The reviews of Banksy’s Dismaland have been mixed. Depending on your view, the park is filled with more instances of the infamous, anonymous street artist making cutting statements about society or taking shots at easy targets culled from a particularly political middle-schooler’s composition book. Still, there’s one place where the bemusement park was an undoubtable success: the coffers of the town that hosted it.
The fest drew more than 150,000 people to the faded seaside resort town of Weston-Super-Mare. The event brought in $30 million for the town, which has seen hard times as British vacationers opt to spend their breaks abroad.
Fans were drawn not only to Banksy’s satirical takedown of amusement parks and tourism, but a series of big-name concerts that took place throughout the park’s five-week run. Damon Albarn and De La Soul performed, along with acts that fit in more with the political atmosphere of the park, like Pussy Riot and Run The Jewels.
Banksy said he was inspired to build the park by seasonal attractions that pop up around Christmastime where they “put some antlers on an Alsatian dog and spray fake snow.”
“It’s ambitious, but it’s also crap,” he told The Sunday Times. “I think there’s something very poetic and British about all that.”