The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

News

Bloc In Administration, Plus Ticketing Provider Statement
The Quietus , July 11th, 2012 09:35

Crowdsurge issues statement about the closure of Bloc this weekend. UPDATE: Baselogic, the company behind Bloc, have now gone into administration.

As we've previously reported, Bloc Festival closed down this weekend amid fears for crowd safety, with the venue - London Pleasure Gardens - reportedly becoming dangerously crowded during the late hours of Friday evening. Though full details about the reasons for the event's closure have yet to be released, brief statements were initially issued both by the venue and the festival organisers Baselogic.

UPDATE: Baselogic Productions, the company behind the festival, has gone into administration. An announcement published on the Bloc website reads as follows: "It is with great sadness that we announce Baselogic Productions (who you all know as Bloc) has been placed into administration following the events of Friday evening. The team are working hard with the administrators to investigate the issues that led to the closure of the event and people will be updated as and when we have new information. We ask that you allow the administrators time to conduct a thorough investigation so we can establish the facts. Once again we would like to apologise for all of the frustration and disappointment this situation has caused and thank everyone who has supported the team over the years, your continued support means so much to us."

In a press release from administrators Parker Andrews, appointed administrator Jamie Playford said: "It is important that we understand the full facts including what funds will be available to creditors and ticketholders and to ensure the information we provide about the next stages of administration is clear and concise".

Crowdsurge, the ticketing system provider who were contracted to look after ticket sales for the event's organisers, also issued a statement today, addressing concerns that their system may have been at fault (via Music Week).

"CrowdSurge was contracted by Baselogic (Bloc) to provide an ecommerce mechanic for the sale and promotion of a variety of ticket types from within The Bloc 2012 website," reads the statement. "This involved CrowdSurge providing an online software purchasing application; an e-ticketsolution; box office management and site entry scanners. Other third parties were contracted to manage on site security, access management and site stewarding."

"London Pleasure Gardens advises a capacity of 30,000 people, however this can vary dependent upon how event organisers may wish to utilise the features and staging on the whole site. Throughout the event planning stages of the event, Baselogic carefully analysed the site capacity as a whole and as individual showcases to site a final capacity figure of 18,000 people for each day of the festival.

"The number of tickets sold for the event on Friday 6th July was 15,796 – a figure far short of the 18,000 capacity placed by the festival organisers and the 30,000 posted by London Pleasure Gardens. Throughout the process Baselogic controlled the amount of tickets sold and this was at the discretion of Baselogic, not CrowdSurge.

"CrowdSurge were advised to ‘shut down’ scanners at 21.27pm on Friday 6th July 2012, whilst the queuing barriers were reorganized. At this point 8,000 people had been given access to the site. The entry gates were reopened and scanning and personal searches ceased as per the request of Baselogic and London Pleasure Gardens staff. At no point throughout the scanning process did the scanners cease to operate."

Around the concerns raised that the ticketing system could have been open to exploitation, with people using multiple reprints, the statement clarified: "Each ticket includes an individual barcode and number generated by the CrowdSurge system. That barcode and number is linked to a unique customer order and ticket. As with any electronic ticket, there is possibility that these can be copied or printedmultiple times, however duplicates or copies would not be recognized by thes canners on site and the person producing the falsified-ticket & barcode would not have been given entry to the site through the scanner access points. Each individual barcode only admits one person per ticket, at which point that barcode is no longer ‘live’ and access cannot be gained to the event.

They also address the issue of ticket monies, something that will be of particular interest to people who've bought tickets and are awaiting to hear the news around refunds. "The purchasing process opted for by the festival organisers was one of a direct payment to Baselogic through their own merchant service provider. CrowdSurge at no time held or currently retains any monies for tickets purchased through the Bloc Weekend website."

Since Baselogic/Bloc were paid money directly by ticketholders, and the company has now gone into administration, it remains to be seen how this will affect the refunds that were discussed in Bloc's earlier statements. It doesn't sound particularly positive, we must admit, but more news when we have it.

If you love our features, news and reviews, please support what we do with a one-off or regular donation. Year-on-year, our corporate advertising is down by around 90% - a figure that threatens to sink The Quietus. Hit this link to find out more and keep on Black Sky Thinking.