Jack's dream to light up Blackpool Tower for Illuminations comes true

From Lady GaGa’s costumes to lighting up his hometown, Blackpool artist Jack Irving has quite the portfolio and visitors to this year’s Illuminations will soon get their first-look at his latest creation  -  a state-of-the-art laser show on Blackpool Tower.

By Simon Drury
Saturday, 21st August 2021, 10:11 am
Updated Saturday, 21st August 2021, 10:14 am
Jack Irving
Jack Irving

London based Jack will present Astral Dreams - an ambitious light depiction inspired by abstract dreams.

It will be beamed directly on the front of the Tower nightly during the Illuminations season.

It is one of two extraordinary new features with Illuminations’ creative curator and renowned interior designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen creating a brand new water feature which will be displayed at South Beach Promenade and turn into a drag-themed sound and light show, Venus Remixed. Two of Britain’s leading designers are preparing to bring a unique twist to Blackpool’s annual Illuminations display.

George Cornes

Both will be unveiled for the first time at the Switch On event on September 3 with Switch On 2021 star Shirley Ballas.

Jack, 27, a graduate of London’s prestigious Central Saint Martins art school, said: “The Blackpool Illuminations are a huge part of my life and have been since I was a child as I grew up here.

“The lights were always such a huge driving inspiration behind my work so they mean so much to me.

“It’s so incredible to work on this laser show and to be able to use the Blackpool Tower building as our canvas for the installation is amazing.

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen

“The show is a journey through light and sound and a depiction of the abstract visions we have when we dream.”

Five high-powered lasers will beam the display on to the historic frontage, accompanied by a new soundtrack composed by local music composer and producer, George Cornes.

George, who is based in Fylde, added: “The Astral Dreams project has brought together a group of artistic-minded people to construct a laser show unlike anything Blackpool has ever seen before - with original musical scores and tailored laser programming to give a unique experience to those who attend.”

Laurence, who has just seen the revival of show Changing Rooms alongside new host AnnaRichardson on Channel 4, said: “This year, perhaps more than any other year, switching on Blackpool’s Illuminations marks an important moment of brightness as the country moves into autumn and winter.

Turning the lights on has always inspired an optimism and positivity of which Blackpool is understandably proud.”

Other immersive light-based installations include a Spiro Light Tunnel on Tower Festival Headland to provide some ‘selfie and Instagram moments and Sandcastle and Beach Balls, two giant seven metre pixelated beach balls – made up of 7,000 tiny lights.

Other features to watch out for in 2021 include:

n Princess Parade the closest to our modern-day Illumination displays first appeared in May 1912 to commemorate Blackpool’s first royal visit as Princess Louise opened the new section of promenade named after her - Princess Parade.

n Spitfire Island - back by public demand, a replica Spitfire returns to Gynn roundabout courtesy of Blackpool’s Hangar 42 Visitor Centre. For this year’s display, the fighter plane will once again

be tastefully illuminated with sweeping search lights

This year’s Illuminations season will run every night from Friday 3 September, 2021 to Monday 3 January, 2022.