A big fan of his street art, when I saw an article for Banksy’s Dismaland which also features work of 50 other hand-selected artists by the big man himself, I knew I couldn’t miss this opportunity to see it…even if it meant making the 788 mile return journey. Making preparations at short notice, my friend and I were ready to make the drive down the M6 then the M5 to North Somerset to see the grand scale exhibition that caused their original ticketing site to crash on the first day and tickets to sell out within 10 minutes of being released on their new site.
Dubbed on their promotional poster as the UK’s most disappointing new visitor attraction, it seems to still bring lots of visitors from the rest of the UK, at least, to come flocking to the old Tropicana Lido site in the hopes of being one of the thousands to get into the park. Security staff are unpleasant enough to remind all visitors that there’s ‘no smiling, no laughing – you’re not here to have fun’ while others in the park thrust leaflets in your face as you’re about to walk past asking if you want a ‘leaflet?’
All visitors take this in stride though, understanding it’s part of the experience. We arrived at 10:30am for the 11:00am opening, but there was already a long queue waiting with advanced tickets booked online – and another one at least twice the size hoping to get a ticket on the day at the entrance. Walking through various exhibits, you’ll see long queues waiting to enter each artist’s exhibit, although most quickly move on and you’re not left waiting too long. Each exhibit has been obviously selected carefully by the thought provoking messages each artist hopes to put across to help make society a better place, by challenging injustice or what we think about our society and, indeed, the world.
Dismaland is held at the old Tropicana Lido at the Marine Seafront of Weston-Super-Mare in North Somerset until Sunday 27th September, however tickets are now all sold out.