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Banksy’s new ‘Bemusement Park’ Dismaland already attracting crowds

  • Banksy transformed a seaside site in Weston-super-Mare into an ironic theme park for ‘low income holidaymakers’
  • The exhibition opens twice daily from this weekend, but has already caused huge queues at the site and online too
  • Residents, who redeemed a voucher in the local newspaper, were allowed in at 11am, as queues formed at 7.30am
  • The official Dismaland website crashed this morning due to the amount of hits it received for the general public sale 

By

Anthony Joseph for MailOnline


Published:
06:17 EST, 21 August 2015

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Updated:
07:16 EST, 21 August 2015

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Banksy’s seaside ‘Bemusement Park’ is already attracting a crowd as hundreds of people queued up from 7.30am today for a first glimpse of Dismaland.  

The street artist has transformed a seaside site in Weston-super-Mare into an ironic theme park, which he described as a ‘festival of art, amusements and entry-level anarchism’. 

Somerset residents who had redeemed a voucher in a local newspaper were the visitors to Dismaland, as the exhibition opened its doors at 11am. It will open for the general public tomorrow.

The official website, which is selling tickets for £3, crashed this morning due to the amount of traffic and hits it had received On the webpage, a picture of one of the elusive tickets appeared with a price tag of £20 to ‘admit one’. 

Some users began questioning whether the website crash and £20 ticket picture was all part of the sarcastic experience.

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Banksy's seaside 'Bemusement Park' is already attracting a crowd as hundreds of people queued up today for a first glimpse of Dismaland

Banksy’s seaside ‘Bemusement Park’ is already attracting a crowd as hundreds of people queued up today for a first glimpse of Dismaland

Today, Somerset residents were able to get a glimpse of Banksy's top-secret work, which previously had them thinking a film was due to be shot on their seafront

Today, Somerset residents were able to get a glimpse of Banksy’s top-secret work, which previously had them thinking a film was due to be shot on their seafront

The Tropicana, in Weston-super-Mare, has been prepared for a theme park, which the street artist describes as a 'festival of art, amusements and entry-level anarchism'. Pictured is hundreds of people queueing for tickets

The Tropicana, in Weston-super-Mare, has been prepared for a theme park, which the street artist describes as a ‘festival of art, amusements and entry-level anarchism’. Pictured is hundreds of people queueing for tickets

It opened for residents at 11am today, who redeemed a voucher in the local newspaper, with queues forming around 7.30am. It will open for the general public tomorrow

It opened for residents at 11am today, who redeemed a voucher in the local newspaper, with queues forming around 7.30am. It will open for the general public tomorrow

Among those queueing up was Terry Hutt, pictured, who thanked Banksy for putting Weston-super-Mare on the map

Among those queueing up was Terry Hutt, pictured, who thanked Banksy for putting Weston-super-Mare on the map

A huge queue stretched past Seaquarium, with hundreds of eager residents waiting for a first glimpse at the Bemusement Park

A huge queue stretched past Seaquarium, with hundreds of eager residents waiting for a first glimpse at the Bemusement Park

The 2.5 acre site boasts a fairytale castle, a boat pond full of asylum seekers, two ballet-performing juggernauts and an anarchist training camp running classes in how to break into bus billboards.

Today, Somerset residents were able to get a glimpse of Banksy’s top-secret work, which previously had them thinking a film was due to be shot on their seafront.

Banksy was determined to build a venue for low income holidaymakers. He said: ‘This is an art show for the 99% who’d rather be at Alton Towers.’

It includes a never-before-seen collection of satirical art and sculpture from himself along with work of 50 other artists, including Damien Hirst and Jenny Holzer.

The fairytale castle and mermaid sculpture were both created by Banksy himself. The street artist said: He said: 'This is an art show for the 99% who'd rather be at Alton Towers'

The fairytale castle and mermaid sculpture were both created by Banksy himself. The street artist said: He said: ‘This is an art show for the 99% who’d rather be at Alton Towers’

A packet boat, created by Banksy, which seems to highlight the ongoing migrant crisis in Europe. The art is featured at Dismaland

A packet boat, created by Banksy, which seems to highlight the ongoing migrant crisis in Europe. The art is featured at Dismaland

Banksy was determined to build a venue for low income holidaymakers. He said: 'This is an art show for the 99% who'd rather be at Alton Towers. Pictured is a Cinderella piece by Banksy

Banksy was determined to build a venue for low income holidaymakers. He said: ‘This is an art show for the 99% who’d rather be at Alton Towers. Pictured is a Cinderella piece by Banksy

