The lure of being unhappy: Banksy's #Dismaland ‘bemusement park’ is a sold-out event
Banksy's Dismaland bemusement park is my kind of theme park. pic.twitter.com/bl94hMnctH— Josh Brozzesi (@joshwithcon) August 23, 2015
Dismaland, the product of the simultaneously dark and bright imagination of famous English graffiti artist Banksy, has opened at a former lido in a remote English neighborhood, off the beaten tourist and local day-trip tracks.
"The advantage of putting art in a small seaside town is you’re only competing with donkeys," Banksy told the Guardian, adding that "low-income holidaymakers are the perfect art audience."
Yet, the Weston-super-Mare seaside resort in Somerset, south west England, has been making headlines all around the globe, after a theme park like no other opened there for a period of only five weeks.
Dismaland is the total opposite of Disneyland. I must see the saddest place on earth 💀✨ pic.twitter.com/cSGPC1aNJG— MiNikki (@McNikkki) August 26, 2015
Even in the most miserable British weather, thousands have been traveling to the pop-up exhibition of contemporary art – or the "festival of art, amusements and entry-level anarchism," as described by its creators.
Braving long queues to the "bemusement park," people patiently wait in line to get scared by a dilapidated Cinderella castle, Cinderella herself – dead in a pumpkin carriage, as well as a riot control vehicle-turned children's slide and a toilet-trained dolphin.
It also includes a "real open fire ceremonially lit each day by burning one of the famed local perjurer’s novels" (the infamous Jeffrey Archer), a puppet performance with references to "Fifty Shades of Grey," and miserable-looking attendants wearing black Mickey Mouse ears.
I'm in that Dismaland. It's like a physical manifestation of ending a sentence with "Yeah?" pic.twitter.com/3HtBrwPE9Z— Andy Kelly (@ultrabrilliant) August 31, 2015
For those who still prefer art over migrant-boats racing, the project also features three large galleries with contemporary art works by Banksy himself and over 50 international artists. "I think a museum is a bad place to look at art; the worst context for art is other art," Banksy – who has managed to keep his identity a secret for decades, told the Guardian of his biggest project yet.
Paco Pomet, uno de los dos españoles invitados por Banksy a participar en Dismaland. pic.twitter.com/N2fgGmBGvQ— laura franch (@franch_laura) August 23, 2015
The twist on Disneyland, with only 4,000 tickets sold out in one day, has proven so popular, it provided thousands of images with the #Dismaland hashtag on social media, but is also expected to bring millions of pounds to the local economy.
The next ticket sale for the self-proclaimed "happiest place on Earth" has been announced for September 2. Last week, the project's website reportedly crashed because of high demand. Priced £5 (around $8) online, organizers warn that fakes to get into the park are already circulating.
Banksy's Dismaland England by Mark Dowson pic.twitter.com/bs3SBXn1Ws— New Planet Pics (@NewPlanetPics) August 23, 2015
So, if you're among the lucky to get to the kingdom of modern misery – don't forget to take a selfie!