Tourism leaders today welcomed news Blackpool’s Livewire Festival will be back in the resort for the next two years at least.
The event organisers, who are bringing Hollywood star Will Smith to perform on the Tower Festival Headland on Sunday, have signed a three-year deal with the council.
Businesses hope it will bring crowds back year after year.
Claire Smith, president of hoteliers group StayBlackpool, said: “We have lots of guests who have booked in for Livewire.
“What is great is there is something for everyone, including different age groups.
“And now we know it is here for three years, we can market it to our guests for future years.
“It’s also a really good use of the headland, and good timing because the week before Switch-on can be a bit slow because people are waiting for the Illuminations.”
Coun Gillian Campbell, deputy leader of Blackpool Council, said: “The three year commitment to the hosting the Livewire festival on the Festival Headland is great news and another example of private businesses continuing to invest in the resort.
“To already have the commitment that the festival will return in 2018 and 2019 can also give businesses even more security to plan for the future.
“This weekend’s festival will bring more tourists in to the town who will spend money in our shops, restaurants and hotels, boosting our local economy and supporting jobs for local people.
“At the same time, having Will Smith in town brings worldwide publicity to the resort, the likes of which money can’t buy.
“The Livewire Festival and next weekend’s Switch On concert will really make the most of the Festival Headland as a superb venue for live music.”
Cara Birchall, from Piper Music Management which is putting on the three-day festival, told The Gazette they hope to “be able to extend it after the initial three years.”