September Travel News: Dismaland Bemusement Park, Somerset, England

We go from Henn-na—a bizarre yet sincere attempt at travel innovation—to Dismaland, an ironic yet totally successful attempt to plunge visitors into a haunting dystopia. Brought to all of us, whether we like it or not, by Banksy, the darkly witty and subversive street artist from Bristol. The installation was built in secret, and appeared on Sept. 21 in a dreary, past-its-prime seaside resort town, chock-full of odd sculptures and decrepit attractions with rusting beams, loose panels, and garlands of windblown trash. Fifty-eight artists contributed to the sights and sounds of Dismaland; a lifelike statue of a woman engulfed by a vicious flock of attacking seagulls as she sits on a park bench—with enough space for you to sit beside her for a picture—is a typical attraction. Dismaland will be open until Sept. 27, and 4,000 tickets will be made available daily, but so far they’ve been selling out. The public’s appetite for art—dark, wicked, anti-commercial art—will not be satisfied. Visit for information and tickets, but don’t be surprised if the site crashes: it’s either an indication of the project’s popularity, or part of the gag. No one really knows.

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