Police called to 'Willy Wonka' chocolate experience as families 'furious'

Frustrated parents who had paid £35 a ticket branded the event 'a farce' and said their children were left upset.

Police were called to an “immersive event” inspired by Willy Wonka in Glasgow after furious parents complained about the quality of the event.

Willy’s Chocolate Experience, organised by immersive events company House of Illuminati, promised ticket goers an “enchanting” day out where “dreams come to life”.

Held at the Box Hub Warehouse in the Whiteinch area of the city, parents were promised a day of “pure imagination and wonder”.

However, when families arrived at the venue on Saturday, they were met with a room sparsely decorated with plastic props, a small bouncy castle and backdrops pinned to walls.

Box Hub said House of Illuminati was responsible for the event “in its entirety” and was “incredibly underwhelming”.

Willy's Chocolate Experience has been blasted by parents.Facebook

One parent said their child was handed “a packet of sweets and a wee lolly”.

Organisers called a halt to the event only hours into it opening after they were met with a furious reaction by customers, who had paid £35 for the experience.

Police confirmed officers had been called to the venue following complaints.

One parent posted on the House of Illuminati Facebook page: “What an absolute farce, two upset kids. Cowboys.”

Parents left with ‘bad taste’ after ‘shambles’ Willy Wonka experience

Another said: “Awful experience. Our child was gutted today.”

Others raised that the event had been cancelled without customers being told, with one person commenting: “Travelled over 100 miles for this… with no prior warning that it was cancelled. You should be refunding my train costs too.”

In a statement, House of Illuminati apologised to customers and said it should have cancelled the event as it was “let down last minute” by suppliers, adding the event “did not take shape as planned”.

In a statement, House of Illuminati apologised to customers and said it should have cancelled the Wonka-themed event as it was Facebook

It read: “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.”

House of Illuminati confirmed that full refunds would be given to customers, which could take up to ten days.

The statement continued: “We fully apologise for what has happened and will be giving full refunds to each and every person that purchased tickets.

“We planned a fabulous event and it just did not take shape as planned and for that we are truly sorry we are devastated at how this has turned out and understand people’s anger and frustration that everyone has had, refunds have already started being issued and the rest should be over the coming days, again we are truely sorry to everyone.”

‘Willy Wonka’ chocolate experience boss’ tearful apology

Earlier this month, House of Illuminati reassured customers that the event was “legitimate” after concerns had been raised that it was a “scam”.

Posting on Facebook, the company said: “We understand that skepticism can arise with new events, but we kindly request refraining from using terms like ‘scam’ and instead, extend a little trust in our operation.”

A spokesperson for Box Hub said it had first come into contact with the organisers in January when House of Illuminati detailed plans for an “immersive and captivating family event”.

“The event itself did not reflect what had been promised to the many paying customers and was incredibly underwhelming,” they said.

“Their customers were not happy with the price charged for admittance and after fielding many complaints the organisers decided to cancel the event entirely, with the intention of providing refunds to everyone.

“House of Illuminati were responsible for the event in its entirety, from the venue decor through to the marketing and operations.

“We sympathise with all of the families who have been let down and hope they receive their ticket refunds, as promised to them by the event organisers.”

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