The UK will turn into a beacon of blue at 8pm today (March 26) as major sporting and entertainment venues, national landmarks and historic buildings across the country will be illuminated as a salute to the NHS and the courageous efforts of our nation’s healthcare professionals. Participating sites include the Royal Albert Hall, the Belfast Titanic Signature Building, Lincoln Cathedral, The National Theatre, Metro Radio in Newcastle.

The #lightitblue campaign has been organised by a collective of leaders from the events and entertainment industry to show a simultaneous display of gratitude for those working tirelessly to look after Britons who are ill with COVID-19. All #lightitblue venues will use existing LED technology to create the spontaneous flash of blue on facades and screens to ensure the campaign adheres to the critical message from the British Government for people to stay at home.

The #lightitblue campaign was started by Gary White, managing director of White Productions and freelance production manager, Chuck Crampton.

White commented: “The events and entertainment industry finds itself in an unprecedented state of enforced inaction. The best thing we can do – apart from staying at home – is to use our skills and networks to say thank you to the healthcare professionals risking their own health to help others during this pandemic.”

He continued: “We also feel a huge sense of responsibility for the mental wellbeing of many people within our industry who, having lost their jobs, are feeling anxious and confused about the future. We believe the #lightitblue campaign, inspired by the existing #clapforourcarers initiative, will galvanise their enthusiasm and pride in a mass gesture of solidarity.”

The campaign also invites Britons to join in at home by creating blue-themed images and videos and sharing them online with #makeitblue and challenging others to follow suit. People can take part while staying safe indoors, by painting their bodies blue, wearing blue accessories or turning their social media backgrounds blue.  Music legends Toyah Wilcox and Robert Fripp and all three British Superbike brothers: Andrew, Glenn and Graeme Irwin will be among the celebrities who will be interpreting the challenge from their homes.

Crampton commented: “So far, 38 venues throughout the UK have shown great enthusiasm in taking part during Thursday’s round of applause, and we understand some will be continuing their illuminations for days or weeks to come.”

All organisations involved in the #lightitblue campaign are acting on a pro bono basis.

The list of venues turning blue includes: Alexandra Palace, ACC Liverpool, Newcastle Civic Centre, Royal Shakespeare Tower, Manchester Central, Event City, ExCel, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, White Cliffs of Dover, Bristol City FC, Bournemouth International Centre, Birmingham NEC, QEII Conference Centre, Cunard Building and Sunderland’s Northern Spire.