It’s with a throbbing head and a sob, that I wake up and turn to Twitter to check the latest news to see if Saturday was happening at Bloc 2012. Today was going to be THE day. The line up was impressive. I was hoping to see Apparat, James Blake, Four Tet, Flying Lotus, Scuba and Jon Hopkins. Ambitious I know but I had the stamina and intense desire to soak up all of their sounds live. The news is not good. "Bloc 2012 cancelled, refunds will be given" is the first tweet I see relating to it. I sob some more. Four Tet, I well up. Jon Hopkins, I cry. Hearing it confirmed, I’m not surprised. The memories of last nights events come flooding back to me and I start writing them down.
We’d stopped at the local CostCutter to pick up some RedBulls. Hindsight tells us we should’ve got some beers as well. We lead a long line of Bloc goers and feel responsible for leading everyone in the right direction. “We’d better get this right”, I say to Adam as he checks the map on his phone. A few more steps and around the corner we immediately hit the queue but soon realise that it’s not the end. So we walk to look for it, snaking around. Cop cars are parked along the side of the road, in an effort of protection for the queue against the traffic. We’re right up against the road, with only a skinny footpath to fit the swelling lines. The cops call it a shambles, but it’s still only 19:45. We finally find the end and move with it. It stops and starts. We make small talk, chatting about who we’re going to see and how mad the queues are. Punters that have express tickets are accused of queue jumping and booed back into line. The anticipation is palpable and everyone just wants to get in and dance or go and see Amon.
Thirty minutes later and we’re past the main entrance and we’re hit with another, equally long queue. Definitely should’ve picked up some more beers and feeling stupid for being so optimistic that we could get in earlier. We condense into the cordons, and I start to feel like cattle to the slaughter. I eye up those around me. Cigarettes are struggling to be rolled, I overhear complaints of massive downers after taking pills too soon. I could feel the despair pushing up against me as the crush commenced. It was cosy and I wouldn’t have felt so bad if the blokes around me didn’t decide to take advantage and arse grab while trying to pass it off as crush intimacy. Closest they’d been to females since last year’s Bloc, no doubt.
One chic takes the situation into her own hands, climbs onto her friend’s shoulders and starts yelling at security. She actually makes sense from what I can hear between the chanting and the booing. I chill out and wait, I barely need to walk and it feels like I’m floating in the sea of crowd.
Security, security, please! People can’t breathe, we’re being crushed.
This is a bit of over dramatisation I feel but it has the desired reaction. The security stop scanning and start taking tickets. We’re at the front now and wait to be herded into the weekend ticket queue. The guy hurriedly puts the wrist band around. My bag is searched and he tries to make a joke about confiscating my RedBull. I don’t laugh and protest that it’s not alcohol. He lets me through only to be scanned with two metal detectors which both beep but I’m not questioned. What’s going on? I don’t get this. They’re going through the actions without the right reactions. I’m through though, but should’ve brought my Welles. Wet Vans are not comfortable.
Elie heads off to catch the last of the Amon set in the Main Arena. He was billed to start at 9pm but bafflingly he started at 8:30. It was already 9:30, so Adam and I head to the Resident Advisor Hub. We get in quickly and Digital Mystikz is coming to the end of a stomping set. I’m feeling optimistic. This is going to be good. I start dancing to the jungle sounds and squeezing through the crowd to get closer. He finishes up to roaring applause and we head out to investigate the grounds. I drink a red bull. We talk to some chaps that we were behind in the queue. Turns out they ended up behind us and the security just opened the gates and let everyone through, he didn’t get a wrist band. The night should get better. It should. People are moving across the rocky grounds happy and joyous and pumped for a good night.
We look over at the queue for the Thai food van and are amazed at how popular it is. We head towards the Stubnitz only to soon realise that it’s not the Thai food people were after but everyone is trying to pile onto the Stubnitz. The only music in the air comes from the micro fair-ground they have set up and the brown noise bass coming from the Amon’s set in the Main Arena. The boat is a lot smaller than I expected. But then maybe it’s just my perspective. It’s quite far away.
So we wait for Elie. Adam has a burger. I take photos. We wonder what the Absolute vodka pod is for. We can’t get a shot there. I gaze at the sign. “We wanted to be the sky”, it flashes at me. I just want a vodka.
Elie comes rolling up with some chips and tells about the bad sound at Amon. “I couldn’t hear it, I was in the front row and I couldn’t hear it properly”. This is bad. It clearly hasn’t made a good impression. “I should’ve gone to see Shakleton because Amon’s sound was bad and I didn’t enjoy it.” Adam and I look at each and in sudden realisation agree that we shouldn’t have left the Residents Advisor Hub. The queue was massive to get back in. I’m insistent that I’m going to see Snoop. Once in a life time opp for me. Adam and Elie sneer and so we part. They head back to queue for the Resi Advisor Hub and I head back to the queue for Snoop.
I arrive in queue at 10:30. Snoop’s due on at midnight. I should be in on time. All I can hear is people talking shit all around me. It’s the drugs talking, you can see it in their eyes and teeth. It’s starting to grind. I put my headphones in and listen to Burial. It chills me out. But I’m still being crushed. I watch everyone through my glasses that are proving good people protection. Gum is being shredded to pieces. I make it in at 11am to see Doom in full flow but it all seems a bit subdued. I guess people are just waiting for Snoop. I manoeuvre towards the front to see if it’s any better closer and people are generally happy to let me through. I make it to the middle where the air is heavy with cigarette and spliff smoke. I crack another RedBull. It’s all I have at this time because there was no way I’m going swap my drink for my spot.
Doom finishes and there’s an announcement.
We're just having some technical difficulties. Go out, get some fresh air and we’ll be about 20 minutes.
Little did I know exactly the type of technical difficulties they were having. But 20 minutes isn’t bad. I can dig this. People start dancing to the beat of their own drum. I just stand and look at everyone around me. The guy behind me can’t stand up straight and frequently uses me as a lean to. A chic to the side holds onto the guy in front of her. He doesn’t seem to mind really.
12:30 rolls on. I hear a familiar tune but its unexpected. Apparat’s Walls comes onto the speakers and its then I realise it’s all over. I head out and on the way out my motives are questioned. I reply
I’m bailing, it’s not going to happen
Snoop’s never going to come on now. I blame Snoop. He’s probably just delaying it for show. Hyping up expectations. I’ve heard he’s done this before but I don’t want to not hear music. It’s been a full 2 hours since I heard live music, so it’s back to the Resi Advisor Hub for me where I’m hit with another queue. I’m towards the front of this queue but after 5 minutes I realise that no one’s going in at all. The security guard just shakes his head. People come out of the tent for a smoke but go back in. I can see space at the back. This is weird, just weird.
I check Twitter and start to see unofficial reports of Bloc half being shut down. This is not right. I feel a swell of people and they’re swarming out of the Main Arena. I text Adam and tell him its all over. He texts back:
This is tragic, they will let u guys in once this guy is finished
Apparently it’s all been shut down...Police cordons. Stubniz is done. Bad vibes.
Yeah we saw it got evacuated… when you come in, just to the right.
There’s no way I’m getting in there. They’ve officially cancelled… I’m by the meeting point…x
By that time I’d received the information from The Line of Best Fit; the most reliable source of information on the night. The tree was more like a plant beside a load of stacked shipping containers. Two people make their own beats. Others dance, more still join in and soon it’s a chorus of untamed beating.
My head throbs from smoke, RedBull, amateur beats and a swelling sense of disappointment. Boring, all told.
Written by Evie Macafee