Wake The Tiger is an immersive art experience consisting of 27 different creative environments including artworks, installations, narrative, soundscape, secret passageways and so much more. Blurring the lines between an experiential art gallery, interactive theme park and detailed film set, all with a surreal and beautiful twist, Wake The Tiger is an immersive adventure for all ages. From the artistic team behind the ground-breaking festival, Boomtown Fair, visitors will explore a multi-layered labyrinth of creative environments and fantastical wonders. At the time of writing, 45,000 tickets have been sold to the experience since opening at the end of July 2022.
Wake The Tiger explores themes of connection and innovation, inspiration and discovery; from the underground networks of the Mycelium Room at the factory’s core, to the intergalactic explorations that await near the end of the journey, a world of intrigue and inspiration awaits. Visitors travel through illuminated singing ice, underwater worlds, mechanical chambers and elder forests in search of the secrets of the area’s former inhabitants.
At the point of booking, visitors to the experience receive a ticket to Meridia Luxury Homes; a new development of luxury apartments, where CEO, Meredith Dean, promotes “thinking inside the box”. Less is certainly more at Meridia Luxury Homes – think your toilet seat doubling up as your chopping board…
As visitors walk through to the ‘construction site’ where the new micro homes are due to be built, they discover that workers have come across an ancient tree and they’re struggling to remove it, so construction, for now, has halted.
Rumours are that celestial energy flows across the universe using a network of ‘Meridian Lines’, and this ancient tree, located exactly at the point where the Meridian Lines cross, has become a portal between parallel worlds. This parallel world is the world of Meridia.
Visitors must venture forth and step through the portal into Meridia, which is a land not so different from our own. Facing similar challenges of environmental collapse and societal breakdown, the only difference is that the Meridians are looking back to this time of great change, whereas we on Earth are looking forwards.
Visitors continue their immersive journey towards a recently deserted factory on the eastern frontier of this world, but find that its inhabitants have recently departed to go out into the surrounding land and confront these challenges.
The Meridians have left behind a time capsule for visitors to study and explore, so that they may join them on their quest and gain insight and guidance from their studies.
You have to see it to believe it. An abandoned time capsule of fantastical experiences just waiting to be discovered, Wake The Tiger invites us to explore connections with the environment around us as well as challenge us all to transform the world we live in.
It’s a vision that plays into and expands on everything the founders have spent their lives building: taking raw underground art and fusing it with the latest technology.
Wake The Tiger, the world’s first Amazement Park®, was born from the creatives behind the internationally renowned Boomtown Fair.
Having spent over a decade creating one of the most large-scale immersive festival experiences in the world, the team wanted to expand and diversify their creative potential by establishing a permanent arts and events venue where their audience could experience their work in a non-festival environment. The goal was to bring creative storytelling, which is the essence of Boomtown, to a wider audience year-round.
The inspiration was to create an otherworldly experience that challenges visitors to think about ways we can solve problems in the world. To do so, the founders brought together artists, storytellers, makers and bright technical minds to create a narrative of a parallel world waiting to be discovered.
The immersive experience’s 27 unique environments combine cutting-edge tech, creative set build, art installations, immersive lighting design and interactive touch points – with sustainability at the core of every element.
Touch points include phones you can pick up and listen to, touch sensitive telescopes to look through, or buttons to press leading to doors that could take you anywhere.
Take for example the Mycelium Room, a space which highlights how everything in our world is interconnected. Mycelium are tiny “threads” of the greater fungal organism that wrap around or bore into tree roots. Taken together, mycelium composes what’s called a “mycorrhizal network,” which connects individual plants together to transfer water, nitrogen, carbon and other minerals. To bring this to life, the team installed an earthy soundscape with heavy bass to really bring the depth of meaning to life, it rumbles and works in synchronisation with the installation to transport guests to an ‘underground’ labyrinth of root networks, all connected and pulsating with light. The focal point of the room are interactive capacitive touch mushrooms that change colour, with the stems made from recycled metal tubing. The floor is laid with fibre optics, which change colour, and there are hidden installations within the walls along with bespoke animations from local artists, which are embedded in the mossy foliage surrounding the room.
