Although these days he’s more used to the white sands of Ibiza, DJ Danny Howard can’t hide the excitement or passion about his homecoming show at Blackpool Rocks tomorrow night.
It is year two of a three-year plan for Danny, his Randy Ron events business partner Alex Huckerby and organisers and promotors Cuffe and Taylor, who hosted the first Blackpool Rocks event at the Winter Gardens last December.
And none of the team could have anticipated the success so far.
Danny only returned to the UK at the start of the week after a fortnight’s tour in America, but will be back for Christmas on a rare break from work.
“It’s a chance to see family and friends and I’ll have a few nights out, but I don’t get to do that all all other than Christmas,” the Radio One DJ said.
“It’s good to come back to Blackpool and have that familiarity – and it just so happens I’m putting on one of the biggest gigs ever, with it being all but sold out.”
With a ‘huge’ line up, 27-year-old Danny - who found fame as the winner of BBC Radio One’s 2011 Superstar DJ competition, becoming the station’s face of dance music the following year – said the team was overwhelmed at the response to this year’s event.
“When we started Blackpool Rocks, people thought we were pretty crazy holding it when people were getting ready for Christmas and had spent up their money.
“But we wanted to put something in place to fill the gap left by the Christmas Tree Ball for a younger audience.
“It’s amazing to have an event like this in Blackpool. It’s fulfilled the expectations and more of what we wanted from it.”
Former Lytham St Annes High School pupil Danny will be showcasing the best that Blackpool has to offer and its dance music heritage ahead of the doors opening to Blackpool Rocks at The Tower tomorrow night, when he films a special for Radio One’s recently-launched iPlayer channel.
He’ll be giving Blackpool Rocks’ headline star Martin Garrix a tour of the resort and sharing his own success story.
“I’m going to be showing him around town, going to places like my first ever gig venue and taking him to my mum’s for a cup of tea,” Danny said. “It will be telling both of our stories.
“And it’s a good story, based around the fact Martin Garrix is going to a town like Blackpool, rather than the usual like London or Manchester. It’s good going to different places.”
Just a handful of VIP tickets remain for tomorrow night’s ‘winter indoor festival’, with three main rooms hosting the likes of Garrix and Duke Dumont, Ms Dynamite and Trevor Nelson, and the Mambo Brothers, and more - with Danny and the team determined to give local talents a showcase too.
“As well as Martin Garrix, Duke Dumont, Hannah Wants, we have also got an amazing live room with Blackpool bands, and a Randy Ron room with local DJs,” he said.
“I’m always on for supporting local talent. If there were any events like this when I was around I would have been killing to get a place on the line-up.
“I can’t single people out as my favourites, but one of our priorities really is to make sure local people are involved, otherwise, what’s the point?
“Blackpool Rocks is really for the town, we want it to be for the community, for hotels and local businesses to all benefit. And there’s so much history and character to the Tower, everybody knows it and it made sense to make the move.”
n Visit www.blackpoolrocks.com for the final ticket details.