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MTV to stream Blackpool Illuminations Switch-On

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Blackpool’s annual Illuminations Switch-On concert will be streamed live on MTV.

VisitBlackpool has replaced the traditional gathering with a free-to-air streamed event, because of social distancing restrictions.

It has also revealed that the display is to be extended by 2 months, to help boost the resort’s tourism season.

“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,” explained Cllr Gillian Campbell, Cabinet Member for Tourism & Culture for Blackpool Council.

“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.”

The event was scheduled to take place on 4th September, with a crowd of 20,000 people. It will be the first time in 70 years that the resort hasn’t held a Switch-On event. 

The MTV concert will feature a number of pre-recorded, at-home performances, as well as live performances at a closed event, filmed inside the Blackpool Tower Ballroom.

“We are delighted that MTV will help launch the first live virtual Blackpool Illuminations Switch–On celebration. While we may not be able to go ahead with the event as originally planned, we are incredibly excited to now be able to bring this fantastic night of entertainment for audiences to enjoy at home!” said Virginia Monaghan, Vice President, Events and Experiences, ViacomCBS Networks International.

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