Co-founder Alex Benson says they'll focus on building a "super club" in London with surrounding music studios.
"Weekenders are strange, beautiful things," Bloc co-founder Alex Benson told Resident Advisor. "Bloc itself has had some very widely publicised ups and downs. For us, in the middle of it, it has been a rollercoaster. Of course, everyone will have been on rollercoasters—they're quite a trip, and leave you euphoric, shaken and with a new-found zest for life. Eventually, you get off having had a thoroughly great time. And that's where we are."
Bloc's swansong weekender, running from March 11th through 13th at Butlins Resort in Minehead, will feature the likes of Thom Yorke, Jeff Mills, Goldie, Nina Kraviz and Four Tet. (Check out the full lineup here.) The promoter says after the festival's finished they'll focus their efforts on their East London venue. We spoke with Benson this week to find out more:
Why is this the final Bloc festival?Watch RA's INSIDE film from Bloc 2015 below.
First up, it is the last ever Bloc weekender. This is it. 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.
We were so proud to have brought it back to where it is now, and genuinely touched very deeply at the way people responded to a reformed Bloc weekender. After ten years of showcasing something which has been very meaningful for us and hopefully everyone else, we think we have given everything we can and would like to make space for the next generation. If anyone else out there wants to run a rave weekender, email us: [email protected], or [email protected] We'll happily go through everything we know about it and help you get set one up. In fact, get in touch if you have anything to say about Bloc—we love hearing from you and will respond to everyone who takes the time to drop us a line.
What will be Bloc's focus after the final festival?
We're going to build a super club. As many of you will know, we started a venue in an ex-industrial building in London, then renovated the surrounding warehouses into music studios and workspace. 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. And it will be surrounded by music studios which won't cost the earth to rent and aren't about to be sold, knocked down or redeveloped. We will work more on our Bloc label—we have a mind-blowing album by JoeFarr about to drop, and plenty more lined up. We are working with LEME to produce a full-scale electronic music conference in London next summer. We are also celebrating Bloc's 10th birthday this year with 10 parties in spots across the world, including Montreal, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Malta, Paris and Dublin.
What are you most looking forward to at the last-ever event?
Everything. It's the last chance to experience probably the weirdest setting for a three-day rave you can possibly imagine. Of particular note? I really like Kenny Hanlon's DJ sets, but to date I have only experienced them from the comfort of my laptop. I can't get enough of the live modular action that Steevio will be bringing, Jeff Mills on the main stage was nearly too much to bear last time, Andrew Weatherall going back-to-back with Optimo is going to be a masterclass, Boxed shoulder-to-shoulder with R&S will be a consistent eight hours from a squad of UK artists you simply need in your life, Steve Davis doing four hours on Sunday will expand your mind to suitable dimensions to allow Omar-S space to enter into it as he delivers the the last-ever set at the last-ever Bloc at Butlins. It really is a lot to take in. More than anything, looking forward to seeing everyone there, on the dance floor. It won't happen again.
Tickets to Bloc 2016 are available here.