The Spirit team enjoyed an unforgettable bank holiday weekend handling the media at Luke Jerram’s Park & Slide, a 90-metre waterslide down Bristol’s famous Park Street.
Along with many in the city, we had been following the build-up to the project with considerable interest, so when a twitter conversation a couple of weeks ago turned into a request for help, we really couldn’t turn it down.
The project captured the imaginations of people far and wide – with nearly 100,000 applying to have a ride – and helped underline Bristol’s reputation for creativity and fun.
We’ve worked with Luke on a couple of his previous projects – Sky Orchestra, first trialled at Bristol Balloon Fiesta and later used to launch the one-year countdown to the London Olympics; and the launch of the world’s largest solar chandelier at Bristol & Bath Science Park, so we knew this latest idea had the potential to be big.
Although there had already been considerable press interest in attending – including The One Show and Discovery Channel – we decided to target our contacts at national newspapers, picture agencies and national BBC, to ensure the project gained the media exposure it deserved.
Over 80 press signed up to attend on the day, including regional, national and international media and bloggers, with ten lucky journalists joining the 360 members of the public who got a go on the slide.
Sunday arrived and it was all hands on deck, walking hay bales up and down the hill and laying out the tarpaulin to help build the slide.
The event created a carnival atmosphere, with thousands of people thronging up Park Street and many sporting fancy dress for their trip down the slide, once again proving what a brilliant place Bristol is to live and work.
The press coverage wasn’t bad either…the story ran on BBC Breakfast and the One O’Clock news, as well as featuring on regular bulletins on the BBC News Channel, BBC Points West and ITV West. The One Show were also filming throughout the day for a programme that will be screened this Friday 9th May.
The story made the front page of The Times on Monday, as well being featured in the Telegraph, Independent, i, Sun, Daily Express, and the front pages of the Bristol Post and Western Daily Press. Extensive online coverage included becoming most viewed story on the BBC national homepage and eight UK national websites including The Guardian and Mail Online. International coverage included the Discovery Channel Canada, Washington Post, Buzzfeed, NBC News, Irish Independent, MSN NZ and news.com.au.
Since Luke has given so much time and energy to the event for free, we decided to follow his lead and donate our time to work on Park & Slide through our Community Spirit initiative, which supports local projects that contribute to the life and energy of Bristol.
And of course, Luke returned the favour by giving us a chance to try out the slide which put very big smiles on all our faces for the rest of the day!
Image credit – Colin Rayner