Wake the tiger

Wake The Tiger: I went to Bristol’s interactive exhibition brought to life by Boomtown’s creators

Have you seen Avatar? You haven’t seen Avatar?


Wake The Tiger is an interactive “amazement park” that is brought to life by the same artistic team behind Boomtown Fair and arrived in Bristol July 2022. 

The world created is swarming with detail, beautiful lighting and it has a fascinating storyline which you discover along your journey.

It seems like every art gallery with a projector and a bead door can be advertised as an immersive exhibition on TikTok now, but this was a magical and worthwhile experience.

Wake The Tiger is truly individual and we spent one hour wondering through the space, discovering the story, opening every door and could have easily spent longer.

Wake the tiger

The first space you enter is an abandoned town and by reading clues hidden throughout the space we discovered everyone had to evacuate due to the climate becoming inhabitable. Fossil fuels had polluted the air, plastic filled the ocean, events that haven’t only happened in the magical land of Meridia. 

Immediately the phrase, “escape room” came to mind and the visitors are encouraged to evacuate the first space you walk into and wander at your own pace through the series or corridors, caverns, tunnels and rooms. 

I deliberately refrained from researching the project before arriving so as to not see any spoilers and when I first got there I briefly panicked that it was a horror ride due to the eerie music and industrial wear-house vibes. Immediately, however, you are enveloped into the living world of Meridia and surrounded by moss and trees. 

Wake the tiger

Credit: Wake The Tiger

The scenery is reminiscent of the landscape from Avatar as every element glows, pulses or breaths throughout the labyrinth of rooms.

The environmentally centred storyline that stretches across the exhibition encourages viewers to draw parallels between this ruined land and the world we live in. It is an amazing way of raising awareness about a very current issue in a brilliant and unique manner. 

The Ice Cave. Credit: Wake The Tiger

Every inch of the experience had been penalised by the creators and made into an exhibition in its own right. Tiny tufts of glowing mushrooms grew from sections of the wall and every door, bedside table and box opened to reveal an exquisite slice of the world inside. I can not express how much detail there was in every single part of the space. 

It took a while to get used to being able to touch everything, to lift items, push doors and look inside every crevasse and box. I felt like a child back in the Science Museum and it was delightful to reveal parts of the story with your own hands and complete mini missions along the journey. 

Wake the tiger

The Elder Forest. Credit: Wake The Tiger

Enchanting spaces were revealed by solving puzzles, pressing buttons or in my favourite instance; pulling a book forward from a shelf to reveal a hidden room.

Small groups are admitted inside during certain time slots so the space never felt crowded or loud but instead it felt realistic. We wandered through secret corridors alone and there was always a new environment to walk into. There are 27 distinct spaces within the experience and we hardly came across the same thing twice but I’m sure we missed many hidden treasures. 

Tickets are a bit pricy for students and cost £18.50 but if you have a love or fantasy, the environment or immersive art I highly recommend Wake The Tiger to take a date or a mate to.

It is located at 127 Albert Road, Bristol, BS2 0YA which is a 15 minute drive from city centre (£10 Uber) but you can also get public transport or Voi directly there.

There is also a bar at the end of the experience so you can have a pint before entering the real world again.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

• Rating your plates: Bristol freshers’ most diabolical dinners so far

• Your mate from another uni is visiting for the weekend, here’s exactly what to do with them

•13 of the best party themes for Bristol students and societies