The Ramsgate Festival needs your donations and time to get its 300ft waterslide on Royal Parade

How the slide might have looked!

A Kickstarter campaign has been launched to raise the cash for the Ramsgate Festival and, particularly, the 300ft waterslide down the iconic Royal Parade.

A launch meeting for the festival, which runs alongside Ramsgate Week next month, was held at the Royal Temple Yacht Club on Thursday outlining plans for the event and the need to raise another £25,000 to fulfil the £106,000 overall budget

The campaign has launched with a video featuring actress and Ramsgate favourite Brenda Bleythn, who has pledged to have a go on the epic slide!

The video also includes festival organisers Terry Askew and Suzy Humphries and residents including artists Mike Samson, composer Emily Peasgood, Jocelyn McCarthy from the Ramsgate Society and Albion House hotel boss Emma Irvine.

We need volunteers

But organisers don’t just need cash. They are appealing for  help from volunteers and accommodation for visiting artists. They are also investigating options to get a lorry load of hay bales to create the slide!

Terry Askew

Terry, who was the producer of the London Rio Collaboration for the London 2012 Festival, said: “This year’s festival is ambitious and imaginative. A grant from the Arts Council has helped us raise our game.

“The festival will showcase what Ramsgate has to offer.”

More events announced

The Dream Marine maritime theme will also include a programme of heritage events, literary sessions at Vinyl Head café, seashore safaris with Thanet Coast Project and nautical computer gaming at Ramsgate’s Micro Museum in Church Hill.

Town artist Theresa Smith will also create an installation at the clock tower to mark Ramsgate Mean Time (RMT) which is 5 mins 41 secs ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). This means
Ramsgate has its own meridian line, and RMT which is the only local time in the country that was officially recognised by Greenwich.

Plans are also being made for boat races – in the town.

Boats and yachts will be created at Jimmy’s boat yard by local, national and international artists and residents which will race in the town and on the beach on a sea of foam!

Littoral Lights will also return after the massive success of its show at Dumpton Gap last year.

The art ‘gig’ is an artist exhibition set in the tidal zone between Ramsgate and Dumpton. Lat year 50 people were expected to view the exhibition – the actual number was more than 1,000.


Speaking at the launch Terry said: “The water slide in this iconic Ramsgate parade will allow people to see this place in a different way. But it needs public participation to be achieved.

“We want to inspire people to come to the festival, we want them to take a look at the potential of this town and to think big. We are asking for help to make this dream come true.”

Get involved

Find the kickstarter, including details of pledge rewards, here

Get involved, find details here

Donate at or make cheques payable to Ramsgate Arts at Custom House. Harbour Parade, Ramsgate, CT11 8LP

The programme

Ramsgate Festival July 22-30

Ramsgate Week July 23-28

Saturday 22 July

Semele – opera on the beach — join us for an evening screening of Garsington Opera’s brand new production of Handel’s famous opera, Semele, with related pop up performances, family friendly activities and excerpts shown on the big screen all day. Contact [email protected] to get involved with the Advance Wedding Party community project, rehearsing from 17th June, no singing or performing experience required.

Sunday 23 July

‘Dream Marine’ – Ramsgate Festival’s float in the Ramsgate Carnival parade.

Daily, Monday — Friday

Look out for daily making workshops in Jimmy’s Boatyard Happy Hours on the beach and pop up parades come and play #Think Big

Wednesday 26 July

Pirate Day! – come dressed as a pirate, parrots welcome too. All over town.

Thursday 27 July

‘End Of the Pier Show’ – Hilarious comedy variety show at St George’s Hall. ‘Dream Marines and Beauty

Queens’. Adults only. By Sadie Hennessy and Whitstable ANchorage Klub.

Friday 28 July

Photo Jevons Hwan

‘Littoral Light Il’ — a beautiful temporary twilight art exhibition, uniquely set in the tidal zone of Ramsgate beach, towards Dumpton Gap, by the artists’ collective, Article 10.

Saturdays and Sundays 22/23 July and 29/30 July

Festival Market in Harbour Parade, local artisans and producers show with crafts, art and food.

Saturday and Sunday 29/30 July

World music and dance stage in the harbour and #RamsgateRising, showcasing Ramsgate talent — with pop up parades.

Sunday 30 July

Photo Bristol City Council

‘The Ramsgate Slide’, a one day installation of a 300 foot waterslide down Royal Parade, inspired by Luke Jerram. We need all hands on deck to make this happen!

Fire Finale, a twilight procession and magical fire display on Ramsgate Main Sands to close the Festival — and provide a great start to the summer holidays!

Also taking place

Ramsgate Reflections, a full programme of Heritage events. To include The #Rooswijk1740 Project, A tribute to Dame Janet, Harbour Saga in Story and Song, Pugin and the Sea and more.

Literary events at Vinyl Head

Seashore Safaris with Thanet Coast Project

Nautical Computer Gaming at the Micro Museum

Ramsgate Meridian 5.41 – an amazing installation by artist Theresa Smith that will mark Ramsgate Time (which is 5 minutes and 41 seconds ahead of Greenwich

The investment

Suzy Humphries has revealed how much the budget has grown to create this year’s massive festival.

Suzy Humphries

Overall budget is £106,000

Arts Council grant £48,000

Kickstarter target £5,000 of the £25,000 that needs raising

Previous budget 2013-2016 £42-£49,000

Backers include  Turner Contemporary, Looping the Loop, Margate Festival, Dreamland, Thanet council, Ramsgate town team and town council, KCC, Article 10, Arthaha, Coastal Communities Alliance, Ramsgate Week, Garsington Opera for All,, Magna Vitae, Ramsgate Arts and town businesses.

The Isle of Thanet News is the media partner.

Time left – 4 weeks

Ramsgate Week

Ramsgate Week, hosted by Royal Temple Yacht Club.

Photo Malcolm Kirkaldie

Ramsgate week is often referred to as a friendly alternative to Cowes week which is one of the longest running regular regattas in the world that takes place on the Solent near the Isle of Wight.

The week starts with the famous Round the Goodwin Sands Race Sunday 23rd July. Duo Hotsy Totsy will perform at the Royal Temple Yacht Club that night (July 23) from 9pm to celebrate the opening of the event.

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.