Lightpool Festival 2018

Lightpool Festival 2018

A festival of light and fire in Blackpool, between October 18 and 27 2018

Lightpool Festival 2018

A festival of light and fire in Blackpool, between October 18 and 27 2018

Lightpool Festival 2018

We have ambitious goals: to directly engage 50,000 people during the festival, to include at least 250 young people in participatory activity, and develop at least 100 event volunteers.

The Lightpool Festival 2018 has four strands: Light Art, Light Performance, Light Projects, Light Thought

Light Art – over 20 site-specific and temporary artistic installations to create a 4km walking route around Blackpool town centre

Light Performance – an ambitious programme of light and fire performance on the promenade and in Blackpool town centre, including a ground-breaking partnership with BBC Philharmonic, Light Odyssey, on Thursday 18 October

Light Projects – projects throughout the Illuminations season (31 Aug – 5 Nov) to connect communities across Fylde and Wyre with light.

Light Thought – a series of gatherings and conferences to bring together policy-makers, industry representatives, artists, producers, designers and entrepreneurs to consider the UK’s Creative Economy and the role that light and light technologies can play.


Carnival of the Lights

Thursday, 25th October

The Carnival of the Lights returns for its 2nd year, featuring Blackpool’s illuminated trams parading in convoy, and led by the illuminated drummers from Worldbeaters Music – Spark! – Lightpool favourites.

Dancing in the Moonlight

Friday, 26th October

For one night only, dance in the UKs most feted ballroom under the moonlight of Luke Jerram’s spectacular installation, a 7m pixel-perfect replica of our closest astral neighbour.

Resident organists Chris Hopkins and Mark Speight will serenade you to an appropriate selection of night-themed classics.

Entrance is Free, no dancing experience necessary. The ballroom will remain open until 10.30pm for you to enjoy Jerram’s work.


Friday, 26th October

RUSH will be a dance, light and projection-mapping masterpiece in Blackpool on the iconic site of the old police station, scheduled for demolition. Inspired by the post-2008 global cultural phenomenon of protest and riot, RUSH tells the stories that matter to Blackpool and Wyre residents in a huge release of energy and creativity. It develops into a celebration of the power within community – Blackpool always keeping the lights on.

Presented in association with LeftCoast

IGNiPOTENS by Pyronix

Saturday, 27th October

For its UK premier, Belgian performance troupe Pyronix invite you to immerse yourself in a fantastic universe where fire is at the heart of an endless struggle. Ignipotens presents the ruthless competition that binds the most powerful fire masters. With precise choreography and intense music, you’ll be taken on an intense and explosive visual journey.

With a procession from the comedy carpet leading the crowd to St Johns Square for the performance


September – October

Through the Illuminations season we have been working with communities across Fylde and Wyre. New for 2018, Fit2Glow, in partnership with Blackpool FC Community Trust, has seen hundreds of primary school kids take part in glow-in-the dark football tournaments.

The Grand Final will take place in the Winter Garden’s Empress Ballroom, Thursday 25th October, 3pm-5pm.The winning schools from each heat, will also receive an in-school workshop from the Head of the Illuminations, and receive a special Illuminations artwork unique to this event.



Bark by ‘pup’ular demand! LumiDogs 2018 is going to be bigger and better than ever before! 

During the workshop you will be working alongside a team of ‘rex’perts and costume designers as they assist you in the creation of the most perfect and bespoke illuminated costume for your dog.

Everyone who takes part in our ‘woof’tastic workshop will be invited to join the LumiDog’s Parade at the Carnival of the Lights and Illuminated Tram Parade on Thursday 25th October..

Light and the Creative Economy

Thursday 18 October

The 7 leading northern light festivals of the Light Up the North (LUTN) network, and innovation agency Nesta are inviting artists, producers, funders, and cultural businesses together to explore and debate the creative economy, alternative forms of finance in the sector and the social and environmental sustainability of our cities. Free to attend

The Art Trail

The Lightpool Festival 2018 Art Trail is a self-guided tour over 3 nights.

Recognisable indoor and outdoor spaces are transformed by spectacular artworks and captivating performances by local, national and international artists.

Nightly, 25 – 27 October. 6.30pm to 10pm
Lightpool Festival 2018
Critter Divided

Blackpool Illuminations

An Illumination’s favourite from 2003 re-imagined in homage to Damien Hirst.

Lightpool Festival 2018

Ronan Devlin

A digital mirror to reflect motion and emotion, using camera a biometric sense technology, with your movement and mood relayed as a colour tone. A SHINE commission.

