Saturday 23rd October

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| Festivals | 10/07/2012

Bloc Festival

Bloc Weekender cancelled on Opening Night.

by James Bryce


The highly rated annual British dance festival which saw Snoop Dogg fly in from the States to headline was forced to shut down in the early hours of Saturday morning after fears for crowd safety. BLOC which has been running since 2007 was testing out a new venue in London’s Pleasure gardens. It is the first time the festival has been held outside a holiday park.

The day started a shambles when a restless crowd from both inside and outside of the UK suffered hours of queues because of a mix up in ticket sales. The revelers became anxious and upset and then started to make their own way into the festival which caused serious overcrowding. This saw riot police called in who then advised the festival to close, just as party goers waited for Snoop Dogg to come on stage. Some people are calling the organisers “greedy and selfish” after trying to treble the size of the dance festival. The event had been highly anticipated with phenomenal acts throughout the weekend which included Orbital, Jamie Jones, Gary Numan, Flying Lotus and Snoop Dogg. An announcement on the BLOC website has been made and advises ticket holders to stand by for refunds.


London’s Pleasure Gardens is right in the mix of the Olympic East End and claims to be a new 35k capacity arts and entertainment destination. I have no idea how they couldn’t manage to keep 15k people under control for two nights. The venue was far too small for the capacity of the festival and the MS STUBNITZ which is an ex-communist fishing boat had been brought in especially for the event. The boat was moored up in the docks for extra excitement. If you wanted to experience what it’s like to party on a fishing boat then you had to queue in a one-in-one-out system for about an hour. Many People found that they spent the best part of the night queuing. I could only find two small alcohol tents in the whole venue which were charging £4.50 for a small can of cider and £24 for a jug of Pimms. Rip-off!

Bloc Festival PoliceThe End

Thousands of people including myself were anxiously waiting for Snoop Dogg to perform for about an hour when a festival organiser came on stage and announced that Fridays headline act will not be performing and the weekend festival is being shut down. We were then forced to exit the venue like sardines and dumped in the industrial estate area of east London with no transport around with many people attending the event from outside London and even outside the UK.

I personally have never seen such disorganisation in my life. This is a massive shame, the promoters and organisers are devastated. The festival itself, along with the line-up, the venue and the crowd had the potential to be one of the best festivals to feature in London this year. Oh well. I believe this will be the end of BLOC Festival.



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