dragon creative

Lightpool Festival 2019

A festival of light and fire taking place in Blackpool, between October 11 and 26 2019

Lightpool Festival 2019 - Dragon Creative


Lightpool Festival 2019

A festival of light and fire taking place between October 11 and 26 in Blackpool as the climax to the world-famous Blackpool Illuminations.

Blackpool’s award-winning Lightpool Festival returns for 2019, taking Blackpool’s town centre and glittering Golden Mile into the realms of the light fantastic!

Lightpool Festival 2019
Lightpool Festival 2019


What is it

The festival gives you the chance to immerse yourself in an extraordinary universe of live performance, art trail adventures and spectacular installations including a giant Earth and Sun.

We invite you to bring your family, friends and dogs to join in our LumiDogs and Carnival of Lights Parade and boogie along to our exhilarating evening of Carnival Magic with firebreathing beasts, robots and stunning illuminated dancers.

Enjoy our family-friendly workshops, spellbinding interactive public talks and get up close and personal with legendary storytellers Mama G and Garzagle the Post Alien from Pluto in our community-led, light-themed activities and free events.

Look out too for bespoke pieces of art and installations by contemporary international artists, designers and architects that will light up the resort. 

The programme will be complemented by the Lightpool 3D shows, which will be projected on to the front of The Blackpool Tower buildings each night throughout the festival. 

It all adds up to 15 nights of magic, music and illuminated magnificence.

Everything in the festival is free thanks to the generosity of sponsors and partners, Arts Council England, VisitBlackpool, LeftCoast, the Town Centre BID, Access Fylde Coast, Northern Rail and The Blackpool Tower.




September & October

Through the Illuminations season we have been working with communities across Fylde and Wyre. Returning for 2019, Fit2Glow, in partnership with Blackpool FC Community Trust, has seen hundreds of primary school children take part in glow-in-the dark football tournaments.


Teams from all primary schools will don neon bibs, glow in the dark accessories and face paint for the 5-a-side competition, in an innovative and fun-filled event, which forms just part of the Education and Health initiative work undertaken by BFCCT.

The unique concept offers a perfect mix of fun, sport and family activity. The heats will take place at Blackpool Sports Centres. The sports halls will be transformed into a playground of ultraviolet light and glow in the dark sport; when the lights are switched off, the games begin.

The Grand Final will take place in the Blackpool Tower Circus on Wednesday Thursday 16 October at 9.30am.

When I Grow Up


Lightpool Festival in partnership with Primary Futures, have developed an exciting way for children in Year 5 Primary school to think about their future career potential. Following on from the Schools participation in the Primary Futures programme, the children will draw their interpretation of ‘What they want to be when I grow up’.

One drawing from each school will be chosen to be made into an illuminated glow box, which will then be displayed in Blackpool Town Centre, as part of the Town Centre Art Trail for Lightpool Festival 2019.

The designs from each school will also be made into a ‘collage’ poster to be displayed in each school.


12 & 13 October

Does your dog light up your life? Well now it’s time to return the favour! We are looking for the most ‘fur’bulous local dogs and owners to take part in our LumiDogs workshops.

In partnership with Houndshill shopping Centre we will be holding design and make workshops on Sat 12 and Sun 13 Oct, every hour, 10am-2pm. During the workshops you will be working alongside a team of experts and costume designers as they assist you in the creation of the most perfect and bespoke illuminated costume for your dog.

Taking part is absolutely FREE. Everyone who takes part in our workshops will also have the opportunity to have their stylish pooch photographed and will be given an instant copy to take away with them.


14 - 25 October

Gaia is a touring artwork by UK artist Luke Jerram. Measuring seven metres in diameter, Gaia features 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface*. The artwork provides the opportunity to see our planet on this scale, floating in three dimensions.

The installation creates a sense of the Overview Effect, which was first described by author Frank White in 1987. Common features of the experience for astronauts are a feeling of awe for the planet, a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment.

The artwork is 1.8 million times smaller than the real Earth with each centimetre of the internally lit sculpture describing 18km of the Earth’s surface. By standing 211m away from the artwork, the public will be able to see the Earth as it appears from the moon.

*The imagery for the artwork has been compiled from Visible Earth series, NASA.


14 - 25 October

A world premiere, SUN is a partnership between public artist Alex Rinsler and Professor. Robert Walsh, one of the UK’s leading solar physicists.

SUN is a seven-metre diameter suspended sphere, presenting astrophysical data from NASA’s Solar Dynamic Observatory in stunning 360°. SUN displays several months in the life of our closest star but in tens of minutes of real time. This continually evolving globe reveals the SUN in extreme ultraviolet light, a part of the electromagnetic spectrum beyond human sight.

Co-commissioned by the Lightpool Festival, Blackpool and Light Up Lancaster.

There is also a series of public talks and education sessions for local schoolchildren.

Dance Around the World

Thursday 17 and 21 -24 October

Dance in the UK’s most feted ballroom beneath Luke Jerram’s spectacular Earth installation, Gaia.

Take to the floor as the Tower Ballroom organists serenade you to an appropriate selection of night-themed classics, or sit back and relax to enjoy entertainment from local dance schools on the launch event, with individual performances from the schools on the other nights.

Entrance is FREE, no dancing experience necessary.

21 October – Fever Dance
22 October – Langley Dance Academy
23 October – House of Wingz
24 October – AA Dance

Late at the Library

Friday 18 October

Tonight, we are offering something a little different at Central Library, as we dim the lights, decorate the bookcases and bring you an evening of light engagement.

