Tuesday 6 December 2016

Banksy's Dismaland: The grimmest trailer for a theme park you'll probably ever see

Published 25/08/2015 | 17:50

An installation is pictured at 'Dismaland', a theme park-styled art installation by British artist Banksy, at Weston-Super-Mare in southwest England, Britain, August 20, 2015. REUTERS/Toby Melville
An installation is pictured at 'Dismaland', a theme park-styled art installation by British artist Banksy, at Weston-Super-Mare in southwest England, Britain, August 20, 2015. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Could this be the grimmest trailer for a theme park experience ever...?

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A video has been released showing off Banksy's Dismaland, the theme park set up at a derelict seaside lido at Weston-super-Mare in Somerset, UK.

The attraction features migrant boats, Jimmy Savile and an anarchist training camp.

The trailer depicts a family of four and their big day out at the theme park, complete with police officers at security armed with 'cavity search' gloves, a pocket money loan centre,

The doors opened to the wider public on Saturday and in a desperate scramble to get tickets, Dismaland's website has crashed, causing people to vent their frustration on social media.

One Twitter user wrote: "Really need the #Dismaland website to get back up and running! It's like getting Beyonce tickets all over again...!"

Another wrote: "Dismaland website is not playing the game for tickets."

But others speculated that the ticket misery and faulty website was all part of the Dismaland experience.

Anthony Hamer-Hodges wrote: "I guess the misery of queuing and a crashing website is part of the satire #Dismaland."

James Bush said: "Love that the #Dismaland website keeps crashing and people are complaining about it. Irony really is lost on some people."

A spokeswoman for Banksy said: "The website is getting a lot of traffic so people have to bear with it."

The show, a dark take on theme parks with a nod to Disneyland, has been organised in secrecy for months.

The elusive artist has banned spray paint, marker pens, knives and "legal representatives of the Walt Disney Corporation" from the 2.5-acre Tropicana site.

Visitors enter the theme park, which features work by dozens of artists, through a security check made from cardboard by Bill Barminski.

They are greeted with a view of the park and Banksy's fire-ravaged fairytale Cinderella Castle showing "how it feels to be a real princess".

There are boats full of asylum seekers which can be driven round a pond, two juggernauts performing ballet and a camp training guests how to break into bus billboards.

Stewards in matching tabards and Disney-style ears are also part of the exhibition and stare blankly at visitors as they go about their duties.

Banksy described the park as "a festival of art, amusements and entry-level anarchism", adding: "This is an art show for the 99% who'd rather be at Alton Towers."

The Bristol-based artist was inspired to create the park after peeking through a gap in the fence at the Tropicana site in January.

He handpicked the artists featured in the show, who come from across the world including Israel, Palestine, Syria, the US and the UK.

Dismaland will run twice a day until September 27 and involve musical performances from Massive Attack, Pussy Riot and Kate Tempest.

Tickets are £3 for adults and free for children.

Meanwhile, copies of the Weston Mercury with the Dismaland ticket offer inside are selling on auction site eBay from anywhere between £3 and £20.

Unofficial merchandise, such as t-shirts, are also being offered for sale, as is a copy of the official programme and guide.

Press Association

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