The countdown is on to this year’s 2018 Christmas Lights Switch-On presented by Derby LIVE, Derby City Council’s entertainment arm, and hosted by Smooth, who are the official radio station for the event. The traditional Christmas celebration will be held on The Market Place on Saturday (17th November), with a stage show from 3.15pm and a festive parade from The Spot to The Market Place at around 4.30pm. Derby LIVE is delighted to announce that Lawson frontman Andy Brown will be headlining the 2018 Derby Christmas Lights Switch On. This year’s event will also feature additional performances, with local acts showcasing their talents for an afternoon that will be sure to put everyone in the festive spirit.

Andy will be taking to the stage between 5.30pm and 6.00pm and will be on stage for the big switch on at 6.00pm.

As frontman and chief songwriter with official music chart regulars Lawson, Liverpool born singer-songwriter Andy Brown always had a sharp ear for a great melody. Amongst his many accolades, Andy has achieved seven Top 20 Singles on the Official UK Charts as lead singer of the band Lawson, with his debut album reaching Top 3 in the Official UK Album Charts. Andy has performed at T In The Park, V Festival, Summertime Ball at Wembley Stadium, and shared a stage with Jessie J at the prestigious iTunes Festival. Other collaborations have included Brokenhearted with American rapper B.O.B, playing alongside Bruce Springsteen at Hard Rock Calling and even joining Robbie Williams on his Stadium Tour across Australia & New Zealand. As well as recently becoming a solo artist and first time father, 2018 sees Andy focusing on new areas of his career as well, such as: TV, Theatre, Modelling & Influencer campaigns.

Smooth presenters Gareth Evans and Emma Caldwell will be hosting this year’s Christmas Lights Switch-On event, which will see a number of local community acts on stage. Included in the line-up are Star Generation Choir. Founded in 2013, the choir provides vocal groups for children between the ages of 4 and 18 who want to improve their vocal ability and stage presence. Seven months into their gigging career, The Lapels, a young four-piece band from the East Midlands, will be bringing their current take on the Mod / Indie genre to the Christmas Lights stage. The band’s upcoming debut single, Come And Have A Go, (which is planned to be released in the next few months), is pure energy and power. The Lapels are very proud to be performing at the Derby Christmas Lights Switch-On 2018, listen out for the lads on BBC Radio Derby early in the New Year. Fresh from his performance at The Hannells Darley Park Concert this September, local singer Andy Quinn is a firefighter and a part-time professional solo artist. After performing in local venues he was tricked into making his first TV appearance in the BBC 1 show Michael McIntyre’s Big Show in 2016 which was viewed world-wide. For the Christmas Lights Switch-On he returns to once again delight Derby audiences with some Christmas classics.

Councillor Alan Grimadell, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said:

“This year’s Christmas Lights Switch-On event is set to kick off the festive season and start the countdown to Christmas. It’s fantastic to have so many local artists and community acts come forward to take part in the event.”

Hot House Music provides outstanding musical opportunities for young musicians throughout the Midlands, their group the Saxophonix will lead the parade before performing on stage when the parade arrives at The Market Place at 5pm. For an extra festive treat Derby LIVE’s Jack and the Beanstalk stars Dame Trott and Jill will be performing on stage, played by Derby’s own Morgan Brind and Beth Nash. Bethan is delighted to be back in her home town for her debut Panto, and she will be delighting the Christmas Lights crowd with a special song. Little Wolf director Morgan returns by popular demand after his star performance in last year’s panto Beauty and the Beast. Also singing on stage will be the Darley Abbey Choir, the choir is made up of 45 primary school children aged six to 12 from two neighbouring schools – the Old Vicarage School and Walter Evans Church of England Aided Primary School. Their performance is sure to give everyone some Christmas glow.

The event will be British Sign Language Interpreted by Sarah Gatford.

This year’s parade will include a fantastic array of performers. Families are invited to join the parade at The Spot where the parade entertainment will be kicked off around 3.50pm with advance performances by local dance companies. Nadia Jane Performing Arts have been running for 16 years. Based in Derby City Centre they offer dance classes for everyone from 2 years to adult, and are the only school in Derby to boast a modelling agency. The school can’t wait to show their wide range of styles in their festive performance. Upbeat Community Dance UC Dance is a newly established IDTA school based in Derby, Burton on Trent and Etwall. The school also has a competition and performance team who take part in regional festivals.

This year’s event will include additional musical performances from St Benedict’s School choir at St Peter’s Cross from 4.25pm. They will be followed by the harmonious melodies of.

The parade will depart from The Spot at 4.30pm to join the singing acts at St Peter’s Cross at 4.40pm; from here the parade will continue on, arriving at The Market Place around 5.00pm.

Santa will be travelling in the parade with festive cheer along with Jack and the Beanstalk stars Dame Trott and Jill as well as Miss Derbyshire, Lolli Pain. There will also be walkabout acts Bouncing Elves and Cocky Robins entertaining the crowds throughout the day. Joining the parade will be CNC Entertainment and Dynamic Dance and Performing Arts Academy. CNC Entertainment are a Derby-based company offering affordable, high quality and award-winning event performers and princesses. The company are proud to have been asked to join the Derby Christmas Lights Switch-On for the second year running, bringing their special brand of joy and magic to the event. Pupils from Borrowash and West Hallam will represent Dynamic Dance and Performing Arts Academy; set up four years ago the school holds classes in dance and performing arts across five different locations around Derbyshire including Ockbrook, Borrowash, West Hallam, Draycott and Risley.

Presentation and announcements will also be made for the Christmas shop window competition, Window Wonderland. Derby’s businesses have gotten festive and creative to decorate their windows in one of this year’s categories: Christmas Past, Christmas Present or Christmas Future. Judged by quality, diversity, innovation and overall impact prizes will be given to winners in each of the three categories.

For more information and details of the event please visit Derby LIVE website.