Park & Slide – Bristol

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One day in spring 2014 Bristol’s Park Street was transformed into a giant water slide, drawing 65,000 people to come and watch a bunch of thrill seekers go down the slide.

The event was hugely popular with 96,573 people signing up to a ballot for their chance to get a ‘ticket to slide’, with only 360 tickets issued to a few lucky people on the day. 65,000 people visited the event. Worldwide, the event was covered in 350 news stories with an estimated audience of 600 million people.

How did they do it?
The event was the brainchild of Bristol-based artist Luke Jarrem, who had a team to assist him with the organisation. Park Street was closed off for traffic on the day itself. To ensure the slide was safe, it was tested with approval from the Council before the event. 300-400 hay bales secured a soft ride along the 90-meter long slide. The costs for the event were crowdfunded on Spacehive. In total £5,453 was raised by 428 funders, just £180 short of the goal of £5,626. The artist fee and project management costs were donated in-kind.

The event was a fundraiser for Bristol based charity FRANK Water (£1,500 was raised) and part of the “Make Sunday Special” programme organised by the Council. This programme involves closing streets for car traffic to make way for cultural and leisure events.

As a legacy, and to enable organisations around the world to create their own ‘urban slide’, an 80-page pack of instructions has been created. The pack contains diagrams, risk assessments, a method statement, budget template, waiver form and everything you need to do for planning and delivering an ‘urban slide.’. In return for the information, you are asked to pay a small admin fee and make a donation to the charity Frank Water.