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[PHOTOS] Inside Fairgrounds, an immersive arts playground in Florida

giant robotic dinosaur mouth, tall neon motel sign with a mermaid fin

Fairgrounds is set to be a wild and lush immersive arts playground at The Factory in St. Pete. The space is now officially open, but you’ll need to make a reservation to go and visit. The space itself marries art and technology to create a neon-clad Florida wonderland. You can find Fairgrounds at 800 28th Street South.

Just marvel at the featured image above from artist Joshua Hall as an example.

This choose-your-own-adventure installation is a timed ticketed experience with a limited number of tickets available each day. Tickets can be purchased on the art hub’s website.

Founding Immersive Memberships, with benefits including 12 months of unlimited admission, are on sale now online. In addition, Immersive Members are invited to attend a VIP First Look the weekend before it opens to the public.

an ice cream cone shaped building with a tall striped straw sticking out of the top. Spanning projector screen shows a video of a Florida sunset.

Fairgrounds St. Pete brings Florida lore to life

This weird Florida world has been created by artists with a narrative that celebrates strange, wacky and wonderful Florida lore inside the sprawling space at 2606 Fairfield Avenue S. Combining innovative tech and original artworks to convey original stories, Fairgrounds St. Pete builds upon Florida lore to inspire new legends and encourage guests to become part of the story. 

“Immersive” isn’t just a buzz word here. Guests are invited to truly engage with both the installations and narrative; Fairgrounds St. Pete has countless paths for everyone to experience a creative adventure.

“We are thrilled to have tickets go on sale for Fairgrounds St. Pete’s debut installation!” said Olivia Mansion, Fairgrounds St. Pete Director of Communications and Artist Relations. “Putting together an immersive experience of this scale has truly been a labor of love, and we are excited to share it with Tampa bay.”

a 5-tier pink cake in an all pink rom with strawberry stickers on the wall

Featuring the work of Florida artists

With 60+ artists in its inaugural installation, a core tenant of the Fairgrounds St. Pete philosophy is that art should be inclusive, accessible and create community. 

90% of the artists hail from Florida and more than 50% are women and/or people of color. Fairgrounds St. Pete’s investment in local artists and technologists encourages them to view Tampa Bay as a launchpad for their creative careers. 

As part of a profit-sharing business model, artists will receive a portion of the ticket sales for as long as their work is on view, providing them additional income and empowering them to further invest in their practice and community.

two tall cobra sculptures. a sea foam pink room with a spiral pattern on the wall, and a pink bed in the corner.

Artists receive a portion of ticket sales from Fairgrounds

“It is important to us to not only support artists through commissions, but also to compensate them for inspiring guests to visit Fairgrounds St. Pete. This financial commitment helps our artists further invest in their practice and community,” said Liz Dimmitt, CEO and Co-Founder. “Our business model is unique in that artists continue to get paid for the duration their work is on view. When Fairgrounds St. Pete thrives, so do our artists.”

Fairgrounds St. Pete is evolving how stories are told and developing new ways to share and experience narratives through the creative use of technology. With decades of collective experience, the concept’s team specializes in blending original storytelling, art and technology to create storyful moments that transform the way we experience art. From the moment guests step through the doors to when their experience concludes, their goal is to excite the imagination and create meaningful shared experiences.

Engage with the art and with the narrative

“Fairgrounds St. Pete is all about pushing the boundaries of what is possible narratively, and by including creative technology as part of our foundation, we are able to continually grow and enhance the guest experience,” said Mikhail Mansion, CTO and Co-Founder. “I can’t wait to have guests come through Fairgrounds St. Pete and see how they interact with the tech throughout the exhibit.”

With a name that references traditional fairgrounds as a place for exhibiting new ideas and recognizing talent, Fairgrounds St. Pete is committed to creating a sustainable arts community and inspiring visitors through discovery and play.

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