2:00AM - 6:00AMSend a message Listen Live
Showzam! Blackpool's festival celebrating Circus, Magic and New Variety is set to return.
Plans have been underway for months regarding Showzam! 2013 and now they can be realised withevent organisersdelighted after securing a £99k grant from Arts Council England.
Building on the successes of the previous five years, the grant will enable the programming of innovative circus, performance and street artists.
Natalie Wyatt, Managing Director of Marketing Blackpool, said: "There is always a real buzz in the air when we discuss Showzam! and we are delighted that Arts Council England has awarded us £99k as this makes a big difference to the variety of events we can offer.
"2013 will be the sixth year of this hugely popular event which also brings to the forefront Blackpool's entertainment heritage buildings such as the Winter Gardens, the Grand Theatre and The Blackpool Tower Ballroom, while also celebrating the future with venues such as Blackpool Pleasure Beach being utilised to the full.
"By combining heritage and contemporary programming practice with new commissions the aim is to bring Blackpool back to the heart of circus and variety culture.”
Events already planned for Showzam! in February include a specially commissioned Youth Circus from the world famous Gerry Cottle,The Invisible Circus, Spy Monkey, the increasingly popular Carnival Ball, a massive variety of street performers including Musical Ruth and The Grannies, and Mr Albert's Big Finish.
There will also be a wide selection of tours and talks including Pleasure Beach Resort Costume Tours; Palaces of Delight, presented by Showzam Curator Professor Vanessa Toulmin, exploring the beauty and wealth of Matcham architecture in Blackpool as well as the Winter Gardens and The Blackpool Tower & Circus Heritage Tour.
And the historic Winter Gardens will well and truly be in the limelight as it has been identified as Showzam! Central while venues including The Grand Theatre, the piers, Blackpool Pleasure Beach and The Blackpool Tower remain vital to the success of this fantastic February Festival.
Natalie added: "Variety is the key to making Showzam! a success. We want as many people as possible to enjoy this and the grant from Arts Council England enables us to add a new dimension for 2013.
"At the heart of Showzam! lies one thing, we are all working together to improve the image and feel of Blackpool in order to attract visitors from far and wide while also developing and encouraging local audiences.”
And Professor Vanessa agrees: "It is fantastic that we have got this money from Arts Council England. Showzam! is wonderful for Blackpool and I am looking forward to yet another amazing event.”
Anthony Preston, Arts Council England's Senior Manager for Regional Planning said: "Arts Council England is thrilled to be supporting Showzam! in Blackpool. The event draws on Blackpool's unique identity as a place of entertainment. The history of circus, cabaret and variety in the seaside resort has been given a contemporary twist through this festival, drawing new audiences and visitors to the resort as part of the cultural renaissance of the town.
"Investment from our National Lottery funded Grants for the arts scheme has seen the festival grow over the last six years and the 2013 event will be the best yet with three new specially commissioned pieces, Invisible Circus, Spymonkey and Wondertours.
"Showzam! has been particularly beneficial in bringing a new cultural experience to Blackpool at a time of year that is traditionally quiet, giving an added boost for local businesses. We are excited to be working with Marketing Blackpool and partners, building on the recent success of a £3 million investment in the town through our Creative people and places fund.”
Showzam! 2013 runs from Friday 15th February to Sunday 24th.