Willy Wonka-Inspired Event in Glasgow Ends With Visitors Calling Police as They Believe They Got Scammed

By Jace Dela Cruz

Feb 28, 2024 01:02 AM EST

A Willy Wonka-inspired fan experience in Glasgow, Scotland, did not leave a sweet taste to ticketholders who felt misled by its promises of a whimsical and dreamlike "Chocolate Experience." 

NBC News reported that attendees were sorely disappointed upon arrival at the venue, finding a poorly decorated warehouse that bore no resemblance to the fantastical setting advertised.

40th Anniversary Of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
(Photo : Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18: A view of Wonka Bars at the 40th Anniversary of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory at Jacques Torres Chocolates on October 18, 2011 in New York City.

A Not-so-Sweet Experience at Willy Wonka-Inspired Event in Glasgow

Alana Lockens, who took her two young children to the event over the weekend, expressed her dismay, describing the event as "ridiculous" and "amateurish" and falling vastly short of expectations.

Lockens paid £35 or $44.40 per ticket. As disappointment turned to anger, attendees likened the experience to the infamous Fyre Festival, a pricey concert falsely marketed as a "once-in-a-lifetime musical experience."

Outraged visitors, who labeled the event a "scam," demanded refunds, prompting local police to intervene and eventually cancel the event.

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AI-Generated Suspicions

Further investigation revealed suspicions that artificial intelligence-generated media may have created the event's veneer. Some actors hired for the occasion told NBC News of receiving nonsensical scripts that they believed were AI-generated. 

The event was organized by House of Illuminati, a London-based company known for immersive experiences, which also issued a now-deleted apology statement on Facebook. 

"Today has been a very stressful and frustrating day for many and for that we are truly sorry. Unfortunately last minute we were let down in many areas of our event and tried our best to continue on and push through and now realise we probably should havd cancelled first thing this morning instead," the post read.

"We fully apologise for what has happened and will be giving full refunds to each and every person that purchased tickets," it added.

The venue, Box Hub, also apologized to affected families and offered its space to them "completely free of charge" for another event for the families as a gesture of goodwill.

READ MORE: New Disney Movie' Wish' Fails to Shine at Thanksgiving Box Office

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