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The disastrous Willy Wonka event in Glasgow

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The disastrous Willy Wonka event in Glasgow

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A family event called “Willy’s Chocolate Experience” inspired by Roald Dahl’s book was due to be held on February 24 and 25 in Glasgow, Scotland The Chocolate Factory. It was supposed to be one of those “immersive experiences” that have been very fashionable in Italy for a few years now, in which private organizers rent a large exhibition space in a city for a limited period of time, setting it up with projectors and large colored installations that essentially serve to have photos taken to publish on social networks.

In this case the organizers, the House of Illuminati company, had promised on their website that there would be chocolate fountains, performances by Oompa Loompas (the creatures with orange skin and green hair who in the book work for Willy Wonka, owner of the factory of chocolate) and interactive experiences, at a cost of 35 pounds (41 euros) per person. The site also included many images likely generated with artificial intelligence, which gave the impression that the event spaces would be decorated in a very similar way. However, over the weekend photos and videos of the event began to circulate which showed a very different reality, to the point that someone called the police to put pressure on the organizers in order to obtain a quick refund.

Participants, who shared photos and videos of the experience online, said the event was held in a small, cheaply decorated industrial warehouse that was mostly left as it was, gray, bare and half empty. In the photos you can see rather small posters depicting the inside of the chocolate factory stuck on the walls, a few rainbows or colored tubes here and there and actors dressed as cheap, very sad Oompa Loompas.

«We arrived yesterday at 10:30. We waited in a huge queue for about 40 minutes and then when we entered there was another queue. To say it was disappointing would be an understatement.” one woman said to the local newspaper The Scotsman. The experience lasted a few minutes in total and the children, who had been promised “a sweet paradise”, were each distributed a handful of gummy sweets. One of the people who were supposed to play an Oompa Loompa said he received the costume and wig that morning.

The police confirmed that they had been called by someone and that when they arrived on site they found a crowd of around 800 people demanding a refund, but that by then the event had already been canceled and they did not intervene in any way. House of Illuminati apologized for “the stressful and frustrating day” and said it would refund all participants. “Unfortunately at the last minute many things to organize went wrong, we did our best to continue anyway but now we realize that we should have canceled the event,” they explained.

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– Read also: Are “instagrammable” exhibitions a problem?

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