Bristol's Park Street is set to be transformed with a 90m water slide thanks to a project by artist Luke Jerram
With close to 100,000 applicants for just 360 tickets, the Bristol Slide could easily be described as one of the most sought after experiences of the year.
On Sunday 4 May, the ambitious project by artist Luke Jerram will go ahead, creating an unlikely spectacle as the lucky ticket holders zoom down Park Street on a giant 90m water slide as part of the city's Make Sundays Special and Bristol Art Weekender celebrations.
The project, which raised £5,626 through a crowdfunding campaign, was launched in March and quickly caught the imagination of Bristolians eager to witness the transformation of the city's main road.
Tickets for the slide were distributed by ballot, with more than 48,000 people entering in the first 24 hours. When the ballot closed 96,573 had signed up for a chance to get a ticket.
"The amount of interest and demand has been a wonderful surprise," says Jerram. "We'd have to keep the slide open every day for about eight months to let everyone who has applied have a go. The queue would extend for 30 miles!"
The simple slide will be constructed in just four hours on Sunday morning and consists of a blue PVC sheet with foam supports. Some water and Ecover washing up liquid will be used to keep things flowing smoothly. It will be in action from 11am-5pm, with one person descending every minute.
Jerram himself will be giving his creation a test run at 8.30am, and while Mayor George Ferguson is "delighted" with the idea, he has chosen to nominate Bristol's two youth mayors, Rondene Vassell, 17, and James Gibson, 15, to slide on his behalf.
Jerram, who is behind other interactive city projects such as Street Pianos and has an office overlooking Park Street, came up with the idea during last year's heatwave.
Speaking to The Guardian at the time, he said: "Everyone says a city should be creative, dynamic, edgy, but is it really? Can we overcome the bureaucracy? It's a test."
It seems in this case that the city authorities have passed that test; Jerram announced today that provided the slide gets a final health and safety sign off on the day, Park Street will finally get the makeover Bristol's citizens have been waiting for.
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