The 300ft water slide due to go down Royal Parade today (July 30) has been cancelled.
Organisers say they “have been left reeling” after supplier Bloon said it would not be delivering the slide
The slide was inspired by a similar creation in Bristol by UK artist Luke Jerram. People were allocated a go by ballot. Almost 6,000 people entered with rides due to start at 11am through to 5pm.
All those who were successful in the ballot have been notified of the cancellation.
A festival spokesman said: “We are devastated and so sorry to have to tell you that the Ramsgate Slide event won’t take place today. We have been let down by the supplier who emailed at 11pm last night to say they wouldn’t be turning up because the full cost of the slide balance hadn’t been paid in advance.
“We had paid them 50% of the full cost of the slide in advance and they asked for pre-payment of the balance a few days ago but we had expected to pay on delivery. This money could have been immediately transferred but we have not been able to contact them despite repeated efforts since they requested prepayment and the email last night was a bolt from the blue and it is clear now they are not coming
“This is a disaster for us. The point of the Ramsgate Slide was to bring joy and fun into the town. It was something different to draw attention to our fantastic harbour and seafront. Over 5,000 people entered the ballot to be able to slide and 180 lucky people were set to be able to slide today including more than 40 children, the Mayor of Ramsgate and special visitors from the world of television and radio. It is heartbreaking that we have been so let down.
“But we won’t give up and we will start work now with the aim of ensuring the Ramsgate Slide will happen on another date. Everyone who had been awarded a place to slide will be given the opportunity to do so at a date in the future, to be confirmed, when we can go ahead. That is our commitment to the town.
“There were many people who simply didn’t believe that the relevant authorities would give us permission – but they did. The councils worked really hard to support us, local politicians of all political parties supported us, people gave to the kickstarter appeal for the Festival as a whole and we all worked together to make it happen – to lose all that because an external supplier let us all down has left us reeling.
“We simply have to try again and we will.
“We ask everyone to please to accept our apologies for the disappointment of today, to stick with us today and for the future – and to still come and enjoy the other events which are organised for the last day of the festival.
“These include the World Rhythms stage, Vintage Market and Handmade Parade, Seashore Safari, Location Ramsgate Talks about our Town in Feature Films and and the Rooswijk 1740 shipwreck at the Falstaff and the art exhibition there, Every Picture Tells a Story, Nautical Themed Computer Games at the Micro Museum, the Dream Marine Twilight Parade and the Fire Finale.
“We are busy contacting everyone who had been awarded a place to slide and will send each of them an email and text message to notify them as well as notifying the press, putting a notice on our website and phoning all our key contacts.”
Bloon.co.uk MD Adam Faulkner said: “After several reminders last week that their final payment was due, the organisers failed to provide this.
“Our terms and conditions clearly state that all items must be paid for in full prior to delivery. Ramsgate Festival failed to adhere to this and therefore we are not in a position to deliver the product.
“We are disappointed that the balance remains outstanding.”
Ramsgate Festival disputes this statement with a spokesperson advising that there had been a purchase order with agreed terms stating 50% payable up front and 50% on delivery.
Bloon is the trading name for UP Advertising Ltd which was incorporated on April 11 this year by Adam Barclay-Faulkner.
Mr Faulkner was previously the MD of Bloon Ltd but resigned his role in 2015. That company was dissolved in July 2016.
Bloon.co.uk provides inflatables and balloons, including hot air balloons, and is the creator of a massive record-breaking beach ball for the Paramount film Baywatch.
Other events today
The festival will be staging its other finale events, including the Dream Marine twilight parade in Harbour Parade, from 8pm to 9pm
The twilight procession, presented by Andrew Kim of Handmade Parade, will include beautiful boats, shoals of fishes, guardians of the deep and fisher folk.
At 9pm the fire finale will take place on the main sands.
There will be a mix of circus skills, choreographed fire dancing and showmanship.