Switch-On 2014 will be FREE event

Pictures Martin Bostock'Blackpool Illuminations Switch-On 2013'Gary Barlow
Pictures Martin Bostock'Blackpool Illuminations Switch-On 2013'Gary Barlow
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Blackpool’s 2014 Illuminations Switch-On will return to being a free event, The Gazette can reveal.

Coun Graham Cain, cabinet member for tourism, said there would be no charge to attend this year’s ceremony on the Headland – with sponsors and media partners expected to foot the bill.

It is also proposed to turn the Switch-On into a weekend festival with the Switch-On concert screened on other parts of the Promenade to enable more people to watch it.

Last year Marketing Blackpool was heavily criticised after it suffered losses of £372,109 when headline act The Script pulled out at the last minute.

People had paid £34 for a ticket to the show which still went ahead after Take That star Gary Barlow stepped in.

Coun Cain added: “The concept will be similar to previous years where we have done it on a lottery draw so to get into the arena people will still be given wristbands.

“A certain allocation of tickets will be for people with FY postcodes, and there will be VIP packages that are still being worked out.

“There is a cost involved in staging the Switch-On and we are looking to off-set that.”