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17 Extraordinary Experiences Open Now & Coming Soon: September 2023

Each month we share our edit of the experiences opening around the globe that we think are truly extraordinary. Here’s what we think is worth checking out in September 2023.

If you’re working on an Extraordinary Experience you’d like us to consider for a future edition, please share it HERE!

1. Rumble In The Jungle Rematch

Headline and above image; Studio Dreamachine: High Sensory; Rumble in the Jungle Rematch, London

Open: 2 August – 14 September for a limited run
Location: London, UK
Experience Sector: Immersive Entertainment
, Sport

If you were too young to have tuned into Muhammad Ali and George Foreman’s iconic Rumble in the Jungle clash in 1974 – or weren’t even born – fear not, as the epic boxing match is being brought back to life as an immersive experience. Launching on 14 September at Dock X in London’s Canada Water, Rumble in the Jungle Rematch will transport audiences back to 1974 Zaire, combining theatre, sport and tech to evoke the sights, sounds and smells of Kinshasa.

Pre fight you can gather for the press conference and visit the boxers’ training camps in the build up to the clash of the titans. The Zaire 74 music festival, featuring heavyweights like James Brown and BB King, will also be reimagined. The limited run production is being staged by start-up Rematch, in partnership with Muhammad Ali Enterprises, with investment from Immersive Everywhere.

2. Tea Party At The End Of The World

Tea Party At The End Of The World, US

Open: 3-26 September
Location: Philadelphia, US
Experience Sector: Immersive theatre

What better way to contemplate the fragility of human existence than with an invigorating cup of loose-leaf tea? Immersive theatre artist Jessica Creane wants to invite you to her tea party at the end of the world, which will come complete with parlour games and ample time to mull over the planet’s demise. (You can discover more about the tools Creane uses to immerse participants in her narratives in The Risks & Rewards Of Role-Less Role Play.)

Inspired by Creane’s time in the Arctic Circle as an artist-in-residence and her obsession with the ritual comforts and complexity of loose-leaf tea, her theatre skit explores how we connect to one another in times of uncertainty and fear; celebrating the splendour of being alive in a beautiful but disappearing world, while honouring the cost it exacts on our ability to connect and find purpose. Organised by FringeArts, rather than at the end of the Earth, the tea party takes place at the Maas Artist’s Cottage, a cosy events space in Philadelphia.

3. Flock Of

Flock Of by bit.studio, Thailand

Open: Until 15 September
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Experience Sector: Immersive art

Immerse yourself in the supernatural world of floating fish as they defy gravity and drift dreamily about in an art installation by creative technologist bit.studio, which specialises in designing physical spaces and interactive installations that merge digital with physical content for a multi-sensory visitor experience that takes attendees on a journey into the unexpected.

Taking place at True Digital Park West in Bangkok until 15 September, the experience, which makes use of machine learning, invites attendees to engage in the convergence of reality and imagination and delve into the interconnectedness of the natural world, where disparate elements harmonise and influence one another.

4. The Butterfly Trail

The Butterfly Trail, London

Open: Opens 20 September
Location: London, UK
Experience Sector: Immersive entertainment

Lovers of the natural world should head to Outernet London this month and walk its new Butterfly Trail – a mixed-reality experience boasting world-first tech, including the first use of 8th Wall’s WebAR platform with Unreal. Developed by Pixel Artworks, the trail guides visitors through explorer Professor Peter Pelegrin’s Botanical Workshop and into his Glass House, which features a 32-channel spatial audio mix created by Gramercy Park Studios – the most complex complementary soundscape to be deployed at Outernet.

After releasing magical AR butterflies from their chrysalises, attendees can activate the Metamorphosis Machine with their phone, triggering real-time animations on the machine displayed on their screens. A WebAR hand-tracking feature enables explorers to hold a digital butterfly in the palm of their hand or fingertip then share the images online. Metalitix, a spatial analytics platform, will measure visitor interactions in the virtual and physical environment to better understand how people engage with the experience.

Also taking place at Outernet on 5 September is a panel discussion hosted by experience delivery company Sysco on the future of immersive experiences and how creative industries can make the most of generative AI. Attendees will get to see seven original audio-visual artworks created by Sysco in collaboration with artists from UCL and Goldsmiths for the Outernet canvas in the Now Trending space.

