September 2008
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The fountains at Blackpoolio

That’s what it may as well be called.

This is not my video.  I did try to record the show when I saw it last night but I only had my phone on me and the results were pretty poor.  Apparently in the dark I’ll be lucky to get three frames a second out of it.

Fortunately there’s very little that isn’t already on YouTube, and even though this light and fountain spectacular has only been on display for a couple of weeks I managed to find a full length video.

Whereas Bellagio has a 9 acre lake and over twenty shows in rotation, Blackpool’s latest Las Vegas rip-off is a show named "Venus Reborn" which sits in a tin bath plonked on a garden by the promenade.

As well as the fountains, which sometimes shoot as high as three feet in the air, the show also consists of lights and cut-out silhouettes, which move a little bit.  It’s all set to Debussy’s Clair de Lune.

As far as I know Bellagio doesn’t actually use this music, but there is a strong connection: it is the soundtrack to the scene at the end of Ocean’s Eleven when the protagonists all watch the fountain show before going their separate ways.

Celebrity interior designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen is apparently the man responsible for bringing a water show to a Northern English seaside town for the wettest part of the season.  He said of it:

"For me Blackpool is Venus, which may seem an odd thing to say but there’s a sultry, voluptuous beauty to Blackpool, she’s like Venus a real pleasure girl.

"My tableau, Venus Reborn, celebrates what I hope will be a glamorous future for Blackpool.  Surrounded by classical gods and goddesses in tuxedo finery my very modern Venus rises out of her shell with a theatrical Vegas style flourish."

Indeed, if you can’t be bothered to watch the whole show (it’s about four and a half minutes, and not a great deal happens) do skip to the end and check out the dazzling finale where the goddess Venus holds out her palm to reveal… Blackpool Tower.

It’s not that clear on the video, but take my word for it.  It really is.

Maybe I’m being a bit harsh, it is only temporary.  Venus Reborn will be playing every fifteen minutes until the Blackpool Illuminations are turned off at the beginning of November.

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