Update announcement posted: Tuesday 8th August
Statement from Ramsgate Arts and Art Aha, the organisers of Ramsgate Festival.
Since the early hours of Sunday morning, 30 July, we have been working to resolve the difficulties with our supplier for the Ramsgate Slide event which was due to take place that day.
As the situation is not yet resolved we want to share an upate of actions currently underway and basic background details.
We confirmed our order for the Slide and paid a 50% deposit (£2,655 inclusive of VAT) on 11 July, agreeing that we would pay the balance on delivery. The cost included the operation of the Slide on the day by the supplier, expert in managing inflatable structures.
After paying the deposit we had no reason to believe there was any problem with the order or any issues with the payment terms.
After the company failed to deliver the goods or services on Sunday 30 July, notifying us at 11pm the evening before the event was due to take place, we requested to visit them at their headquarters in Staffordshire to see our slide, make the final payment and bring it back to Ramsgate for future use. We proposed making this visit on Tuesday 2 August but were advised, via email, that 8 August, today, would be the earliest the company could allow us access to their workshop. Yesterday, 7th August, the supplier sent us an email which cancelled this visit, stating that they ‘can’t hold a demonstration tomorrow’ and ‘will be in touch as soon as possible’.
We are planning our next steps and remain committed to delivering the Ramsgate Slide event to the town at a future date.
Anyone with any further questions or information to share is asked to contact us directly by email firstname.lastname@example.org, for attention of Teresa Askew, Festival Director.
Original statement posted: Sunday 30th July, 9:30am
Press Statement (first and last paragraph updated 11:20am 30 July)
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. 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. The idea 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 such as 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 have contacted everyone who had been awarded a place to slide, by sending each of them an email and text message. There is a notice on our website and social media channels and we are also speaking to our key contacts to ensure everyone is notified.