Willy Wonka-Inspired Event Organizer Says His “Life Is Ruined” After Failed Experience

The organizer behind the Willy Wonka experience in Glasgow, Scotland, shared his feelings in the aftermath of the viral disaster.

By Olivia Evans Mar 19, 2024 3:07 PMTags
Watch: 'Willy Wonka' Disaster Event Organizer Breaks His Silence

The organizer of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Experience is detailing his side of the bitter story. 

Billy Coull, director of the House of Illuminati organization that put on the Willy Wonka-inspired event in Glasgow, Scotland, last month claims he's received "hundreds and hundreds" of hate messages following the disaster. 

"My life is ruined," he explained in the Channel 5 special Wonka: The Scandal That Rocked Britain on March 16. "I have lost my friends. I've lost the love of my life. I was made out to be the face of all evil. And genuinely, that's really not the case."

Billy went on to describe the mishaps—including booking too large a venue and projection equipment that was never delivered—that led to the event's failure. 

"I was gutted," he continued. "But I believed that we could push on."

And Billy, who described the way he reacted to the event's early shutdown—during which he snapped at upset customers—as the "worst versions" of himself. He added, "The last thing I wanted to see was children to be upset."

Secrets of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory Revealed

In late February, the Glasgow Willy Wonka: The Chocolate Factory experience went viral for its scam-like advertising versus the outcome of the real event. On the company's website, the House of Illuminati promised "enchanting environments," "interactive adventures," and "sweet delights and confections" included in the £35 ticket, or roughly $44, price. 

Jenny Fogarty / SWNS

However, the attendees were disappointed to find a poorly decorated warehouse, few sweets for the kids and actors who delivered what sounded like AI-generated lines (Billy later clarified that while he did, in fact, run his scripts through AI, it was only to check spelling and continuity of the lines). 

And while the event was supposed to run for the entirety of the weekend between Feb. 24 and Feb. 25, the authorities were called within hours of opening as visitors demanded refunds. The experience promptly shut down, and the House of Illuminati issued a formal apology. 

"I was sick to the pit of my tummy," Billy admitted of the aftermath. "I was hoping for an event that would be joyful, happy. I wanted people to experience happiness."

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