Bloc Weekend 2012 shut down amid health and safety concerns

Bloc Weekend 2012 closed by police

Chris Swindells - 07 July 2012

** Update ** Bloc Weekend organisers have released an official statement about the event closure and said that today's (July 7) scheduled event will not proceed as planned, and that information on refunds will follow. Here is the statement in full:

"By now everyone will have heard that Bloc 2012 was closed due to crowd safety concerns.

We are all absolutely devastated that this happened, but the safety of everyone on site was paramount.

Given the situation on the ground, we feel that it was the right decision to end the show early.

Bloc will not open on Saturday 7th July so please don’t come to the site."

The event, being held at London Pleasure Gardens in Royal Victoria Docks for the first time, was billed as the 'leading festival in independent electronica'.

The 60,000 square metre site on the waterside docklands only officially opened to the public last weekend, and it was clear from early in the evening that the site was struggling to cope with the large crowds. More than 1,000 ticket holders were denied entry to the event before it was shut down by police at approximately midnight.

Amon Tobin, DOOM, Joker and Richie Hawtin were all billed to play Friday July 6 and Orbital, Gary Numan and Flying Lotus, amongst others, scheduled for Saturday 7 July. Weekend Bloc tickets, priced at £99, had sold out in advance of the event, as had the £55 Friday day tickets.

VF Reporter Laura Foster told us that by 10pm there were large queues for most of the tented venues, and organisers had closed express lanes that gave people with £125 'express tickets' priority entry. The East German warship MS Stubnitz was one venue that was shut down early, by 11pm with security telling customers they had to exit for health and safety reasons.

The main stage was shut before Snoop Dogg's performance with minor crushing reported. Reports suggest neither Snoop Dogg nor Mos Def made it on stage to perform. By midnight a line of police had divided the site, controlling the flow of people.

The police then informed festival-goers that the event had been shut down and they were advised to leave. One police officer told Laura: "They've sold 15,000 tickets and only have capacity for 8,000 under tents."

At 12:11AM the Pleasure Gardens tweeted: "No further admittance tonight. Gates and guestlist are now closed."

No official statement has yet been made by either Bloc nor London Pleasure Gardens but more information is expected to come out in the morning. Initial reports suggest the second day of the festival will not go ahead. 

Twitter has been busy with people tweeting during and following the festival with their thoughts and experiences. One festival goer Alex Whittaker tweeted: "Story of #bloc 90 mins queuing to get in, queues for all arenas, boat shut down at 11pm, police shut it down at 12.30 due to overcrowding."

Penny Jones tweeted: "Bloc shut by police. "Massively unsafe so shutdown" a policewoman told me. She was right. Time to move on!" 


Were you at Bloc 2012 today? What were your experiences? We want your views and reports from the event!

 

Comment below or leave us your thoughts, videos and pictures on Facebook and Twitter.


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