There are plans to install a giant waterslide above the harbour during the Ramsgate Festival

A slide based on this one in Bristol was due in Ramsgate Photo by creator/artist Luke Jerram

A 300ft waterslide is planned to be created above the harbour during this year’s Ramsgate Festival.

The Ramsgate Slide will be a one day installation along Ramsgate’s iconic Royal Parade. It will be modelled on a similar installation in Bristol by internationally renowned artist, Luke Jerram, who recently unveiled Ocean Pavilion in Singapore and created the St Pancras pianos.

The slide will go above the Arches Photo Brian Whitehead

Festival director Teresa Askew, who has experience of staging public art and entertainment, said: “The Royal Parade in Ramsgate is the perfect place for this installation, It is a beautiful spot, it shows what fun the town can be, it will provide a great spectacle and a fun day out and provide us with years of happy memories.”

Photo Bristol City Council

The slide will be in place on July 30 and is just one of the attractions at this year’s event which will run from July 22-30, alongside the historic Ramsgate Week regatta.

Festival organisers are fundraising for the installation.

Dream Marine

Under a theme of Dream Marine there will be nine days of entertainment with a mix of outdoor arts, music, shows, exhibitions, workshops, walks and talks.

Included will be the popular Opera on the Beach, a Pirate Day, a second Littoral Light exhibition and a twilight parade.

Terri Askew with Carol Stokes (of Ramsgate Week) Photo Lorraine Williams

Teresa said: “This year’s festival theme of ‘Dream Marine’ is inspired by our unique harbour, history, beaches, town and coast. We want to really push the boat out, and bring the life of the harbour into the town and onto the beach.

“Look out for impossible voyages, sailing on land, fighting off sea monsters, boat building and racing and lots of opportunities to join in the fun and ‘dream marine.’”

Organisers also hope to encourage traders to fill Ramsgate, from the harbour to the West Cliff and Eastcliff, with bunting, a treasure trail, family workshops and marine themed window displays. Businesses will also be getting involved with marine-themed events and food and drink.

The plan was revealed to members of Ramsgate Small Business Owners group at a well-attended meeting at Arts in Ramsgate, Harbour Street, on May 10.

Ramsgate Town Promoter Rebekah Smith said: “It was a really good meeting, we love the vision and everyone came up with lots of great ideas of ways to support the festival and help make it a really special event for all of Ramsgate, stretching up from the beach right through the town.

“We are thinking about lots of fundraising things we can do and having some lovely things in all the shops to make them look really beautiful.”

Festival Highlights

July 22

Opera on the beach – the festival kicks off with the screening of a new production of Handel’s famous opera, Semele. It will be shown as part of Coastal Communities Alliance, Magnae Vitae and Garsington Opera’s Opera For All programme which is partnered with Thanet’s own Looping the Loop, through Ramsgate Arts.

There will be a packed programme of opera themed events to help launch the Festival. It follows the success of last year’s Big Opera Takeover, which was geared around the critically acclaimed Garsington production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, where local people took part in opera flash mobs, opera-oke and random ballroom dancing in the streets.

July 22-23 and July 29-30

Festival market in Harbour Parade

July 23

‘Dream Marine’ – Ramsgate Festival’s float in the Ramsgate Carnival parade. The carnival heads off from Government Acre at 4pm.

July 23-28

Photo Malcolm Kirkaldie

Ramsgate Week Regatta starts with the famous Round the Goodwin Sands Race on  Sunday, July 23. The Mayor of Ramsgate will mark the official start to Ramsgate Week by continuing the tradition of firing the cannon from the East Pier on Monday, July 24  at 10am, to welcome over 300 competitors from across the UK and Europe.

July 26

Pirate Day! Pirate themed fun for everyone.

July 28 (evening)

Photo Jevons Hwan

‘Littoral Light II’ – back by popular demand, a beautiful, temporary twilight art exhibition, uniquely set in the tidal zone of Ramsgate beach by the artists’ collective, Article 10.

July 30

A twilight procession and magical fire display on Ramsgate Main Sands  to close the Festival – and provide a great start to the summer holidays!

The Ramsgate Slide on Royal Parade, based on Luke Jerram’s installation in Bristol

Luke Jerram and the slide Photo Bristol City Council


Evening and daytime shows for all ages and tastes, including the return of Sadie Hennessy’s side-splitting – and very adult – ‘End Of the Pier Show’.

World music and dance stage plus pop up parades on 29/30 July, including Ramsgate Rising, a showcase stage for an impressive roll call of Ramsgate Talent.

Daily beach activities.

A selection of walks, talks classes and art exhibitions.

The Newington Teepees – and many more surprises!

Get involved

Photo Lorraine Williams

Look out for more information as the programme is finalised and more details are released and contact the festival team if you’d like to get involved, by emailing: [email protected].

Fundraising is ongoing. Anyone wishing to support with cash or time is warmly encouraged to get in touch with Ramsgate Arts: [email protected]

Ramsgate Festival is produced by Ramsgate Arts and Artaha alongside Ramsgate Week, with the support of Opera for All, Looping the Loop, Coastal Communities Alliance, Magnae Vitae, Ramgate Town Council, Thanet District Council, Ramsgate Society, Ramsgate Town Team, Turner Contemporary and Margate Festival and the close collaboration and hard work of a long list of other organisations and committed individuals. Arts Council England funding has been applied for this  year.

Find the festival website here