Brand new digital Christmas lights will shine over Oxford Street this year, it has been revealed.
What do the new Oxford Street Christmas lights look like?
Gone are the glowing silver and purple baubles of previous years, replaced with 27 'LED light curtains' hanging above the street, made of 220,000 individual lights. The technology makes them 90% more energy efficient than traditional Christmas lights, and allows for the display of 'curated, dynamic content'. Whether that'll be festive messages, tube status updates or commercial adverts remains to be seen.
We were expecting new lights for the shopping hub last year, to tie in with the expected opening of Crossrail, but when the Elizabeth line was delayed, so were the new illuminations.
When are the Oxford Street Christmas lights switched on?
The Oxford Street Christmas lights are switched on at an event on Thursday 21 November 2019, run in partnership with radio station Capital XTRA. Look out for live performances from hip-hop, R&B and grime artists, as well as special events and offers, in selected shops on the night.
What time are the Oxford Street lights switched on?
The Oxford Street team are keeping schtum about what time the lights actually go on. This is presumably to get more people into the area, lingering for a while and spending their money in the shops, cafes and restaurants while waiting for the big countdown. Understandable, but not at all helpful if you're considering legging it across London after work to see the big switch-on moment — who knows if you'll make it on time?
What's happening at the Oxford Street switch-on event?
A series of in store hip-hop, grime and R&B gigs take place at part of the switch-on. Expect performances from rising starlet rapper Ms Banks (at Nike), singer-songwriter Joy Crookes (Topshop), and live DJ sets from the all-new Capital XTRA presenters Yinka and Shayna Marie.
Various stores along the street have various events and discounts going on for the evening. There's a festive rooftop at John Lewis & Partners, make-up sessions and bath bomb workshops at Lush, live DJs in River Island, a live band in Asics, and complimentary hand massages and makeovers in The Body Shop.