Attending an electronic music event within the family holiday resort of Butlins is enough to make anyone think twice about their life choices. I can only begin to think what the Butlins staff, accustomed to upstanding citizens enjoying a leisurely weekend next to the pool must think of the absolute carnage that befalls on Butlins once a year. Perhaps it’s the obscurity of Butlins, with its archery range, go-kart tracks and creepy fairground music that actually make it an ideal place to party. There is definitely something about the land of redcoats that gives Bloc an added sense of uniqueness that other events have failed to fully monopolise on. Anyway, to avoid this review seeming like an analytical look into the bizarre world of Butlins, it’s probably best I move onto the music itself.
There were a few really pivotal moments for me at Bloc this year. On Friday night in particular, after many of the nighttime shenanigans had taken place, the Gateway to Zen showcase was 3 straight hours of unforgettable music. Nick Craddock completing the night with the techno anthem, The Bells by Jeff Mills is a moment of Bloc history I won’t forget. Saturday was just as entertaining with sets from Magic Mountain High and Motor City Drum Ensemble being the main talking points for the night. Sunday really reflected the eclectic nature of the Bloc programme, with showcases from Metalheadz and I love acid, really depicting the diversity of bloc’s lineup. Our Sunday was completed with a set by the Detroit grand master himself Omar S, with such an incredible mixing style he really completed the Bloc dynasty with style.
Bloc was always that special event sitting in the weekenders calendar that separates the seasonal winter gloom with the good times of summer. That is why it truly saddens me to have to say goodbye to Bloc in its current capacity, as the organisers will hopefully be moving onto bigger and better things. But overall it’s the little things I’m going to miss most about Bloc; the scandalous smell that each stage had, unique to its own, ranging from old man musk to shaggy wet dog, or the knowledge that someplace somewhere in the crowd snooker legend Steve Davis was getting down to some industrial techno, or perhaps it’s just sitting in front of the peculiar films on Bloc t.v. too messed up from the night before, whatever it is we’re going to miss you Bloc!