The last couple of years have proven to be an unpredictable bag of emotional highs and lows for all. Yet true to human nature, despite any adversity, we tend to come out at the other end with our heads held high; stronger than ever.
This is also true for Blackpool’s very own entertainment gem: Viva Blackpool.
This year we celebrate 10 fabulous years of establishment as the go-to performance venue of the ‘Vegas of the North West’. We have come far since we opened all that time ago and still continue to wow visitors and locals alike with our unique take on the glitz and glamour of show-bar entertainment.
Taking a stroll down memory lane, we find ourselves in June 2012 where Martin Heywood (Managing Director) and Leye D Johns (Entertainment Director and Resident Host) first held the keys not only to the building, but to the doors of an exciting and ever evolving future. With fire in their bellies and endless ideas ready for fruition, it took them no more than 5 weeks to turn the old Mecca Bingo site into the beautiful Purple Palace of present. The opening night was an astounding success and of course, the rest is history. Now, they look back with pride at how far they have come and how their achievements have exceeded even their own expectations.
Viva have had no issues with producing spectacles of the highest caliber for an entire decade – taking your breath away with mesmerising visuals, vocalist and dancers of superb excellence, hilarious antics from the outrageous yet loveable Leye D Johns and of course stunning costumes; all peppered with an overall compilation of utmost professionalism within our glamorously dressed purple themed setting. It is clear that Viva have never compromised their aspiration for quality no matter what we may have faced.
With a hunger for progression, Viva have never remained the same over their double digit timeline. As we gained admirable popularity both locally and across country, we also became a platform for shows outside of our vicinity. Sharing our stage with visiting shows, we opened our venue to be a place of opportunity for entertainers worldwide. To this day, acts from all around the globe travel to perform at Viva, staying true to the concept of diverse entertainment and catering to all demographics. Viva’s prestige has even extended as far as celebrity performances, the venue seeing a number of reputable entertainers such as Joe Longthorne MBE, Cannon and Ball, Roy Walker, Billy Pierce and even the likes of Tyson Fury.
In true Viva form, we did not stop at prominence. With expansion in mind, the brand continued to grow within the hospitality industry, opening the doors to ‘Viva Vegas Diner and Bar’ in 2017. Focusing on an authentic American style diner experience, within the last few years ‘Viva Vegas Diner’ have established themselves as one of the most popular comfort food and drink destinations in Blackpool. With a fantastic location at hand; situated next to our sister venue, the restaurant looks directly onto the sea front, creating an atmospheric dining experience like no other. A must visit spot of high-end novelty.
Coming up to present day and reopening our doors to the public after lockdown – Viva have come back with full throttle! With a refurbished interior, and a take on an entirely new line-up of productions for the season, the show-bar never fails to surprise with our refreshing approach to keeping our visitors engaged and stimulated; from pre-show dining to post-show entertainment. This season Viva sees its very first West End Musical as one of its resident shows; bringing ‘Boogie Nights’ to the stage, starring none other than the original lead Shane Richie’s son: Shane Nolan. With impressive success so far in regards to what we have to offer this year, it is clear that Viva is a prime example of triumphant risk-taking. No rest for the creative!
We truly see Viva Blackpool as a powerhouse role-model for independent businesses everywhere – with constant nurturing, hard-work and a little bit or dazzle dazzle it seems anything is possible! 10 years of success stories and a name that now holds a solid ground in Blackpool’s entertainment history, Viva will not be going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, we are eager to share with you the surprises that we have in store for you over our next fabulous decade to come. Keep your eyes peeled -10 years may have passed, but we’ve only just begun…