5. Tutankhamon Immersive Experience

Tutankhamon, Barcelona

Open: Opens 15 September
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Experience Sector: Immersive learning

Barcelona-based lovers of Egyptology are in for a treat, as an immersive Tutankhamon experience is coming to the Spanish city this September. The experience will take place within Digital Arts Center, IDEAL and will give visitors the chance to travel back in time 3,400 years and discover the temples, treasures and colourful characters of ancient Egypt.

Following on from a successful run in Madrid, the show is the brainchild of Madrid Artes Digitales, Layers of Reality, SOM Produce and Stardust. Timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the uncovering of the sarcophagus containing Tutankhamon’s remains in 1923 by archaeologist Howard Carter, during the experience visitors will learn about the life of the child pharaoh via cutting-edge projections set to an original score and a metaverse experience that allows you to have a virtual snoop around King Tut’s tomb.

6. Terror Roulette

Terror Roulette, Chicago

Open: 29 September until 31 October
Location: Chicago, US
Experience Sector: Themed attractions

A horror experience that’s so chilling it requires guests to sign a waiver before they enter launches in Chicago this month. Terror Roulette will open at The Arboretum of South Barrington in Illinois on 29 September. Seeking to thrill horror fans, each room within the experience serves as a twisted roulette wheel, spinning players into different encounters.

With actors focusing 100% of their attention on attendees, offering them bespoke scares, it’s so spine-tingling in parts that safe words can be used if the experience becomes too much to bear. Visitors are given a playing card on entry that will determine their path through the eerie underworld. At the heart of the experience is a villain dubbed ‘The Dealer’ who leads a group of maniacal slayers including circus clown Sotto Voce and the Baltic Butcher.

7. World Wellness Weekend

Warm up by Daniel Faro

Open: 15-17 September
Location: Global
Experience Sector: Health & Wellbeing

With 6,000 venues hosting events in 150 countries, the seventh annual World Wellness Weekend is a truly global event. Founded in 2017 by Jean-Guy de Gabriac to promote the ‘Five Pillars of Wellness’: Sleep and Creativity, Nutrition and Immunity, Movement and Vitality, Mindfulness and Serenity, Sense of Purpose and Solidarity, each property participating in the weekend – including big names like Fairmont, Four Seasons, Hyatt, Raffles and Group L’Occitane – will offer at least one fun free activity on their premises.

Activities include wellness-in-the-workplace sessions, meditation, yoga, cycling, breathwork, gong baths, health checks, massage, aqua aerobics and fitness classes, alongside educational talks and workshops looking at both physical fitness and mental health. Capsix, a French start-up will be offering AI massage deployed by its IYU Robot in France and Canada. For those keen to take part digitally, there will be online training sessions, podcasts and webinars aplenty.

8. Endineering Course

Endineering course by Joe Macleod

Open: 12 September
Location: Online
Experience Sector: Experience design

While the beginning of the consumer lifecycle tends to be rich, emotional and meaningful, the end is often barren of emotion and meaning. Sustainable consumption can’t happen without companies assuming responsibility for the end of the consumer lifecycle and designing conscious and actionable ends for consumers. Poor or inexistent off-boarding leads to inaction, holds back engagement, and makes us neglect waste and avoid responsibility.

Here to help us design better endings is energetic ‘endineering’ expert Joe Macleod, who will be hosting his next Endineering course online from 12 September. The four-week programme includes weekly video lectures, articles, quizzes and learning tasks. The course will immerse you in a friendly and active online community and at the end you’ll graduate as an Endineer. Can’t make it to the full course? Get a headstart with Macleod’s Ultimate Introduction To Endineering.

9. Piying Dream

Piying Dream, Shanghai

Open: Now until 30 November
Location: Shanghai, China
Experience Sector: Immersive learning

If you’re keen for a deep dive into the mysterious world of Chinese shadow puppetry and happen to be in Shanghai, then you’re in luck as Temple of Light has joined forced with Danny Rose Studio on a new immersive exhibition called Piying Dream, which celebrates the artistry of Chinese shadow play.

