Illuminations and Lightpool Sponsorship 2021

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BLACKPOOL ILLUMINATIONS AND LIGHTPOOL FESTIVAL Promoting your business at the greatest free light show on earth

WELCOME You have just taken your first step towards becoming a key component in arguably the greatest free light show on earth. Loved and visited year on year by millions, the Blackpool Illuminations have lit the northern skyline since 1879 when just eight arc lamps bathed the Promenade in what was described as artificial sunshine. Gone are the days when the lights went out as the high tide came in, and over the years hi-tech lighting has been introduced and is now the main talking point of the annual extravaganza. Associating your brand with the iconic Illuminations shouldn’t be seen as any normal form of marketing asset. With a seasonal audience of over 3.5 million across nine weeks, you won’t need to be fighting for their attention as with other forms of visible marketing… they

will already be gazing in adoration at your brightly illuminated feature! Home owning families, young professionals, children and retired couples are just some of the lucrative audiences you can reach with your inclusion in the one of the most popular annually attended events in the North of England. The bright lights of Blackpool beckon each year from September and shine brightly for a minimum of 66 glitzy nights, and whilst most seaside resorts are closing up for the winter, our events brighten up the darkest of months with an audience that brings over £230 million of autumn and winter trade into the town.

Stretching for six miles along the promenade from Starr Gate to Bispham, over one million low-energy lights illuminate each evening, bringing the brightest and most spectacular free light show to the coast. Blackpool Illuminations are the creation of the amazing team at our very own Lightworks, and this is your first step into joining us and becoming a piece of history, bringing your own unique ideas and brand to the millions of returning Illuminations fans.


History of the Illuminations PAGE 6

Some Light Bites PAGE 8

Lightpool Festival PAGE 10


THE HISTORY BEHIND THE ICONIC BLACKPOOL ILLUMINATIONS Holidaymakers first tripped the Lights fantastic in Blackpool in 1879 when just eight arc lamps bathed the Promenade in what was described as artificial sunshine... The basic idea is still much the same over 140 years later.

But, it has to be said; the style, scale and sheer professionalism of the modern-day version have little in keeping with that first electric lighting experiment.

in May 1912 to mark the first royal visit to Blackpool, where Princess Louise officially opened the new section of the Promenade - subsequently known as Princess Parade.

Gone are the days when the lights went out as the tide came in because water leaked in to the cast iron wiring pipes on the seafront!

As part of the celebrations for this event, the Blackpool electrical engineer was instructed to decorate the prom in what was then a novel fashion with festoons of garland lamps.

These days hi-tech has replaced high tide and the nearest to modern-day displays was staged on Princess Parade

About 10,000 lamps were used and the results were so impressive that the

local Chamber of Trade, and other business people in the town, persuaded the Council to stage these Lights again in September of that year. Thousands of people visited the resort and saw the Illuminations and the event was judged a commercial success. In 1913, the Council was again encouraged to stage the Princess lights as an after-season event in September. The response from the public was nothing short of astonishing but hopes

of building on this success was short lived with the outbreak of the First World War the following year. The Illuminations came back in 1925 on a more ambitious scale with lights now festooned along the Promenade from Manchester Square to Cocker Square. It quickly became appreciated that Blackpool Illuminations were a worthwhile tourist attraction and they continued to be staged annually for many years thereafter.

By 1932, animated tableaux had been added and these were erected on the cliffs linking North Shore and Bispham. The length of the Lights was therefore extended to its present length - just under seven miles - starting at Squires Gate and finishing at Red Bank Road. In 1939, although the illuminations were ready for staging, they were prevented again by the outbreak of the Second World War.

There was a full-scale preview on August 31, complete with a giant searchlight sweeping wide from the Tower top, but the next night the blackout had been enforced and the only colour to be seen was inside hotels and boarding houses where landladies had coloured their light bulbs with Dolly blue. Even after the war had finished there were restrictions on the use of fuel and decorative lighting and the Illuminations remained prohibited.

The austere climate of post-war Britain meant the Lights did not come on again until 1949 when Anna Neagle pressed the now world famous switch. Even then there was a cliff-hanger situation as the Council waited in apprehension for the government permission to burn the required amount of electricity. The scale, density and content of the Lights have improved year on year and the development of new ideas and new themes is continuous, in particular with the use of hi-tech controllers, fibre

optics, lasers, 3D mapping and video projection, and has all added a new dimension to the fabulous autumn crowd puller.

LIGHT BITES Flick the light switch! It’s like Blackpool Illuminations in ‘ere!

The novelty of flicking that famous switch may appear far-fetched, but it really works and every year a celebrity will pull the famous lever and every year six miles of dazzling lights will be instantly turned on, announcing the start of Blackpool’s autumn season. And it’s not just celebrities who get to take that honour... in 2020 a group of select Corona heroes took this privilege. Also, did you know that you could have your very own private switch-on event during the season?!

Lucy Fallon, Switch-On 2019


THE BRIGHTEST LIGHTS NEED THE BRIGHTEST STARS The biggest event in Blackpool’s agenda is the grand Switch-on for the Illuminations, and each year sees a 20,000 strong audience gather on the famous promenade beneath the iconic Blackpool Tower to watch an afternoon of live entertainment from the world’s biggest celebrities, ultimately leading to the grand finale and the promenade flooded with just under six miles of light. Over the years, celebrities have vied for the prestigious invitation to switch on the greatest light show, and open the season in Blackpool. Switch-on superstars have included such names as Status Quo, Shirley Bassey, Chris de

Burgh, Westlife, Gary Barlow, the cast members of Coronation Street, Peter Kay and Hollywood film director Tim Burton. But it’s not just our human celebrities who want that prestigious accolade to go down in history! We have even had a very excitable Red Rum, and a very keen Kermit the Frog and the Muppets! For a full list of who’s flicked that famous switch, take a look at this link Who will have the honour to turn on your lights next season?