Programme includes:
• Illuminations archive film footage • Virtual reality 3D VR experience
• Children’s reading by torchlight, with guest narrators
• Archive Illuminations photography exhibition
• Refreshments
• Blackpool Museum Project children’s illumination design
• Engaging workshops

Talking Heads

Saturday, 19 October

As dusk falls, three large translucent heads appear. Looking a bit like the giant Easter Island Heads, but each one of these moves, blinks, and seems almost alive - as they are all magically animated by projections.

The giant heads speak and sing, as faces of the audience are mapped using 3-D face capture, their mouths animated to put words into their mouths.

They show the faces of any audience members who use our quick self-portrait camera – so absolutely anyone can add their likeness and become part of the artwork. But then as we watch, the heads begin to speak, to tell tales and even sing short fragments of songs as we put words in their mouths – all fully lip-synced. Hear them speak and sing words they never said…

An engaging, fun, and rewarding experience for audiences of all ages.


23-26 October

Wave-Field is a series of eight giant see saws that light up and make music as you bounce. This magical piece has been brought from Canada by LeftCoast and Lightpool Festival to bring a playground to St John’s Square as part of this year’s programme.

Become immersed in the unique soundscape as the see saws move with their riders – each one with its own temperament and creating its own melody. Wave-Field is an ever-changing urban instrument – powered by you.

Whether you join in or watch – you will be immersed in an organic symphony as the see saws light up and come to life.

Illuminated Tram Parade

Thursday, 24 October

The Carnival of the Lights returns for its 3rd year, to celebrate Blackpool’s unique tramway history, this Parade is a tribute to the rich heritage of our Illuminated Trams.

The parade presents a unique opportunity to witness Blackpool’s historic collection of illuminated tramcars featuring a battleship, trawler and Great Western train.

The parade leaves from Blackpool Pleasure Beach and on it’s arrival at Central Pier will be joined by the East Midlands Caribbean Carnival Arts Network featuring a troupe of fabulously costumed, illuminated revellers! Illuminated Carnival puppets will also be joining the parade adding a wow factor and showcasing content never seen before by audiences in Blackpool.

Carnival Magic

Friday, 25 October

An exhilarating menagerie of illuminated Carnival characters will hit the streets of Blackpool for an electrifying showcase of music, puppetry and dance.

We have handpicked a team of internationally recognised Carnival performers to present a four-part showstopper, bringing a diverse melting pot of Carnival magic. From fire-breathing beasts to stunning illuminated dancers, there will be something for all the family.

ROBOTS! Programmed to entertain, our illuminated drumming robots will wow the crowd.
FIRE BREATHING BEASTS! Gasp and wonder at their fiery release. This show features striking puppets and exciting pyrotechnics mixed with a sinister and hypnotic performance.
CARNIVAL MAGIC! A 20-piece carnival band will spring to life and fill the stage with beautiful dancers in giant illuminated dresses, accompanied by red-hot carnival drummers and illuminated puppets Padmini and Shivaji, our Bollywood Prince and Princess.
THE GRAND FINALE! The show will crescendo with a full cast presentation of all puppets and performers, encouraging the audience to take to the dance floor and boogie to our Global Grooves with friends old and new

Adonias by Pyronix

Saturday, 26 October

Belgian performance troupe Pyronix invite you to immerse yourself in a fantastic universe where fire is at the heart of an endless struggle.

Adonias is the latest production from Pyronix, with a Celtic vibe in this colourful universe, where the red is master. Let them seduce you with medieval and catchy music, and a mixture of poetry and technique.

Adonias presents the ruthless competition that binds the most powerful fire masters. With precise choreography and intense music, you’ll be taken on an outstanding and explosive visual journey. Equipped with their finest kilts our artists will impress you with the objects they handle, from the immerse sphere to the flamethrower, not forgetting the swirling embers in which they will disappear.

This Belgian professional fire, light and pyrotechnic show will bring the Comedy Carpet alight with an outstanding fire show extravaganza.


The Art Trail

Nightly, 11–26 October, 6pm to 10.30pm

The Lightpool Festival Art Trail is a self-guided tour over 15 nights. Recognisable indoor and outdoor spaces are transformed by spectacular artworks and captivating performances by local, national and international artists.
Critter Divided

Blackpool Illuminations

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


Blackpool Illuminations

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


Six metal arches criss-cross Birley Street with custom-designed luminaires.


Alex Rinsler / Prof. Robert Walsh

a suspended, self-contained sphere, 7m across, with a digitally combined movie of NASA's Solar Dynamic Observatory

When I Grow Up

Primary Futures

A project with children in Year 5 Primary school to think about their future career potential

Art Is Your Human Right

Bob and Roberta Smith

Illuminated words hang at street level in Houndshill Shopping Centre arcade, from one of the UKs leading artists. Commissioned by LeftCoast and Blackpool Illuminations for Lightpool 2016.

Tiffany Umbrellas

Blackpool Illuminations

The Tiffany Delights road section, originally designed in 1999 by Graham Ogden, reimagined to illuminate 16 umbrellas.


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.

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.


Luke Jerram

Measuring seven metres in diameter, Gaia features 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface

Tunnel of Light

A family-friendly immersive walk-through sculptural tunnel of light.

Graffit Rock

Mozza - Created as part of the inaugural FAM festival 2019, graffiti artist Mozza was inspired to create these two giant sticks of rock.

Creative Director

Phil Holmes

2019 will see the Lightpool Festival, returning to the town, celebrating Blackpool’s unique relationship with light.

Building on the successes of the inaugural Lightpool Festival 2016; from October 11 to 26 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, 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 during the October half-term, 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 2019 will offer a wonderful opportunity for whole families to experience something different.

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