Bad news for fans of the Bloc weekender, as it's been announced that 2016 will be the last ever.
Having run for 10 years, the techno festival has had its share of very public ups and downs. Its 2012 edition, held in the one-off location of London Pleasure Gardens, was widely cited as a "disaster" after cops shut the party down for disputed reasons. Soon after, the promoters behind the event, Baselogic, went into administration, leaving many without refunds, a situation some punters complain has still not been resolved.
But in 2015 the festival bounced back, returning to its home at Bultins Resort, and was hailed as a resounding success. This year looks to be a repeat, with acts like Thom Yorke, Four Tet and Jeff Mills headlining, joined by many others. Though possibly looking to end on a high note, and to focus on endeavours besides running a major two-day techno festival, Bloc co-founder Alex Benson says 2016 will be the final weekender.
"This is it," Benson told RA. "It's the final one and we won't be doing any curtain calls, encores, reunion tours or one-last-jobs. If you ever want to see the titans of techno (and related musics) face down with 6,000 ravers in a Butlins holiday park, this is your very last opportunity to do so. We think that this lineup and the show we have planned is a fitting, powerful crescendo to Bloc's ten-year story."
Benson added that it's time to make way for the "next generation" of festivals, and that anyone interested in inside information on how to run a weekend-long rave should reach out.
While the next generation of UK promoter is busy planning their answer to Bloc, Benson says he and the team will be readying the UK's next "super club," built upon the venue they started "in an ex-industrial building in London," with renovations to surrounding warehouses giving way to workspace and music studios.
"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," he said.
Benson says they'll also continue fostering the Bloc label, and will be working with LEME to "produce a full-scale electronic music conference in London next summer."
Topping it all off, they'll be celebrating the Bloc 10th birthday with 10 parties in cities like Amsterdam, Dublin, Paris, Barcelona, and Montreal.
To read Benson's interview in full, head to RA.