Exeposé News online (6 May 2014)
“Inflatables down the Exe” has been cancelled due to concerns raised over the event’s safety.
The event, planned to take place on Thursday 22 May, encouraged students to bring their own inflatables and use these to travel down the River Exe.
Originally intended as a 4.5 mile pub crawl following the river from Exeter Quay to Topsham, the event was first scaled-down following concerns raised by Devon and Cornwall Police, and has now been officially cancelled.
Organiser Pierre Keyzar announced the cancellation on the event’s Facebook page, stating: “Unfortunately the event scheduled for the 22nd can’t go ahead and we advise no one turn up on the date. We will look into doing a council approved one at a later date.”
He added that he was “happy with the response” the event had attracted, with a potential guest-list of almost four thousand attendees having been expected to take part on the day.
Exeposé spoke to Tom Shopland, another of the event’s organisers, who said that in a meeting with various authorities on Friday, the most prominent issues raised were: the safety of the event, the consumption of alcohol in public places and possible effects on local wildlife. He added that in addition, concerns were raised about the impact of the event on the University’s reputation.
Noting that he understood these issues, Tom voiced an alternative stance, adding: “we could have made it a charity event and even created positive publicity for the university.”
The Facebook event page had previously reminded guests that all those attending were responsible for their own safety, advising that appropriate safety measures be taken.
Chris Rootkin, VP Welfare and Community said: “I am pleased that this event has been cancelled by the organiser in discussion with the local authorities. The safety of students is always my highest priority and I feel that the right decision has been made.”
Emphasising that the event had been officially cancelled, Tom noted: “whatever anyone else does is up to them.”
He added in an announcement to those previously attending: “There won’t be anyone there on the day to stop you, it’s not illegal, but the event officially can’t happen.”
More to follow.