Bloc Weekend Festival was set to be one of the defining events of 2012′s summer – with a new location, decent weather and a line up that would blow any music lover’s mind. It had Snoop Dogg, Doom, Amon Tobin, Gary Numan and Orbital, for a start – and so was looking to be the event that everyone wished they’ve had attended.
That is, until the festival was cancelled midway through the Friday night by Police and Festival Organisers. Bloc Weekend had suffered extreme overcrowding having sold far too many tickets, causing queues that lasted for more than two hours to get on site, and further queuing once by stages and tents. This resulted in many a disappointed festival-goer, and for Police and security to be drafted in to attempt adequate crowd control.
The question on everyone’s lips regarding the weekend since has been levelled at who is to blame for the weekend and why. eFestivals have spoken to an inside source at London Pleasure Gardens (the venue) who suggested that the blame should not be upon the organisers, but instead upon the ticket retailer, suggesting that there was a problem with the electronic ticketing and gate entry system. The source firmly believes that etickets were the pivotal issue that caused the festival’s downfall. The ticketing agents under question are CrowdSurge, who earlier released the following statement:
‘CrowdSurge were advised to ‘shut down’ scanners at 21.27pm on Friday 6th July 2012, whilst the queuing barriers were reorganised. 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.’
It is no doubt questionable why the gates were even shut down if there were no issues with the ticketing system. CrowdSurge were tasked with providing the online system, box office management and on-site entry scanners. What’s more, London Metropolitan Police have made the decision to cease investigation so far as ticketing issues go. It’s an extremely grey area, one of which I am sure that many would like answered. Sadly, this has resulted in much criticism and today it was announced that Baselogic Productions (BLOC) will be going in to administration. They released the following statement:
‘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.
Please see below a press release from Parker Andrews, the appointed administrators.
Parker Andrews appointed administrators for Base Logic Productions Ltd t/a Bloc.
On 11 July 2012, Baselogic Productions Ltd trading as Bloc voluntarily entered administration. The appointed administrator is Jamie Playford of Parker Andrews Insolvency Practitioners. An investigation into the facts leading to Baselogic Productions and the administration will be conducted immediately by Parker Andrews and a further statement will be issued in due course. 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”.’
A great shame for such a promising festival to suffer at the hands of crowd management and ticketing issues. Of course, matters are not quite as simple but hands are tied when it’s difficult to establish a party at fault.