Advertisement

Backdrops from viral Willy Wonka-inspired experience go on sale

The disastrous Willy Wonka-inspired experience held in Glasgow, Scotland, last month has already been immortalized in an endless stream of meme-orabilia that will forever live on a corner of the internet.

And now, some of the physical memorabilia that provided sparse decoration for the event’s venue has been preserved for an Ebay auction, where bids for it are already fetching almost $1,000.

Monorail Music, an independent record store based in Glasgow, is selling three of the backdrops that were hung in an attempt to decorate the warehouse, after they were salvaged from the trash by a friend of Michael Kasparis, the store’s online manager.

“He has a workshop underneath the venue that hosted the Willy Wonka experience and… the day after everything blew up, he was just at the bins and saw all this stuff lying there,” Kasparis told CNN Wednesday.

“He thought ‘I’ll just take it’ and was joking to me and some other friends he had this… but then he said some good should come of it and we suggested that Monorail auction it for Medical Aid for Palestinians,” Kasparis added.

Despite having a starting price of £10 ($13), the three backdrops have already fetched 48 bids on Ebay, including a highest one of £760 ($973) as of Wednesday morning. The bidding is set to end on Thursday at 3:10 p.m. local time (11:10 a.m. ET).

“I’m anticipating getting into four figures,” Kasparis said, “which is what I’m hoping for.”

As of Wednesday morning, the backdrops had received 48 bids. - Michael Kasparis
As of Wednesday morning, the backdrops had received 48 bids. - Michael Kasparis

A hastily handmade sign announcing the event’s cancellation was also sold last week by Box Hub – the venue that hosted the viral experience – for £840 ($1,075), with 80% of the proceeds donated to Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity.

“All comedy aside, we understand that many children and families were left disappointed after travelling from across the country for this event,” Box Hub said in an Instagram post on March 1. “We’d like to see some good from this.”

Photos from the Willy Wonka-inspired event, with its quarter cups of lemonade handed out to each child, minimal decorations and actors dressed as Oompa Loompas, were endlessly memed across social media, even making its way into British politics when the opposition Labour Party jumped in on the fun.

Two of the backdrops being sold by the record store depict a colorful candyland while another black and white one was used to create a “Time Tunnel,” the lot said, but they all look nothing like the fantastical images that had been used to advertise the event.

Frustrated with that gap between the advertising and reality, families attending the experience became so angry that the police were called, and the event was eventually canceled.

Organizer House of Illuminati said in its latest Facebook post that the “fallout from this event has been heart-wrenching,” adding that it was continuing to refund tickets, after apologizing multiple times in previous posts.

For more CNN news and newsletters create an account at CNN.com