations team worked in collaboration with curator Robin Ross to develop something special, and truly unique.
Location – Tram turning circle opposite the Pleasure Beach
Artist Inkie, who is a legend among street artists worldwide, returns to the Illuminations in 2013 with his most exciting project to date, describing himself as being “honoured” to bring his art deco style of painting to such an historic tram.
There were 7000 hits in 24 hours on his website as the first picture of the tram painted was published….and that’s before it had been lit!!
Thomas & Friends™
Location : Cliffs displays
A brand new video screen featuring Thomas and all his friends in their fabulous adventures.
Bling sponsored by Beaverbrooks
Location – South Promenade
The Bling section of the Illuminations has been revamped for 2013 has now has a sponsor – Beaverbrooks.
Beaverbrooks Head of Multichannel, Roger Fairhurst, said: “We have had a long and happy association with the Illuminations sponsoring one of its most iconic items the “Beaverbrooks Arches” on the South shore for many years.
“When the opportunity arose to move North and position ourselves opposite the Tower we happily accepted. We are committed to supporting the Illuminations with the new Beaverbooks area.”
Location – South Promenade
Rested for a while, now back again as the show celebrates its 50th year in 2013, we bring you the return of a classic era of Dr Who as David Tennant takes the role making it his own in one of the shows most iconic periods!
Location -Talbot Square
Thousands of multicoloured falling led lights drop from the sky as if by magic in a dazzling display of light and animation at Talbot Square.
Rocket tram – Sponsored by Blachere UK
Location: Gynn Island
Refuelled for 2013 the very popular and legendary Rocket tram now features extra spaceman and a new sponsor and looks ready to blast off at any time!!
Ronnie Brown, Managing Director of Blachere UK, said: “It is wonderful to have the Worlds largest illuminations supplier supporting the Worlds most iconic illuminations show and we are both glad and proud to be associated.”
Refurbished at a cost of over £300k over the past two years, and for the first time complete to enjoy in an Illuminations season, the Tower now features a state of the art led system capable of running millions of patterns of light through it. Over 5400 leds can change colour and sequence individually creating up to 16Million colours and multiple patterns and arrays. This years illuminations will see us show the Tower off to its full potential!
Location: Birley Street
Refurbished extensively over the summer, the Brilliance town centre show returns with a series of brilliant fresh shows and effects new to Illuminations season visitors in 2013.
Location: South Pier
Extensively upgraded over the winter period, the Theatre D’Amour features a brand new light and sound show complimenting the original popular Kylie classic “All the Lovers”!
Location – throughout
Designed by our very own creative curator LLB, these Blackpool signs split up the display through its length with a mix of swirling colours and patterns, backed by a series of promotions for the amazing Mamma Mia show coming to Blackpool next year!
Click here to find out more about the Blackpool Illuminations.