Switch-On festival line-up welcomed

Rebecca Ferguson onstage (Yui Mok/PA Wire)
Rebecca Ferguson onstage (Yui Mok/PA Wire)
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Tourism chiefs have welcomed the first wave of star acts set to perform and this year’s Illuminations Switch-On Festival.

As reported in The Gazette yesterday the first acts have been announced for the new-look three-day event, with singer Rebecca Ferguson set to headline on Sunday, August 31.

Atomic Kitten, Liberty X, 911 and Damage will perform on the final night of the festival.

Claire Smith, president of hoteliers’ association Stay Blackpool, said: “The fact that it’s over three days is absolutely brilliant and £20 for all of that doesn’t seem to be very much money to be honest.

“It’s great that they’re starting to release who the top acts are at this stage.

“The pricing is excellent so it looks set to be a fabulous weekend.

“It’s a really good mix.

“I know Atomic Kitten and Liberty X and the line-up appeals to a cross section.”

Mrs Smith also praised the timing of the announcement as she believes it allows more time for hoteliers to publicise the event to potential guests.

She added: “The more notice we get the more publicity that’s created.

“We’ve got to bear in mind that this isn’t just about the weekend, it’s about publicising the Lights for the whole Illuminations period.”

Kate Shane, general manager of Blackpool Tower, is in agreement.

She said: “There’s a huge range there, they’re bands that appeal to all age groups.

“The fact the Switch-On is now a mini festival is a great idea and will benefit all of us.”

Acts for the Friday and Saturday of the festival have yet to be announced.

Hoteliers have also given their reaction to the line-up.

Corrie Norris, from the Seabreeze Guest House, on Gynn Avenue, said: “It’s good for Blackpool that we are getting the big acts nowadays.

“The concert needs to be there because the Switch-On, as far as the locals go, is something we’ve already seen before.”

Mick Grewcock, who owns the five-star apartments at Burbage Lodge and Queens Mansions, said: “It’s nice to see it over three nights because of the cost of putting the stage up.

“Luckily in late May and early June we’ve got a good chance to publicise it.”

This year’s Friday night event will be staged in association with Rock FM and include a star-studded line-up of chart acts, culminating in the official celebrity Switch-On of the 2014 Blackpool Illuminations.

To ensure the weekend encourages staying visitors and appeals to all tastes and ages, this will be followed on Saturday night by a West End-themed musical extravaganza. Early bird tickets for the weekend are now on sale at £20 per adult, £10 per child, with the first 5,000 buyers getting a guaranteed free wristband to the Friday night Switch-On event.

A random ballot for wristbands to enter the arena on the Friday will be held on www.visitblackpool.com/switchon