Of all the parties in the world, getting the call-up to play Friday night at Banksy’s just-opened ‘bemusement park’ has to rate highly. Over the next month, a lineup of DJs and live acts – including Massive Attack, Run The Jewels, Sleaford Mods, DJ Yoda and Peanut Butter Wolf – will travel to the UK seaside town of Weston-super-Mare to join in the Dismaland weirdness.
Taking over a 2.5-acre derelict site, Dismaland is described by Banksy as “a festival of art, amusements and entry-level anarchism,” and it has already kicked off a blitz of media coverage in the UK. (You can watch the BBC’s video tour here.)
The park is open five weeks only from this weekend, and it’s not exactly fun for all ages. As you’ll see on the detailed ‘park plan’ at the official website, the attractions include a boat pond peopled by asylum seekers, a loan shop for kids, the Grim Reaper riding a bumper car, and Cinderella’s Castle, which ominously simulates “how it feels to be a real princess.” Meanwhile, a riot control vehicle used on the streets of Northern Ireland is reimagined as a water feature.
Three large galleries showcase a sprawling collection of art from Banksy, Damien Hirst and others. “I banned any imagery of Mickey Mouse from the site,” Banksy writes in a statement. “It’s a showcase for the best lineup of artists I could imagine, apart from the two who turned me down.”
We’re not exactly sure where in this fairground of fucked-up dreams you’ll find the musical acts on Friday nights, but it certainly looks like a good time. Massive Attack in particular – with their steely political convictions and charged live visuals – feel perfect for this setting. (It won’t hurt that Pussy Riot is warming up, too.) Check out the live events schedule below, and all the other attractions you don’t usually see in a sleepy seaside setting.