The mood was triumphant in Bristol this weekend as artist Luke Jerram succeeded in his dream of closing off a major high street and traffic route for an entire day, allowing the public a chance to play on a giant 90 meter long water slide. 100,000 people applied for a chance to whizz down the slide on Bristol's Park Street on Sunday May 4, 2014, but only a few were lucky enough to make the cut.
A strip of blue plastic coated straw bale, surrounded by excited onlookers allowed thrill seekers to sail down the middle of an iconic Bristol street from the Wills Memorial building and City Museum at the top to College Green at the bottom. The slide was part of a Bristol City Council initiative to ‘Make Sundays Special’. Sadly only 360 people were able to grab a time-slot to slide on the day, but thousands were able to enjoy a car free space and festival atmosphere.
Jerram creates urban projects that engage city inhabitants. He placed pianos on the streets of New York and London for members of the public to play. He also brought the world’s largest solar powered chandelier to Bristol and Bath Science Park back in 2012. The artist told the Guardian: ‘We’d have to keep the slide open every day for eight months to let everyone who has applied have a go.” After a sun soaked day on the streets, Bristolians are now asking, “So why can’t we?”