Blackpool illuminations are set to be extended for an additional two months this year to help boost the seaside resort’s tourism.
VistBlackpool has revealed that the Illuminations will run for an extra two months this year from September 4th to January 3rd 2021.
They have also announced they will be hosting their first-ever virtual Switch-On concert in association with MTV Music UK.
This means the switch-on will be free-to-access for all in the online streamed event taking place on Friday September 4th.
Originally the Switch-on was scheduled for the same date, but with an audience of 20,000 people at the Tower Festival Headline.
Due to social distancing, this event cannot go ahead in its usual format. So instead, for the first time in 70 years, the resort will be holding an accessible virtual Switch-On event that can be seen all over the world.
There will be an hour-long concert with a mixture of pre-recorded and at-home performances as well as live performances filmed at a closed event in the Blackpool Tower Ballroom.
The event will be hosted by Diversity’s Ashley and Jordan Banjo, and will feature a star-studded line-up of talent, leading up to the all-important Switch-On moment.
Cllr Gillian Campbell, Cabinet Member for Tourism & Culture for Blackpool Council, said: “The annual Switch-On event is the biggest night in Blackpool’s events calendar. Sadly, it is simply not possible to stage an event of that scale given the current restrictions around social distancing and mass gatherings.
“However, it would be unthinkable not to launch our Blackpool Illuminations season with an extraordinary event. Staging the first-ever virtual Switch-On concert to a mass audience watching from home does exactly that.
“We are very much aware of how much our tourism businesses are suffering as a result of the pandemic and we hope that by extending the Blackpool Illuminations season by two months, it will give them an opportunity to bring in some additional trade.
“We are planning for a safe, socially distanced Illuminations experience and will be keeping all Government health guidance under review as we move towards the autumn season.”
Details of the Switch-On concert’s line-up will be revealed over the course of the next few weeks, along with how you can view the streamed event.
Plus VistBlackpool will also be releasing a preview of new features on the 2020 illuminations display.
These cosy Alpine-themed huts with festive drinks and karaoke are back this Christmas
This will get you in the festive spirit!
Christmas this year isn’t going to be as festive as usual, but there are still some events happening that can help take your mind off the awful year we’ve just had.
Earlier today we brought you the news that Dunham Massey’s light trail is still happening, and now we’ve got something else to get you in the festive spirit.
Bar Hütte is returning to Manchester this year, bringing with it some magical, cosy Alpine huts where you can drink festive booze and singalong to karaoke.
This year, however, it will be moving from its traditional spot at Spinningfields to the Great Northern Square from December 3rd, with – of course – a new Covid-secure approach.
The epic Christmas village will come complete with a giant Christmas tree, and you’ll be able to book your very own private ‘hütte’, which will be perfect for social distancing.
Once in your hütte, you’ll be able to order festive drinks like hot gin and mulled wine, as well as Irish hot chocolates, and there’s also oven-baked pizzas on offer – you can also grab the classic ‘Bombardino’ cocktail, which is complimentary for all bookings.
This year there’ll be even more hüttes to choose from, with 24 set to make an appearance, each complete with a karaoke machine loaded with festive hits.
The event runs from December 3rd throughout the month and you can book here now – each hütte costs £50 for an hour and 45 minutes use, and comes with complimentary pizza, a Bombardino and karaoke machine.
Dunham Massey’s festive illuminated Christmas light trail is still happening
This will be mint!
Christmas isn’t looking as festive as usual this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, but there is a small ray of light.
While it’s still up in the air whether we will be able to have a big family get together on Christmas Day, Dunham Massey has spread some festive cheer, confirming its stunning festive illumination trail IS still going ahead.
Due to the current restrictions it’s now expected to start on December 3rd when the lockdown is lifted, and is being extended into January 2021 to make up for the cancelled dates in November.
The stunning light show has taken place each Christmas for the last three years and sold out each time. The after-dark event brings visitors through a winding path of lights trail through the park.
Huge snowflakes create an aerial kaleidoscope over the gardens, there are colour-changing reflections on the lakeside and trees dripped with silvery shards of lights, baubles and stars.
This year the tunnel of light will return and visitors can expect some brand new installations too.
Tickets are still on sale but are selling out fast – currently there are only a couple of tickets left for December, with quite a few still available in January.
Tickets cost £20 for adults and £13 for children three to 16. You can opt for a £60 family ticket instead which includes admission for two adults and two children.
The event is planned to run from December 3rd through to January 10th, and you can find more info and book tickets here.
Happy Mondays and James to go on huge arena tour together in 2021
Two massive names on the Manchester music scene have announced they will be reuniting for a huge arena tour in 2021.
The gigs in 2021 will mark the first time the two bands have performed together in more than three decades.
They will be heading to Manchester AO Arena on December 3rd, as well as venues in Leeds, Dublin, London and other cities too!
Tim Booth, lead singer of James, said they will be packing ‘two years of frustration’ into the gigs.
James will be supported by fellow Factory label mates, Happy Mondays, including Shaun Ryder and Bez making a return to the stage.
James, formed in 1982, has released 15 studio albums and have consistently had chart-topping success with more than 20 million albums sales.
Tim Booth said: “So looking forward to seeing you. We will pack two years of frustration and explosive joy into these gigs.
“It feels like a new dawn to trumpet a celebratory tour, a week after the first news of hope.
“We’re playing with the brilliant Happy Mondays. We last played with them in 1988, hopefully, this time they won’t steal our rider or try and spike my drink…”
Tickets for James with special guests Happy Mondays go on general sale November 20th. Get tickets here.
The full tour dates for next year:
Thursday, November 25th – Leeds First Direct Arena
Friday, November 26th – Birmingham Utilita Arena
Sunday, November 28th – Cardiff Motorpoint Arena
Tuesday, November 30th – Glasgow The SSE Hydro
Wednesday, December 1st – Dublin 3Arena
Friday, December 3rd – Manchester AO Arena
Saturday, December 4th – London The SSE Arena, Wembley