Merging an age-old tradition with cutting-edge digital technology, visitors will get up close and personal with the shadow puppets, including iconic characters from Chinese literature such as Sun Wukong, Zhuge Liang, and Wu Song – alongside mythical creatures, flora and fauna, as classic ceramic and embroidery patterns come to life via cutting-edge projection tech accompanied by an original musical score.

Working with the Chinese Shadow Play Folk Art Museum and Mashi Shadow Play Troupe, Piying Dream features over 3,000 ultra-high-resolution images of authentic shadow puppets and motion-captured animations.

10. Studio Dreamachine

Studio Dreamachine: High Sensory

Open: Now until 30 September
Location: London, UK
Experience Sector: Functional experiences

Having hit the headlines when it launched in London’s Woolwich last summer, trippy immersive experience Dreamachine is back with a bang this month, only this time at a shiny new base in Hackney. Called Studio Dreamachine, its founders – an interdisciplinary team of artists, composers, technologists, scientists and philosophers – are offering a pilot version of the original Dreamachine in an intimate setting.

Delivering a transformative LSD-like trip without the need for psychedelics, the experience combines flickering white strobe lights with a bespoke score to create a deeply personal experience and unique choreography of colourful patterns, shapes and abstract waves of colour conjured by the brain of each participant behind closed eyes. For those seeking a more soothing experience, there’s a ‘deep listening’ option designed to be enjoyed in the dark that doesn’t contain flashing lights. For an exclusive insight into the techniques Dreamachine’s Director, Jennifer Crook, used to build this powerful collective experience, see The Visionary Power Of The Eyes-Closed Experience.

11. Museum Of Illusions

Museum of Illusions, Las Vegas

Open: Open now
Location: Las Vegas, US
Experience Sector: Immersive entertainment

Be prepared to have your mind truly blown, as the Museum of Illusions has just opened its largest location to date in Las Vegas. Located on the Strip, the mind-bending museum offers visitors an interactive and immersive experience with brain-busting exhibits. Each room is designed to play tricks on the mind. Visitors also get to explore the science behind each illusion – if they’re okay with ruining the magic a bit.

From illustration rooms and installations to trompe l’oeil images, the museum is full of golden content for the ‘gram. The new attraction is the largest Museum of Illusions in the world ,with over 15,000-square feet of space and more than 80 installations, including some that are unique to the Vegas venue. The museum partnered with actor and magician Michael Carbonaro for the opening, who will perform magic from his TV series and live stage show. Want to know more about how to inject a touch of magic into your experiences? Don’t miss this season of WXO Campfires, where we’ll be discovering the ingredients of magic design – learn more and download the full line-up here.

12. Geelong Arts Centre

Open: Open now
Location: Geelong, Australia
Experience Sector: Theatre, Film, Dance

Australia’s newest and largest regional arts centre has just opened in the port city of Geelong, and features malleable theatres, Indigenous art and photogenic spaces. The brainchild of CEO and creative director Joel McGuinness, the AU$140 million Geelong Arts Centre redevelopment weaves First Nations stories into the fabric of the building – quite literally, via the walls, carpet, woodwork, landscaping and paving. Arm Architecture, the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation and First Nation artists co-designed the building to showcase the shared history of Geelong and the surrounding environment.

McGuinness addressed ‘threshold anxiety” in his bold design to make it a welcoming space for art and theatre lovers and novices alike. Its roster of events covers theatre, concerts, opera, comedy, ballet and film. Look out for the multicoloured marble staircase and the crimson downstairs bar leading into a brilliant white box reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

13. Delamain Private Cellar Experience

Delamain Private Cellar Experience, Cognac, France

Open: Open now
Location: Cognac, France
Experience Sector: Immersive dining

If you’re a Cognac lover seeking to gain a greater understanding of the famous French brandy then this immersive dining experience is right up your street. Revered Cognac house Delamain is flinging the doors of its cellar open for a multi-sensory private dining experience; a first-of-its-kind, single table opportunity for guests to explore some of the house’s finest Cognacs paired with regional specialties, whipped up by a private chef and served in atmospheric surroundings among some of Delamain’s rarest Cognacs.