Artwork by Peter Kennard and Cat Phillips on display at Dismaland shows a David Cameron billboard being pushed by a man in a hoodie

Artwork by Peter Kennard and Cat Phillips on display at Dismaland shows a David Cameron billboard being pushed by a man in a hoodie

The airport-style entrance, created by artist Bill Barminski, to artist Banksy's biggest show to date, entitled Dismaland

The airport-style entrance, created by artist Bill Barminski, to artist Banksy’s biggest show to date, entitled Dismaland

One of the elusive tickets on the Banksy Dismaland webpage. Hundreds of art lovers vented their frustration on Twitter after not being able to buy tickets for the highly anticipated event due to the website crashing

One of the elusive tickets on the Banksy Dismaland webpage. Hundreds of art lovers vented their frustration on Twitter after not being able to buy tickets for the highly anticipated event due to the website crashing

Inside Banksy’s fairytale castle lies a dead, blonde princess spilling out of her crashed carriage and lit up by the swarm of paparazzi, whose flashing cameras take photo after photo of the tragic scene.

It has been compared to the untimely death of Princess Diana in August 1997, when she was killed in a car crash in a Paris tunnel.

Guides at the exhibition wore pink high-visibility vests and held bunches of black balloons bearing the motto: ‘I am an imbecile’. They have been told to act miserable.

Visitors enter the theme park, which features work by dozens of artists, through an airport-style 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.

Guides at the exhibition wore pink high-visibility vests and held bunches of black balloons bearing the motto: 'I am an imbecile'. They have been told to act miserable

Guides at the exhibition wore pink high-visibility vests and held bunches of black balloons bearing the motto: ‘I am an imbecile’. They have been told to act miserable

Detail from an artwork by Jimmy Cauty titled The Aftermath Displacement Principle. It is a model of an entire town frozen just after a huge period of civil unrest. Pictured is a huge police presence at a Burger King

Detail from an artwork by Jimmy Cauty titled The Aftermath Displacement Principle. It is a model of an entire town frozen just after a huge period of civil unrest. Pictured is a huge police presence at a Burger King

Big Rig Jig, an artwork by Mike Ross, on display at Dismaland - Bemusement Park, Banksy's biggest show to date

Big Rig Jig, an artwork by Mike Ross, on display at Dismaland – Bemusement Park, Banksy’s biggest show to date

Despite the name being an obvious play on the word Disneyland, Banksy insists his ironic theme park is not a dig at Disney.

He told The Guardian: ‘I banned any imagery of Mickey Mouse from the site’.

‘It’s a showcase for the best artists I could imagine, apart from the two who turned me down.’

‘This place is brilliant. I only knew the minimum amount before I got here, but it is so cool. It is just amazing having this much sarcasm in one place.’ 

Banksy said: 'This place is brilliant. I only knew the minimum amount before I got here, but it is so cool. It is just amazing having this much sarcasm in one place.' Pictured is a mushroom cloud artwork by Dietrich Wegner

Banksy said: ‘This place is brilliant. I only knew the minimum amount before I got here, but it is so cool. It is just amazing having this much sarcasm in one place.’ Pictured is a mushroom cloud artwork by Dietrich Wegner

Detail from an artwork by Jimmy Cauty titled The Aftermath Displacement Principle. It shows a model of an entire town frozen just after a huge period of civil unrest

Detail from an artwork by Jimmy Cauty titled The Aftermath Displacement Principle. It shows a model of an entire town frozen just after a huge period of civil unrest

Banksy, who has 10 pieces of his own work on display at Dismaland, chose the Tropicana site after falling in love with the attraction and the seaside as a young boy growing up in nearby Bristol.

He told the Weston & Somerset Mercury today: ‘I loved the Tropicana as a kid, so getting to throw these doors open again is a real honour.

‘I hope everyone from Weston will take the opportunity to once more stand in a puddle of murky water eating cold chips to the sound of crying children.’ 

Tory councilor for the area, Nigel Ashton, was one of only four people outwith the organisers who knew what was going on. He said: ‘There was no need for people to know.

”I gave it a lot of deep thought, for about two and a half seconds. For a second I thought, “who is behind the wind up?” because you don’t get that lucky. But how do you say no?’

The exhibition opens officially tomorrow and will run for five weeks, with demand for the 4,000 tickets alreadysky-high.

There will be two viewing sessions each day, running from 11am-6pm and 7-11pm. 

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