Listen, we love the busy galaxy of baubles that shines over Oxford Street each Christmas. Every year, sometime in November, the criss-cross of 1,778 spheres is lit up in a sparkling pink and white light. Their annual appearance is as inevitable as your last-minute Christmas shopping trip beneath them.
But things are about to change. For the first time in six years, Oxford Street’s Christmas lights are having a complete overhaul. Instead of the baubles, the area will be lit with 27 LED ‘light curtains’ which will be draped down the length of the street. The preview picture makes them look a little like a runway of flat-screen tellies, but in real life, they’ll be made up of a total of 222,000 lights. We’re told the digital lighting scheme will create ‘an illuminated festive light display, through a revolving animation’, so expect lots of colour and movement.
The arrival of the new designs coincides with the sixtieth edition of the official Christmas lights switch-on, scheduled for the evening of Thursday November 21. Last year, the organisers changed up the format of the lone button-pushing celeb in favour of a street-wide event with performances from Novelist and Ray BLK. This year will also involve a series of instore gigs co-organised with Capital XTRA, with the acts soon to be announced.
For now, the baubles are going back in their giant boxes. Goodbye big balls, you had a good run. Now it’s the curtains’ time to shine.
The Oxford Street Christmas lights switch-on will take place on Thu Nov 21.
Find more Christmas lights switch-ons in London here.