The annual Blackpool Illuminations switch-on is one of Lancashire's most hotly anticipated events. Each year, thousands of people head to the seafront at Blackpool promenade to see one million lightbulbs create 10km of light-up displays along the town's Victorian promenade.
Blackpool Illuminations traditionally continues to brighten the promenade until November, but being there for the switch-on means catching firework displays, live music and entertainment. The event is now associated with MTV, and is widely broadcasted, making Blackpool the centre of the pop universe for one night every year.
In 2018, pop, classical and musical-theatre star Alfie Boe switched on the illuminations, along with popstars Ella Eyre and Jonas Blue and Britain's Got Talent dance troupe Diversity.
This year rock-pop band Busted will have the honour of switching on Blackpool Illuminations, along with Nina Nesbitt, Sigma and Diversity.
Whether you're heading to the switch-on this year, or you're planning a trip to see the illuminations throughout the season, here's all you need to know about the Blackpool Illuminations.
When is the Blackpool Illuminations Switch-On?
This year, the Blackpool Illuminations switch-on concert will be held at Blackpool Tower Festival Headland on Friday 30 August.
The event will kick-off with a celebration of local talent in the Blackpool Introduces showcase. After that, the countdown and the switch-on itself will happen, and then MTV will host an hour-long party under the lights featuring Busted, Sigma, Nina Nesbitt and Diversity.
How to get Tickets for the Blackpool Illuminations
The Blackpool Illuminations switch-on concert is free, but you do need to apply for wristbands.
To apply for a free Blackpool Illuminations wristband, you must register, which you can do now. Each registration has the chance to receive up to four wristbands per household. These bands will provide free entry to the whole Tower Festival Headland area on the night of the switch-on concert.
From August 2019, there will also be a limited number of first-come-first-served "golden circle" tickets on sale, which will guarantee entry to the event.
Where to Park in Blackpool
During the Blackpool Illuminations, the roads can become busy and the car parks in the centre of the town can fill up quickly.
Plan your trip before you get to Blackpool and you'll easily find a place to park, but it may be a little way out of town. Head to the Visit Blackpool's website for more information. We recommend Talbot Road, Banks Street or Filey Place, all of which won't take you near any closed roads.
Which Train Station is Closest for the Blackpool Illuminations?
Travelling by train to Blackpool means choosing to get off in Blackpool North, Blackpool South or at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Blackpool South and Blackpool Pleasure Beach are closest to the illuminations action.
However, Blackpool North train station is on Talbot Road close to the north end of Blackpool promenade. From here you can walk or take the tram from the top of the illuminations right down to the south side of the seafront.
When do the Blackpool Illuminations Finish?
The Blackpool Illuminations finish each year in early November. This means you have almost three full months of illuminations to enjoy right up until the start of the festive season.
Do Blackpool Illuminations stay on All Night?
Blackpool Illuminations do not stay on all night.
From Sunday to Thursday, the lights are switched off at 10:30pm - except during October Half-Term, when they stay on until 11pm. On Friday and Saturday nights, enjoy the lights until 11m.
As the nights get darker earlier throughout the illumination season, Blackpool's famous lights are also turned on earlier. When British Summertime ends and the clocks go back an hour, Blackpool Illuminations go on as early as 5pm.
How to Travel to Blackpool Illuminations by Tram
It is easy to get to Blackpool illuminations and Blackpool Tower Festival Headland by tram. There are two types of tram to choose from on the seafront - traditional heritage trams and the more comfortable modern trams. They all run along Blackpool's seafront, and every tram has stops near Blackpool Tower, the Pleasure Beach and close to the car parks, where you can park and ride into the city to avoid queues and congestion. You can use Blackpool 1 tickets on both trams and buses.
What are Blackpool Illumination Tableaux?
The Blackpool Illumination tableaux are some of the most impressive displays at the illuminations. Each tableau is a giant work of art, placed on Bispham seafront at the cliffs and on Red Bank Road, close to the tramway. Take a stroll along the shore to see each display up close. You can even take perfect pictures as part of the tableaux in their dedicated selfie spots.
The tableaux are traditionally based on children's stories and nursery rhymes, and some have moving parts and projections to bring them to life. Wrap up warm and take the kids to see one of Blackpool Illuminations' most-loved attractions.
Travelling to Blackpool for the illuminations? Take a look at our hotels in Blackpool and turn your trip into a holiday.