Blackpool Rocks is here to stay! Organisers of the resort’s biggest ever contemporary music event have promised they will return next year.
More than 8,000 revellers packed into the Winter Gardens on Saturday night to see some of music’s biggest bands, DJs and acts across eight of the venue’s rooms and arenas.
DJ Danny Howard, who started out gigging across the Fylde coast before landing one of BBC Radio One’s most coveted slots, said he and fellow organisers Alex Huckerby, Daniel Cuffe and Peter Taylor, the local lads behind Lytham Proms, were overawed with the success of the night.
He said: “The long term plan is to do it again. We wanted to start big and we did.
“I never thought I’d see an event like this in Blackpool.
“The town’s not known for that kind of music scene so to be able to DJ in front of that many people in a venue in my hometown is pretty special.”
Topping the bill were DJs Disclosure, rapper Wretch 32 and band The 1975 along with local acts and DJs all playing in the unique venues of the town centre complex.
Organisers ensured every detail put Blackpool Rocks on par with events usually staged in the likes of Manchester, London and Ibiza.
A team of 75 worked round the clock from Monday to install more than 150,000 watts of sound system across the eight rooms.
The Events Company UK, based in Fleetwood, brought in more than 300 lights, 130 panels of video walls, 65 pieces of pyrotechnics and 50kg of confetti to ensure the classical venues lived up to the contemporary acts.
Organisers said the events company was just the tip of the iceberg for Blackpool businesses benefitting from the event, with hotels, restaurants and bars also sharing in its success.
Danny added: “A lot of businesses surrounding it will benefit too, it helps a lot of the town.
“We want people to look back and remember having an amazing time.”
REVIEW: Blackpool Rocks - Winter Gardens, Blackpool
What’s in a name? Well, for Blackpool Rocks it is more than just a catchy title for an event – it’s a bold assertion about the seaside town that too often takes a battering.
Inviting 8,000 young people (and the young at heart) to enjoy music’s hottest acts in eight of the grand rooms of a 135-year-old venue represents something of a coup for organisers Cuffe and Taylor and entrepreneur Alex Huckerby.
It’s a Grade II listed venue accustomed to hosting dance championships, darts tournaments, punk festivals, political conferences and a host of now legendary gigs in the famous old Empress Ballroom.
But this was something new for the town.
And after the success of Saturday night, hopes are high Blackpool Rocks will be added to the roster of annual events hosted in the Winter Gardens.
Walking around the main rooms was like pressing shuffle on a full MP3 player, from chart-topping dance duo Disclosure playing a packed Olympia, to the sprung dancefloor of the Empress ably assisting the crowd for indie band The 1975 and rapper Wretch 32 who added some urban flavour in the Arena.
The three headline acts were just the tip of the iceberg as local lad Danny Howard, the Radio One DJ, also topped the bill along with the legendary Trevor Nelson and Pete Tong.
After taking in the vast expanse of the venues it was clear to revellers that the people made the place as much as the acts.
Whether in garb for a festival, or dressed to the nines, the thousands who flocked to Blackpool Rocks well reflected the night’s ethos of anything goes.
The juxtaposition of a classical setting with contemporary music and spirit is the kind of forward-thinking this resort needs in order to show the rest of the world that Blackpool does indeed Rock.