Children crying, no chocolate and a Willy Wonka experience gone wrong.

It's the story we never could've anticipated: a Willy Wonka-themed event that has all the makings of a Fyre Festival Part Two.

A Wonka-themed experience in the Scottish city of Glasgow, called "Willy's Chocolate Experience" was advertised as an "immersive" experience in a "magical realm", promising patrons a "journey filled with wondrous creations and enchanting surprises at every turn".

The event promised "whimsical performances", and to "create lasting memories and redefine what it means to step into a world of pure imagination".

The parents bought tickets. 

The kids were excited. 

And everyone had a heck of a surprise when they rocked up to the warehouse hosting the event and watched the flop unfold.

After forking out around $67 a ticket, families were expecting chocolate fountains, candy, projections, live performances, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-level art installations and more. Instead, there were crying kids, frustrated parents claiming they had been scammed, and police trying to sort out the whole carfuffle.

One visitor told BBC Scotland News that the venue was little more than "an abandoned, empty warehouse"; other attendees compared the setup to a meth lab. An attendee told Sky News that punters had been "sold a dream and delivered a nightmare".

Watch: a look inside the event in Glasgow. Post continues below.

Video via KSDK News.

Even the actors brought in for those "whimsical performances" had concerns with the production. Jenny Fogarty, who was hired to play an Oompa Loompa, was given a "sexy" Oompa Loompa costume to put on for the part. 

Meanwhile, British actor Paul Connell — who played Willy Wonka himself — said he was given the role just days earlier, handed an "AI-generated gibberish" script and told to "do whatever you want".

@paulconnellcomedy I was an actor at the #willyschocolateexperience in #glasgow this weekend and here is the first of 3 clips of me talking about it. #willywonka #houseofilluminati #willy #glasgownews #willywonkaglasgow #chocolatefactory #actor #glasgowtiktok #stvnews #bbcnews #bbcscotland #willywonkaexperience ♬ original sound - Paul Connell

"It was very disappointing to see how many people turned up at this event and found basically me dressed up as Willy Wonka in a half-abandoned warehouse. It was not what I was expecting," he told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland.

"You could say it was a world of imagination because you had to imagine it was not a dirty old warehouse," he added in a TikTok video.

"It was a health and safety nightmare for a start, then there were no special effects as promised. The actors were furious, we'd been conned as well and it did turn quite scary at one point because people were angry. We did our best with what we had, which was very little."

Photos from the event show a barren warehouse with a handful of candy cane and mushroom props scattered inside. Small posters of Charlie and the Chocolate Factorwere also hung on some of the walls — even though the booking website shared in the fine print that the experience was "in no way related to the Wonka franchise, which is owned by the Warner Bros. company".


It took Jack Proctor, who attended with his family, three minutes to take in the entire experience, for which he had paid a total of $185. "We were met by groups of families leaving the event, looking utterly bewildered. We were directed upstairs and arrived at a large makeshift prop gate saying 'Factory.' ... It was even worse than anticipated," he told CNN.

"Two Oompa Loompas were handing out candy. Each kid got a jelly bean each and a lollipop, the adults were told not to touch the sweets."

Kids were also given half a cup of lemonade each.

The unfortunate event has since gone viral, and considering the images coming out from the day... fair enough.


The organiser, a business called House of Illuminati, has promised full refunds will be given to everyone who bought tickets. In a post on Facebook, a House of Illuminati spokesperson said: "Today has been a very stressful and frustrating day for many and for that we are truly sorry.

"Unfortunately, at the 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 have cancelled first thing this morning instead."

They added that they "fully apologise", and finished by promising it would never happen again. Because they won't ever try again... 

"The House of Illuminati will NOT be holding any other event in the foreseeable future. Thank you for your understanding."

The website has since shut down its booking window as it deals with a wave of complaints.

Feature Image: Facebook @Fiona Hughes/@Stuart Sinclair.

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