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“Wonka” event in Glasgow proves the downsides of AI event planning

Kelcy Conroy

Assistant A&E Editor


On Feb. 24, families in Scotland were ready to observe visual marvels and taste chocolate treats at Willy’s Chocolate Experience in Glasgow, based on the Roald Dahl book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and the 2023 release, “Wonka.” Instead, they arrived at a nearly empty warehouse minus a few decorations and a bounce house, where the said “chocolate treats” were a glass of lemonade and two jelly beans. The day eventually ended with parents calling the police. 


Image: @AlsikkanTV/X

The event was planned by House of Illuminati, a company run by Billy Coull who is rumored to be its sole member. Coull advertised the event with AI generated photos and charged £35 (around $44) per person to get into the event, but it was less than people bargained for. Numerous cast members also explained how they were given an AI-generated 15 page script the night before the event started to memorize. Andrew Briedis, the actor who played the internet-famous character “The Unknown,” at the event found out for himself that even his character was AI-generated. In fact, most actors were only hired the Thursday before the event.


Willy’s Chocolate Experience further proves the lingering point that AI is a force to be reckoned with and can make things such as these kinds of events look unrealistically good, a consumer tactic so that people will spend more money. In this day and age when AI is becoming more popular each day, the convenience of it deters actual creativity. It seemed that there was more effort being put into the event than there actually was because of how little time AI takes to generate an ad. 


In a now deleted social media post, House of Illuminati apologized for the quality of the event and promised to refund all who purchased tickets. People however have still not gotten their refunds. So how did this “world of pure imagination” fail? It failed from the dependence and convenience of AI that House of Illuminati fell victim to in this day and age. 

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