The lure of being unhappy: Banksy's #Dismaland ‘bemusement park’ is a sold-out event

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Fancy visiting a not-so-shiny Cinderella castle or ceremonially burning a couple of novels? How about participating in a remote control boat race … with the vessels full of migrants? All of these anarchic amusements are now available at a pop-up theme park on the British seaside.

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.

Dismaland today #dismaland

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"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."

#banksy #westonsupermare #dismaland #art #balloon #funny

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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.

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.

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.

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.


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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.

So, if you're among the lucky to get to the kingdom of modern misery – don't forget to take a selfie!

Oh I do love a good selfie 🙈 #selfie #banksy #dismaland

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