They may be free to attend, but the Illuminations sadly aren’t for free to stage each year, and cost over £2 million to display, using equipment worth in excess of £10 million. It is only with the help of sponsorships and public and local business donations, that we can maintain this illuminating event.

Affiliated with the Blackpool Illuminations for over a decade now, our creative curator is the TV famous designer, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen. Established as a designer to the stars and a TV icon, Laurence fell in love with the Illuminations many years ago and has since played a huge part in the continued design of many of our spectacular features on the promenade. Available to assist you in your bespoke feature designs, LLB, as he is affectionately known, is always ready with a pad and pencil to help bring your branding to the forefront of the audience’s attention.

Nicknamed the Imagineers, the team at Blackpool’s Lightworks depot continue to create new and exciting features year on year. A formidable mixture of talented designers, artists, joiners, electricians and engineers, the team at Lightworks tirelessly work all year round to ensure the event is ready on time and that each and every one of the million lamps springs in to life each evening in readiness for the returning audience. Working closely with you, the design and build team can create light art in any form to promote and showcase your branding to the highest of standards.

We are always willing to show off our amazing factory here at Lightworks, so why not request a private VIP tour to see where the magic is created, or let Laurence take you on a brief tour here online, where we celebrate our 10th birthday at our fantastic factory next to Blackpool Airport.

LIGHTPOOL “Lightpool� brought a whole new dimension to the traditional Illuminations in 2016, and ever since has entertained the public for two full weeks during October with a display of light art and live shows, co-funded by Arts Council England. Lightpool brings to Blackpool a showcase gallery of light installations, world class live exhibits and 3D projection shows onto the iconic Tower. A key member of the Light Up The North network, this free to attend trail of light invites audiences of all ages to view and interact with the unique exhibits, opening their minds to the world of bespoke light art. With audiences attending the trail and the live shows reaching into the tens of thousands each evening, this festival has become a popular feature of the Illuminations and one that has generated a new level of interest in our season of light.

A mixture of single events and showcases, the festival is available to you as a marketing opportunity with or without an inclusion within the main Illuminations, and again exposes your brand to a cultured audience across all ages and social spectrums.

WHAT IS ON OFFER? To retain the attraction of the Blackpool Illuminations, we will never over sell the six miles of light and turn it into a branded strip of neon logos and advertising boards! Despite how easy this would be to do! However there are still numerous ways that your business can benefit from the association with the biggest event in the calendar and the 3.5 million audience it attracts year on year.

Extremely cost effective, each feature and inclusion is bespoke to you, and we are here to work with you to ensure your sponsorship exceeds your expectations.

Through the run of the Illuminations and tableau features there are a number of opportunities where you can include your branding and messages, without taking away the intended impact of the light show.

With numerous sponsor opportunities, an example tableau adapted to carry your brand and message can be from as little as ÂŁ208+vat per week for the nine week season, and a feature along the roadway from only ÂŁ95+vat per week.

From naming a full roadway section of light, to branding your favourite tableau from your childhood, our designers will work with you to ensure our mutual intention of the feature is met, and we can gain you maximum exposure with the desired effect.

Any illuminated feature or partner sponsorship will also benefit from the associated exposure that comes with the extensive PR activity from our marketing department at VisitBlackpool, who will share our named sponsors with the public in advance of the switch-on ceremony.



Delivering multiple points of content within the six mile stretch of the main display, as well as embedding your company brand within associated marketing and promotional campaigns, this is the exclusive opportunity to become the name behind the Blackpool Illuminations. From Power Partner supplying the electricity behind the lights, to Security Partner, we are open to discuss your business potential to become a key partner with the Illuminations.

A bespoke section of the roadway that is made uniquely for your business, tailor-made to your branding message. Our design team at Lightworks would work very closely with your marketing department to ensure we produce illuminated features that carry your brand identity through this very unique form of marketing.



Varying in size and story, this is one of the most popular sections of the Illuminations journey, and a tableau can be adapted to carry your brand and message. Working closely with the design team at Lightworks, these tableaux carry various opportunities for creating a unique, memorable feature.

Available on the main roadway sections from Starr Gate to Bispham, your business will become the naming of this section and carry your branding within the arching features, and will be featured in the marketing and promotional literature for the season.

DONATION KIOSKS Situated at either end of the six miles of light, these kiosks are manned to welcome and thank the visitors as they enter and exit their journey through the Illuminations. This is a great opportunity to be interactive with the audience with your business promoting through leaflets, sample or voucher offer distribution, or utilising the digital messages that can be hosted on the LED screens on each of these kiosks.



This two week festival offers a number of sponsor opportunities, ranging from individual show or feature sponsor, through to the Headline sponsor with exposure in all promotions and marketing, plus any stage branding. With the versatility of the laser projection shows, your brand messages can even have a digital inclusion within the shows being projected onto the iconic Tower!

As you enter and exit the six miles of Illuminations, you can’t miss the giant LED archways welcoming and thanking the audience each night, and these, along with 8 new centre road digital screens, are available for you to shout out your association with the event in bright and bold colour! With the potential to carry your business branding and a short message, this is a very cost effective way to send out awareness of your partnership to the event on that special date or for a run of evenings, from only £100+vat per evening.

For more details on current availability and pricing for the next Illuminations season, we would be more than welcoming to take your enquiry and explore your marketing journey and requirements, to see how your business could be the next to feature in the Greatest Free Light Show on Earth To enquire further, please contact Mark Windows at or call on 07554433616

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