The Galaxy room is a firm favourite with guests. Think of an upside-down moon scape with a projection mapped floor to give that feeling of weightlessness to transport visitors to another galaxy and you’re halfway there. The focal point of the environment is a metal dodecahedron featuring infinity mirrors and addressable LED strips, which explorers can crawl inside. Within the space there is also a small crack in the iridescent stalagmite where visitors can peer inside and discover an animation on a screen. The ever-increasing levels of user generated content on social media from guests inside the dodecahedron speaks for itself and this particular room featured as The Guardian’s Picture Of The Day on the day of our launch during summer 2022.
The Library is the home of the historians, poets and novelists from Meridia – and it is a treasure trove of their lifelong works and notes to future visitors to the Meridian land. It is accessed through a secret door in a bookcase, which not every guest finds. Like any good secret door, this one is revealed by pulling on a book. For those that do make it through, they are treated to mechanical moving desk lamps and books on bookcases that shift and come alive. The focus of The Library however is a giant circular stack of books that looks to exist forever due to the strategic use of a circular infinity mirror at the both ends of the stack. Guests can look inside this seemingly never ending well of books showcasing the infinite learnings of the Meridian people. Look close enough and guests may also see themselves at the very bottom of the well.
Another highlight within the world of Meridia is The Go Anywhere Room, a space with five doors, which visitors operate via an interactive console controlled by two Arduinos. They must shift a lever, plug in a wire to one of the ports, then unlock a code sequence. Once the sequence has been unlocked they will then place this into a keypad which will automatically open one of the five chosen doors, which lead to a variety of creative hidden art installations, which they can climb inside and appreciate while the doors close behind them. If visitors unlock the fifth door they will be greeted with a secret rainbow mushroom passageway!
The bedroom is another firm favourite, complete with rainbow LED infinity pit, breathing bed controlled by a motor and a cam with sound triggered by magnetic hall sensor. The bedroom also features a camera with a raspberry pi running a python program that turns silhouettes into inverted heat imagery within a bedroom mirror style frame. Motorised picture frames on the walls also rise up to reveal animations from various artists, a technique that is used widely across the park.
To bring the experience to life ever further, real life actors are used at the beginning of the experience to really set the scene – especially the actor playing Meredith Dean, the CEO of Meridia Luxury Homes. Meredith’s manic performance detailing the features of the new luxury micro homes that are being built is enough to put anyone off ever buying a property. The attention to detail regarding the features on offer in the luxury apartments is next level – ever fancied a shower fitted to the side of your oven, purely for space saving purposes?
It’s important that the guest is drawn into a narrative that then is completely flipped on its head when they traverse through the different creative environments. A caretaker meets them as they exit the Meridia Luxury Homes showroom to detail the issues that are being faced with unusual activity surrounding the ancient tree on the Meridian Lines and this in-person interaction is key to the customer journey.
One of the more novel applications of technology within the world of Meridia is cymatics in the Lab. Vibrational energy is used to create interference patterns in water giving the visitor a chance to play with creating patterns within a dish. The concept of the room itself is an experiment in seeding the adjacent lush overgrown forest.
The crescendo is the template of self, a room with the focus being a pyramid shape installation of LED panels suspended from the ceiling, in combination with addressable LED and neon strips that react to user input on a console based on a plinth in the middle of the room.
Sets have been recycled from Boomtown Fair along with film sets up and down the country – with the team placing a core focus on sustainability. The flowers in the Red Room (adjacent to The Ice Room) are made of recycled shower heads and the plastic toys showcased in another of the experiences, The Submarine Room, were all found thrown away as trash on beaches throughout Panama – a trip one of the founders took before opening the experience.
Wake The Tiger will never be complete. It is a never ending story and the creative team behind it are already looking ahead to the next phase in 2023. Details are yet to be revealed, however this new era will place a key focus on immersing customers ever further into the world of Meridia through the latest technology and innovation alongside other-world storytelling.
The Wake The Tiger team are also now hosting themed events and evenings in the land of Meridia. The first of these, Danse Macabre for Halloween this year, welcomed a full cast of actors, circus performers, live bands, DJs and drag artists to critical acclaim, with national wire photographers in attendance to see the spectacular come to life in the creative environments.