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Tuesday 5 December 2023 Dublin: 4°C
A preview image for the Van Gogh event in the RDS
seeing stars

'Secret location' Van Gogh experience postponed amid confusion over two similar events

Two similar exhibitions have both sold tickets for ‘immersive’ displays of the famous artist’s work in Dublin.

A VAN GOGH event due to take place in Dublin has been postponed due to ‘production delays’, its organisers have confirmed. 

It’s one of two similar exhibitions that have been selling tickets for ‘immersive’ displays of the famous artist’s work.

‘Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience’, which was due to start in May and is organised by Fever and Exhibition Hub, has been postponed due to what are being described as “production delays”.

The now-postponed event has previously operated in the US and UK and was set to happen at a “secret location” in Dublin.

The webpage where tickets could be purchased from now informs viewers that the event “is no longer available”.

Meanwhile, another event – ‘Van Gogh: An Immersive Journey’ – is opening at the RDS at Shelbourne Hall in May.

The RDS experience was founded by a company called Theatre of Light owned by Irish brothers Dan and John Gleeson and is making its ”world premiere” in Dublin.

The similar names, themes and timeframes of the two events have created confusion for some customers.

Van Gogh RDS The Van Gogh event in the RDS

Van Gogh Fever Event The Van Gogh event by Fever

Callers to RTÉ Radio One’s Liveline this afternoon described purchasing tickets for one of the events while meaning to attend the other, or not being aware that there were two separate events.

Oliver Davies, a PR Manager for Fever, told the programme that it is hoping to share more information next week about rescheduled dates.

“Unfortunately, we did come across some production delays which has meant that we had to postpone the opening of the experience,” he said.

The Fever event has already run in cities in the UK in 2021, where it has received mixed reviews.

Ticketholders in Dublin had not received details of where the event would be taking place. The event website listed that it would be held at a “secret location” in Dublin yet to be announced.

Ticket prices started at €22.40 for adults and €14.90 for children.

“We tend to not reveal our venues until much closer to the actual opening day because we find that that builds a little bit of excitement around the experience and helps our marketing process and things like that. It helps to drum up excitement,” Davies explained.

“We first started selling Van Gogh through Fever in 2021. We started in the US, we were doing a lot of cities across the United States, and then we came to London last year. We just opened in Bristol last month.

“We’ve seen an appeal for people being interested in these immersive experiences, we’ve seen a real rise in people engaging with these types of events and experiences, particularly post-Covid where people want to get back out there and be really immersed in art and in another kind of cultural activities.

He said the announcement of the Van Gogh event in the RDS was “one of the reasons” the organisers decided to come to Dublin, though “not just that” but also a “variety of reasons”.

“We’ve been present in Dublin for a while now. We also sell other events, experiences, particularly our candlelight concerts that have been very popular there.”

Davies said that customers who wish to refund their ticket may do so.

“Anyone who feels that they did want to have a refund, that’s absolutely fine and we can also offer vouchers so that they can apply the same ticket price but move to a different date.”

RDS event

The event in the RDS is running from 16 May until 4 August, with tickets costing €25 for an adult, €15 for a child aged 5 to 12 and €23.00 for a concession ticket.

A press release advertising the event said the “Van Gogh immersive journey is the world premiere of this digital art exhibition, taking digital art technologies to a new level right here in Dublin”.

“Think you’ve seen a Van Gogh immersive experience like this before while abroad? Think again!” the press release said.

It said that the RDS “was one of very few Irish venues that could facilitate a technical marvel of this scale and impact”.

Speaking on Liveline this afternoon, Project Director Jillian Wilson said the RDS venue was secured before Christmas.

“We went on sale in the middle of February. We’ve done a lot of promotion on social media, I’ve been on radio shows, we’ve done print media,” Wilson said.

“And then we were aware that there was another event taking place at the same time, which obviously was a shock to us, but we’re aware that competition happens.

“What we decided to do is that we needed to focus on delivering our quality content and our great customer experience.”

In a previous press statement, Theatre of Light Founder Dan Gleeson said he experienced similar shows in Europe, the US and Asia, which inspired him to bring one to Dublin.

“It’s really not just for art lovers, people of any age and any interests will enjoy this spectacle. It really is an incredible new experience we can all now enjoy in Dublin across the summer months,” Gleeson said.