Peter Gabriel long ago abandoned the costumes and masks he wore while fronting Genesis, but he’s never lost the knack for thinking big. One of his most beloved projects, an interactive New Age theme park dubbed ”Realworld,” could take a big step forward this month if the city of Barcelona, Spain, gives him the go-ahead.
Gabriel became infatuated with the idea of building an arty, high-tech amusement park after he took his kids to several theme parks and found them boring. ”This will be more of an adult park,” says David Eno, executive director of Realworld and no relation to one Realworld participant, New Wave music pioneer Brian Eno. ”Visitors will be actively involved, as opposed to the neutral, facile rides at traditional parks. This is meant to be more interactive, more sensual, more intellectual.”
If the 36-acre Barcelona site is approved, Realworld could open as early as 1994. Meanwhile, Gabriel is huddling with Brian Eno and performance artist Laurie Anderson to hammer out innovations. Under consideration, says Anderson, are 60-foot tornadoes at the entrance gates and a ”giant black cloud that triggers talking trees. We’d like to build things I’ve had dreams about, like a Ferris wheel half in and half out of water.” Realworld’s answer to roller coasters and other traditional amusement park adventures, says David Eno, will be computerized ”simulator rides with lots of special effects.”