Say goodbye to Banksy’s anti-utopian theme park. At 10 p.m. tonight, Dismaland is closing for good.
The park, created by the street artist Banksy, first opened in August inside the Tropicana seaside swimming resort in Weston-super-Mare, U.K. The “bemusement park” features 18 art attractions, 10 of which were created by Banksy himself. Artists Jimmy Cauty, Jenny Holzer, David Shringley, Caitlin Cherry, Damien Hirst, Bill Barminski, Bäst, and Espo contributed to the park’s displays as well.
Although parts of Dismaland look similar to the family fun park, Disneyland, it is an extremely dark and scary version. Due to the graphic nature of the exhibits, it’s very clear that the park is not suitable for children. Some of the unpleasant attractions on display are a crumbling Disney themed castle, a killer whale jumping out of a toilet, a woman being attacked by birds, and a Cinderella style pumpkin with a dead princess.
For those who won’t be able to get there before Dismaland’s final closing, here is a look inside.
During Dismaland’s closing weekend, the park hosted a farewell concert featuring performing artists Pussy Riot and De La Soul. As reported by NME, Blur member, Damon Albarn, showed up unexpectedly and joined De La Soul to perform the Gorillaz track “Feel Good Inc.”
Even Banksy attended the performance. However, he wore a disguise so his identity would not be discovered and cause unwelcome attention.
The concert continues today without any official announcement of who will be performing. However, as reported by the Inquisitr, Dismaland’s closing act could quite possibly be rapper Eminem.
Supposedly, the overall theme of Dismaland intended to make a statement against capitalism. Yet, the local businesses found it to be a boon. The dark art project injected $30.4 million additional revenue and investment into the local economy.
The exhibit, near Somerset, attracted more than 4,000 daily visitors from around the world and local hotels, the rail system, and other attractions got their fair share. The hotels saw a 50 percent increase prior to Dismaland’s closing and rail travel increased 100 percent, while other local attractions experienced a 20 percent upsurge.
Somerset’s economy has been hurting the past few years due to a slow job market and little wage growth. The Chief Executive Officer at Visit Somerset was pleased that the horror theme park drew attention and money to his town.
“Dismaland has had a huge economic impact on Weston and the local region, especially on cultural influence. This is going to be a very significant milestone change in Weston’s history and I hope this will really put Weston-super-Mare on the map.”
Hosting the iconic exhibit provided a much needed boost to the economy, and Somerset is working on plans to improve its relationship with culture and the arts in an effort to build future prosperity for the town. Maybe even to lure Banksy back for a return exhibit.
After the closing of Dismaland, what is going to happen to the exhibits?
Only one exhibit has a confirmed new location, however it won’t look the same. The Western Daily Press reported that after the Dismaland closing, the mock Cinderella castle will be moved to Calais. The castle will be torn down and its timber and fixtures will be sent to a refugee camp, also known as “the jungle” to build additional shelters.
After a wildly successful five-week run, it will be no more. The complete dismantling of the park is expected to take three weeks.
Some have been hoping and speculating that Banksy would extend the exhibit or maybe move the location. At this point, it does not look likely as it has been officially announced on the exhibit’s website that the Dismaland closing will take place 10 p.m. on September 27 as scheduled.
[All photos courtesy Matthew Horwood/Getty Images]