The stars of stage, screen and the music world will descend upon the city on Thursday 14 November to celebrate Christmas in Manchester.
Thousands of Manchester people are expected to turn out for one of the biggest festive shows in the UK marking the season with a huge party on Deansgate for the first time.
Albert Square has hosted the show for more than two decades, but this year the event will be in the shadow of the Cathedral as the Our Town Hall project continues.
A dizzying array of acts will be on hand to celebrate the Christmas Lights Switch-on with star songstress Becky Hill taking on the responsibility of pushing the ever important button.
Becky shot to fame as the first contestant on The Voice to top the UK singles chart with her track, “Gecko”. While selling out a headline UK tour this year, Becky has released three singles, denting the charts again with previous Christmas Lights headliner, Sigala. Becky’s performance at this year’s Christmas lights switch-on event is ahead of another sold out tour planned for 2020, along with a European arena tour supporting The Script.
Next up, pop icon in the making - and former CBBC presenter - HRVY has been taking YouTube by storm, totting up nearly 240million views of his breakout tune, Personal. Following high profile tours with Little Mix and The Vamps - HRVY has since been nominated as the Choice Breakout Artist at the Teen Choice Awards and having chart success with ‘Younger’ a song in collaboration with last year’s Christmas Lights headliner, Jonas Blue.
After becoming household names competing on The X Factor, rising girl group Four of Diamonds have released five singles to date, including most recent track, “Eating Me Up” released this September - creating their own music video to accompany the track. . Having spent much of the last year supporting superstar Rita Ora on her world tour, the group will bring their brand of pop power to Manchester city centre.
Bring his malodorous views on Christmas to the show, Dr Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas will try in vain to spoil the festive mood ahead of his turn on the boards at the Lowry, but the mood will not be soured as the wives of Henry the Eighth strut their stuff with the cast of SIX take to the stage (also playing at the Lowry this Christmas season).
Panto royalty, Zoe George will also bring the magic of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, playing this year at the Opera House, and the cast of Gypsy will hark back to the time of vaudeville ahead of their upcoming production at the Royal Exchange Theatre. And BACK TO THE FUTURE The Musical will also be making an appearance with a performance from Olly Dobson (Marty McFly) singing The Power of Love. The show opens at the Manchester Opera House on 20 February 2020.
And in what is becoming a much-loved annual fixture, the Dance Academy will return with their eye-popping moves - enough to thaw the coldest November night!
The Manchester Christmas Light Switch-on is in partnership between Manchester City Council and Hits Radio.
Hits Radio Breakfast’s Fleur East, Greg and James will host the show.
As always the event is completely free, just get the family together and wrap up warm. The show is an alcohol free event.
Please note, once the Deansgate event site reaches capacity access into the area will be restricted.
There will be a family viewing area for those with pushchairs and small children accessed via Cateaton Street.
An accessible viewing platform is located next to the exit of the Marks and Spencers Car park, this can be accessed via New Cathedral Street (next to Havery Nichols). We operate on a first come basis.
A number of road closures will be in place on the evening - full details to be released.
It is advised not to bring bags to the event. There will be security checks in operation and bags will delay admission.
Cllr Pat Karney, Manchester City Council’s Christmas spokesperson, said: “For me the Christmas Lights Switch-on us one of the stand-out events of the year in Manchester.
“It’s no secret that I would have the lights up and turned on in August if I had my way - I’m always bursting with excitement for this event. The atmosphere is always electric and it’s great to see the families from across the city come together to celebrate the festive season together.
“This year’s acts look brilliant - really something for everyone - and the countdown to Christmas has now well and truly begun.”
Cllr Luthfur Rahman, Manchester City Council’s executive member for culture and leisure, said: “This is the start to Christmas in Manchester, so gather all of your family and friends together for the show of the season. We look forward to seeing you there.”