Light Odyssey at the Empress Ballroom

Johnny James, Managing Editor

Light Odyssey at Empress Ballroom, Blackpool 18 October 2018 Tickets from £21 — Book now

The award-winning Lightpool Festival is back again this year, with a spectacular launch event on the 18 October, featuring the BBC Philharmonic.

As the name suggests, Lightpool is a festival of light, located in Blackpool. It features a mix of live performances, unique collaborations, and light-based art installations. In 2016, its inaugural event was named as the best major event in the Lancashire Tourism Awards. Though last year’s festival was a smaller affair, this year it will return with more grandeur than ever, lighting up the seaside town with a host of exciting spectacles. Its cornerstone event, and the one which will launch the festival, is Light Odyssey.

Light Odyssey will bring the iconic Empress Ballroom to life with 2D and 3D light animation, in a spectacle which pushes the boundaries of light, space and sound. A unique event for the festival, it’s a collaboration with the BBC Philharmonic. The renowned orchestra will treat Blackpool to a show-stopping programme, featuring Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber, Fanfare for the Common Man by Aaron Copland and English Folk Song Suite by Ralph Vaughan Williams. This programme will be paired with a stunning visual display in which the ballroom’s vast interior will be transformed into a giant canvas.

These visuals have been carefully crafted by an international team of animators. Their task has been to respond to the Empress Ballroom’s magnificent architecture, as well as to the wonderful music. Over recent months their process has involved making a detailed 3D model of the venue, which has allowed them to tailor-make their animations for this unique space. They won’t be the only animators to unveil their work, though. Students of Video Design for Live Performance at the London Guildhall School of Music and Drama will also get the chance to show off their skills, having been given the amazing opportunity to close the show.

Light Odyssey at Empress Ballroom, Blackpool 18 October 2018 Tickets from £21 Book now

Where to go near Light Odyssey at the Empress Ballroom

Charabanc blackpool

Charabanc is your go-to for vintage and handcrafted items including fashion, gifts and homewares.

Cakes by Hive
Café or Coffee Shop
HIVE Blackpool

HIVE is an independent artisan quality coffee shop with its own art gallery and resident baker.

Grand Theatre Blackpool
Blackpool Grand Theatre

Blackpool’s Grand theatre is home to a broad and high quality touring programme of entertainment including drama, musical theatre, opera, ballet and dance.

West Coast Rock Cafe

Family owned restaurant that is famous for it’s burgers and brews its own beer, with a good location is close to the Winter Gardens. Its lockdown delivery menu offers everything you need for a family night in.

Stefani’s Pizzeria

At Stefani’s Pizzeria we pride ourselves in making the most delicious wood-fired pizza, we eat, drink and sleep pizza! Our Dough is made fresh daily and proved for a minimum of 24 hours and by sourcing the best ingredients from all different regions of Italy we bring you possibly the best pizza in Blackpool.

Upside Down Blackpool
Café or Coffee Shop
Upside Down Coffee

Upside Down is a coffee shop with a vegetarian and vegan menu, that also sells range of house plants.

Abingdon Studios
Abingdon Studios

Abingdon Studios is a contemporary visual art studios and project space based in the heart of Blackpool Town Centre.

Akash Tandoori Blackpool

This Topping Street Tandoori is a delight and is currently offering delivery for a small charge or collection with a minimum order of £13. Tandoori main dishes and a range of Madras, Dupiaza and Vindaloos to suit every palate, get started with Kofta or Kebabs, tandoori chicken or Fish Tikka.

Walks in Blackpool
Tourist Attraction
Blackpool Tower

Blackpool Tower first opened to the public in 1894, and includes the Blackpool Tower Circus and Blackpool Tower Ballroom.

Boonnak Thai

If you fancy a lunchtime trip to Thai heaven then Boonnak also delivers a brilliant selection of smaller portions perfect for a midday meal. The team is currently offering a 15% discount on minimum orders and free delivery on its lunch boxes with a minimum spend.

Blott Studio
Blott Studio

Since opening in 2000, Blott Studio provided a platform for local, regional, and visiting guest artists.


Kwizeen Restaurant Blackpool has one very clear vision, which is to serve a simple, clean, fresh menu with big, bold flavours using seasonal local produce.

What's on: Families

Culture Guides

Music in Manchester and the North

Fresh concert seasons, forward-thinking festivals and a revolving door of amazing gigs. Things are looking bright as spring comes into view.

Exhibitions in Manchester and the North

February is a month of love so art lovers in the North - rejoice! There is lots to choose from: two photography festivals, gorgeous crafts and shows celebrating local talent.

Two Japanese girls lean their heads on their hands looking out of a window, bored.
Cinema in Manchester and the North

This month's film picks include 90s action flicks, contemporary Japanese independent cinema, and a festival curated by the next generation of film programmers.