The switch-on was originally planned to take place on the evening of Friday 4th September on the Tower Festival Headland, in front of an audience of 20,000. Due to social distancing restrictions, it’s no longer able to go ahead. MTV have announced that it will be taking this year’s celebration virtual, replacing the event with a totally free to access stream.
The hour-long concert will entertain viewers with a mixture of exclusive pre-recorded, at home performances, as well as star-studded live performances filmed inside the Blackpool Tower Ballroom. Hosted by Diversity stars Ashley and Jordan Banjo, the full line-up for the concert is set to be revealed in the coming weeks.
In an effort to boost tourism trade, the resort has also announced that the illuminations will be lit for an extra two months, running from 4th September until 3rd January, 2021.
Councillor 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.”