Lightpool Festival 2018
Cathedral of Mirrors

Mads Christensen

12 towering columns of light respond to movement, creating an immersive environment. From LA- based light artist Mads Christensen and commissioned by Quays Culture at MediaCity UK.

Lightpool Festival 2018
Winter Gardens Dome

Pulsar Light

Make sure to look up when you get to the Winter Gardens and take a look at the panoramic lighting inside the dome. Supplied by Pulsar, this lighting display creates 360 degrees of colour. Pulsar are based in Cambridge and specialise in architectural lighting, with installations worldwide.

Lightpool Festival 2018
K9 Walk

Jane Webb

A boy walking his dog home: created with wire recycled from computer and electronic components. Webb is inspired by the e-waste landfill, this work encouraging us to look after our planet, as this is the next generation's home. A SHINE commission

Lightpool Festival 2018

Cordwainer Bird Jr.

A blend of the Blackpool-style seaside amusement fun machine with the latest RGB technology. Make the ball come to life and discover your inner love quotient. Commissioned for Lightpool 2018.

Lightpool Festival 2018
Lancashire Moon

Hannah Fox

Our moon is ever-present yet ever-changing. Faces of Lancashire folk have become the template behind this hand-drawn animation; our moon in Blackpool, entitled ‘Love’, features in-love couples, several of whom were married at the Wedding Chapel, including Kelly Garrick, its first ever bride. A co-commission with Light up Lancaster and Lancashire Encounter.

Lightpool Festival 2018

Blackpool Illuminations

First designed by Alan Cockcroft in 1970 to celebrate the moon landings, a replica of the Neil Armstrong's space suit.

Lightpool Festival 2018
Arts Is Your Human Right

Bob and Roberta Smith

Illuminated words hang at eye-catching locations along Abingdon Street, from one of the UKs leading artists. Commissioned by LeftCoast and Blackpool Illuminations for LightPool 2016.

Lightpool Festival 2018
Plenty and Progress

Mark Titchnor

"Plenty and Progress” references Blackpool’s town motto of ‘Progress’ and is composed from elements of Claudegen’s various 1930’s neon designs for the Town Hall.

Lightpool Festival 2018
Museum of the Moon

Luke Jerram

World famous, this 7m, internally-lit moon features 120dpi detailed NASA imagery, with each cm representing c.5km of the lunar surface. Experience Blackpool Tower Ballroom in a completely different light.

Lightpool Festival 2018
Portrait of Self

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen

A deliberately and stylishly surreal statement that suggests that the self-revelatory image of a self-portrait is not always as honest as it seems. A new commission for Lightpool 2018.

Lightpool Festival 2018
Mirror Stage

Gillian Hobson

A kaleidoscope of moving image, colour and light, this immersive installation plays with ideas of the homely and un-homely to consider what it means to be ‘at home’ in the 21st Century. A SHINE commission.

Lightpool Festival 2018

David Ogle

Within a disused retail unit, this installation produces an abstracted landscape stretching out before the viewer. Referencing Blackpool as a coastal community that is framed by the sea (and the effects of light as the sun dips below the waterline), the work reimagines these natural elements in an unexpected context.

Lightpool Festival 2018
Endless Knot

Blackpool Illuminations

A playful reflection on our endless journeys to and from work


Creative Director

2018 will see the LightPool Festival, returning to the town, celebrating Blackpool’s unique relationship with light.

We are aiming for a festival that:
• befits the grandeur, wackiness and the warmth of welcome of the world-famous Blackpool Illuminations
• reconnects residents of Fylde and Wyre to the Illuminations through inclusive and inspiring programming
• develops new visiting audiences to experience the town-centre on foot

In terms of impact, we aim to:
• change perceptions about Blackpool for the better, and demonstrate – particularly to young people, that there is meaningful opportunity to engage with arts and culture
• connect Blackpool’s cultural venues through light

Building on the successes of Lightpool Festival 2016; from October 25 to October 27 the town centre will be transformed with a number of spectacular light art works, inspired by the buildings, history and people of the town.

To complement this we will run a programme of live performances each night, all related to light and fire, with talent coming from the UK and abroad. Fire with Tango, highly explosive percussion performances, illuminated parades and processions.

Light art festivals are a phenomenon spreading across the globe, and just in the North of England you may well have heard of Lumiere in Durham, Light Up Lancaster, Illuminating York, Light Night Leeds and many others.

The LightPool festival will take place in the spiritual home of illuminations. By running for just a few days, the festival allows us to present different sorts of work. It means we can transform the town centre into a playground for people to explore. By being free to attend, the LightPool Festival 2018 will offer a wonderful opportunity for whole families to experience something different. A number of works will be made with different communities in Blackpool, telling stories about the town and the people who live here.