Lights Out Halloween festival returning to Sunderland with MORE giant inflatables: How you can help fund new monster trail

A popular Halloween festival which saw giant monster art installations take over Sunderland buildings has announced plans to return.

Tuesday, 1st September 2020, 1:11 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd September 2020, 3:35 pm

Following the success of last year’s Lights Out festival, Sunderland BID is currently pulling together a packed programme of events which can be carried out in a socially distanced way this year.

The BID has teamed up with creative inflation experts, Designs in Air, and a leading tech company to create a fully immersive augmented reality Monster Trail, with a fundraising page to help make the plans a reality.

The event is already being supported by Sunderland City Council which is helping to fund the giant inflatables, but the aim now is to raise additional funds to make it even more spectacular.

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Last year's monster installation at Mackie's Corner

If the efforts prove successful then the trail will transform the city centre with ghoulish installations popping up across many of the buildings – with even more spooky characters hidden for visitors to unlock using a mobile phone.

Sharon Appleby, Head of Business Operations at Sunderland BID, believes the trail would be a fantastic event for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy.

“With the advice for events constantly changing, we’ve come up with a plan for an outdoor trail which can be enjoyed in a socially distanced way, but still gives friends and families something to look forward to this Halloween,” said Sharon.

“We know how much people loved the inflatables last year and what a hit Mackie’s Monster was and we hope this time round to offer even more.

“The options which augmented reality offer are really impressive and it’s a brilliant opportunity to give everyone a very special experience at a favourite time of year.

“The fundraising page means it is a real community effort to bring the technology to the city, along with giving everyone an opportunity to have something to look forward to, so I hope we can get lots of support to make it happen.”

Money raised will go towards hiring augmented reality specialists, developing an app, identifying buildings to be part of the trail and deploying the technology.

For more information, or to make a donation, visit

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