Bloc Returns To London
, February 1st, 2013 06:52
Promoters to put on a series of nights in the capital, run by a new company after the closure of last year's London festival. Details below
Bloc, the promoters behind the Bloc festival which hosted a series of excellent holiday camp weekenders on the coast before the spectacular demise of last year's ambitious London event, have announced a new series of events in London. The announcement comes after speculation that something new was afoot, after they updated their Facebook page last week with a new logo pointing towards a new website.
Rather than a festival, they've instead announced a series of standalone parties featuring a selection of the sort of acts they've frequently booked in the past, opening with an appearance from Juan Atkins' Detroit techno originators Model 500 on 9th March. The venue is yet to be announced, but it will be held in an as-yet-undisclosed East London studio location that Bloc have sourced and refurbished themselves. Other artists booked across a season of nights between March and June include Omar S, Surgeon, Shackleton & Appleblim, Marshall Jefferson, and a showcase of artists on New York house/noise label L.I.E.S. For the full list of gigs see picture above, and ticketing details are available at the Bloc site.
"It's a really simple proposition," said Bloc founders Alex Benson and George Hull in an interview with Resident Advisor published today. "Just a series of ten shows in a new studio venue featuring a selection of artists that we love. Some have played for us many times before, others are completely fresh, but they all represent something which has inspired Bloc in some way."
Last year's Bloc festival, which took place at London Pleasure Gardens in July, was shut down during the middle of its opening night due to crowd safety concerns amid overcrowding and escalating problems with queueing. In the weeks that followed both the venue, London Pleasure Gardens, and the company behind Bloc, Baselogic Promotions, went into administration. At the time we reported in some depth on what was going on behind the scenes - click here to read more.
In the time period since some ticketholders have managed to acquire a refund for their festival tickets by contacting their bank, but some have yet to see a refund. Responses by commenters on Bloc's Facebook to this new announcement predictably run the gamut from positive to incredulous - all the way from "Bloc. is the daddy!! Welcome back you sexy little bitch" to "Get fucked".
"It's totally, totally understandable that people are angry and we feel terrible about it," say Benson and Hull in the same interview with RA. "Like we said in our statement back in September, we're so sorry that everyone was let down. As soon as we were able, we published that detailed and lengthy statement, with clear instructions on how to apply for a refund. The vast majority of ticket-holders have now been refunded via this method. As was reported last week, there are still ongoing legal proceedings that relate to the whole affair - with the best will in the world we cannot go into any more detail than we already have. We know that it's frustrating to get answers like that, and it's frustrating to give them, but that's the situation as it stands."
A section on Bloc's new website marked 'Legal' states that these new Bloc events are not being run by Baselogic Promotions. Instead, a new company, HB Events Ltd, are promoting the nights under license from Bloc Holdings. "HB Events Ltd. cannot accept liability for any claims relating to the administration of Baselogic Productions Ltd," reads a statement on the website. "For more information and updates on Baselogic Productions please contact Parker Andrews or visit their site relating to this administration - Parker Andews."
Keeping the Bloc name despite the negative associations that come with it after last year's fiasco, said Benson and Hull to RA, was of paramount importance. "We've been doing this for ten years now. Putting on parties in strange places, then clubs, then a festival. Thanks to the support of our crew and the loyalty of our crowd, it evolved an identity of its own which went way beyond the people who started it - that's the spirit we want to keep going. If it isn't called Bloc, it won't be Bloc. So many people have put so much energy into it for so long, that to just abandon it doesn't seem right."