Graffiti artist Banksy has announced his latest exhibition – Dismaland – a “bemusement park” held at a derelict seafront lido in Weston-super-Mare. Dismaland is to feature works from artists Damien Hirst, Jenny Holzer and Jimmy Cauty as well as Banksy. The exhibition will take over the Tropicana site for the next six weeks, described by Banksy as a “family theme park unsuitable for children”.
THE BANKSY EFFECT
The show is Banksy’s first in the UK since his 2009 “Banksy v Bristol Museum” which drew huge crowds, with thousands of people queuing for hours. The Bristol exhibition brought an extra £10million to the local economy, with 55,000 extra hotel rooms occupied by Banksy fans staying in the city.
Visit Somerset says the ‘Banksy effect’ will outlast the exhibition and will see millions of pounds flooding into Weston-super-Mare over the next six months. CEO of Visit Somerset John Turner told the Weston and Somerset Mercury that the effect of the exhibition has been immediate, with the Weston Hotels and Restaurants Association already reporting an increase in trade.
Mr Turner said: “Since the first rumours surfaced of Banksy’s presence in the town, local accommodation providers have reported an increase in bookings by over 20 per cent.
“The launch of the exhibition comes at a time when the peak holiday season is coming to an end in the town, so this will prolong the season in Weston by another six weeks, and we predict the Banksy effect could bring an estimated £7million to the local economy over the next six months.”
Although the park isn’t open to public until Saturday 22nd August, AgencyUK’s Social and PR Director Lucy Aston was lucky enough to attend the preview of the park. Have a look at a few of the images she snapped below. Will you be queuing with the masses to visit Dismaland?