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Bloc announces 2016 festival to be its last

By | Published on Thursday 11 February 2016

Bloc Weekend

Bloc is hanging up its festival hat, announcing yesterday that the 2016 edition of its weekender will be the last. However, the brand will live on, with organisers planning to build a “super club” in London.

“After ten glorious years – this is it”, said Bloc in a statement. “It’s the final one and we won’t be doing any curtain calls, encores, reunion tours or one-last-jobs. We think that this line-up and the show we have planned is a fitting, powerful crescendo to Bloc’s story”.

It continued: “It is the last ever one because – well, weekenders are strange, beautiful things. Bloc itself has had some very widely publicised ups and downs. For us, in the middle of it, it has been a rollercoaster. Of course, everyone will have been on rollercoasters – they’re quite a trip, and leave you euphoric, shaken and with a new found zest for life. Eventually, you get off having had a thoroughly great time. And that’s where we are”.

The main down, of course, was the ill-fated Bloc 2012 event, which moved proceedings from Butlins in Minehead to the then new Pleasure Gardens event space in London. Overcrowding caused it to be shut down mid-way through the first night, the problems seemingly being caused by confusion over tickets and the Pleasure Gardens not being completed on schedule. The complex went into administration shortly afterwards, as did the Bloc company.

However, weathering the storm, organisers returned the following year with a series of standalone events and a new permanent venue in London, relaunching the Bloc festival back at Butlins last year.

Once the final festival is out of the way next month, plans are to focus on the spin-off record label the company launched last year, and to develop a new, larger clubbing space with attached record labels.

Speaking to Resident Adviser, co-founder Alex Benson said: “We started a venue in an ex-industrial building in London [in 2013], then renovated the surrounding warehouses into music studios and workspace. A community sprung up around it and it has been one of the most rewarding things we have ever been involved in. We want to develop this community and the venue at the heart of it. It will, like the current venue, be called Bloc. And it will be surrounded by music studios which won’t cost the earth to rent and aren’t about to be sold, knocked down or redeveloped”.

The final Bloc festival takes place at Butlins in Minehead on 11-13 Mar. Acts on the line-up include: Thom Yorke, Four Tet, Floating Points, Carl Craig, Goldie, Daniel Avery, Demdike Stare, Ceephax Acid Crew and Andrew Weatherall.