Available for up to eight guests, the experience kicks off with an after-hours tour of the Delamain cellars. Each of the food pairings have been designed to enhance the sensory experience and highlight the versatility of mature single cask Cognacs in the gastronomic context. You had us at Cognac…

14. Monet: The Immersive Experience

Monet: The Immersive Experience, London

Open: 29 September until 26 November
Location: London, UK
Experience Sector: Immersive art

With everyone from Van Gogh to Frida Kahlo having been given the immersive treatment, the next artist to step into the spotlight is French Impressionist Claude Monet, whose works will be flooding the walls at Boiler House on Brick Lane this month. Monet: The Immersive Experience is the brainchild of Exhibition Hub and aims to take art lovers on a journey into Monet’s world via a cutting-edge combo of 360-degree digital projections, spatial audio and VR, presenting the painter’s landscapes in an exciting new light.

Attendees will have the chance to meander over the rippling waters of a lily pond, daydream from within a red-speckled poppy field and gawp at the golden shimmer of sun-drenched haystacks. There’s even a chance for budding Impressionists to get their own artworks projected onto the walls. The show includes a standalone VR experience through the countryside Monet captured on canvas that delves into the artist’s various inspirations and processes.

15. Bubble World

Bubble World, US

Open: Now until 15 October
Location: Los Angeles, US
Experience Sector: Immersive entertainment

Following on from a successful run in Europe, Bubble World has brought its unique blend of multisensory magic to Los Angeles. The immersive experience is designed to bring out your inner big kid, via giant ball pits, a hot air balloon flight simulator, robot-led bubble shows and the chance to roam through a room filled with clouds.

Celebrating the sphere in all its glorious guises with a little help from cutting edge VR tech, the experience features 10 themed rooms and fantastical landscapes providing countless photo opps. We love the sound of the VR room that explores what life would be like inside a giant bubble. If you find yourself in LA, be sure to swing by for a visit before the bubble bursts…

16. Slivingland

Slivingland by Paris Hilton, Roblox

Open: Open now
Location: Online
Experience Sector: Metaverse

If you’re keen to party like it’s 1999 then head to Slivingland on Roblox, where you can bask in the retro nostalgia conjured up by socialite entrepreneur Paris Hilton. Her shiny new metaverse experience is being targeted at her 70 million global fans. Having been dubbed the “queen of the metaverse” by CNN, Hilton’s virtual world provides her followers with a range of entertainment content including new music, podcasts, TV shows, films and collaborations with brands.

The goal is to bridge the gap between Gen Z, the metaverse and brands by providing a platform for strategic activations. A 20-strong team at Sawhorse Interactive, which has created metaverse experiences for Elton John and Tommy Hilfiger, designed Slivingland to be an immersive experience that embodies creativity, entertainment and collaboration. To kick off the launch, Hilton has released ten limited-edition digital fashion pieces inspired by Y2K.

17. Meow Wolf Party In The SubOrbs

Meow Wolf Party In The SubOrbs, US

Open: 22-24 September
Location: Las Vegas, US
Experience Sector: Immersive Entertainment

Majestic Repertory Theatre has partnered with experience specialists Meow Wolf to create an immersive show at this year’s Life is Beautiful festival where revellers will encounter the quirky citizens of The SubOrbs and uncover the secret of The Vibes. Marking the 10th anniversary of Life is Beautiful, The SubOrbs is a dream-like mini city within the festival full of colourful characters.

Featuring a rotating roster of performances, among the artists doing their thing at the party are high-energy performance troop Molodi; abstract artist Joel Spencer; sculptor Nova May; and street artist Alexander Sky; while The Great Bingo Revival will be bringing the ‘70s vibes. With a plethora of drinks options, and entertainment aplenty, it’s the perfect place to beat the heat at the festival.

Head to Meow Wolf Grapevine on 27 September if you’re keen to step inside its ‘Adultiverse‘ and let loose to punk band Perdidos while you travel through galactic pod motels, crystal cloud caves and interdimensional bodegas. It’s a house party with a twist complete with mind-bending art and live music.

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