Organisers for London’s disastrous Bloc Festival announced that they’ve gone into administration this week, just days after they were forced to cancel their inaugural London event following crowd safety issues and near chaos.
“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,” Bloc said in a statement posted on their website.
“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,” they added. (http://www.blocweekend.com/)
The announcement prompted FACT magazine to advise ticket holders to demand their money back immediately, adding ‘hopefully you can get your money back’.
FACT reader Luk Man Hon stressed, however that urgent action is wise.
“Basically, my advice is not to wait, call the bank immediately and initial a chargeback on the purchase,” he recommended.
“Your bank might tell you to wait 15 days for the company to refund, just refuse outright, telling them that Baselogic (Bloc) is attempting to refund all tickets, and you believe they don’t have the funds to do so.” (Fact Mag: http://bit.ly/S3FU2O)
While Bloc vowed to ‘establish the facts’ of what went wrong, ticketing company Crowdsurge issued a statement denying responsibility and said their e-ticket system had worked without problem.
"The number of tickets sold for the event on Friday 6 Jul was 15,796 - a figure far short of the 18,000 capacity placed by the festival organisers and the 30,000 posted by London Pleasure Gardens. Throughout the process Baselogic controlled the amount of tickets sold and this was at the discretion of Baselogic, not CrowdSurge",” they said.
"CrowdSurge were advised to 'shut down' scanners at 21.27pm on Friday 6 Jul 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,” they stressed.
The presumably legally approved statements contrasted markedly in tone from messages posted on Twitter and Facebook on Friday night, as angry revellers complained of frightening levels of over-crowding and violent thugs making matters worse.
“I work at LPG (the festival venue company London’s Pleasure Gardens) and tickets shouldn't have been sold if they couldn't cater for the amount they had sold, but there was other reasons to why we had to close,” she wrote on the venue page hours after the shut down.
”Small minded people who wanted to fight and cause hectic behaviour on-site.”
“So maybe if somebodys (sic) face didn't get sliced & 1 of our main acts didn't have over 200 people jumping fencing to get to him you all would still be partying now :) #justsaying,” she added.
Fellow facebook commentator Esther Ainsworth described the circumstances as ‘totally shocking’.
“This was like a social experiment in public tolerance, so many hostile visitors being controlled like cattle,” she wrote.
Skrufff chatted to Alex from Bloc before the event and raised the issue of over-crowding due to the horse-shoe shape of the space though Alex was clearly confident no issues would arise, and responded irreverently throughout the whole interview. In hindsight, of course his comments now appear insensitive though Bloc assured Skrufff this week that they’ll be responding imminently.
“We can't comment just yet but we will follow this up with you when we can. Very best. Team Bloc,” they promised (http://bit.ly/LVeM0Q Bloc Festival- EDM is for ‘Extraordinarily Digressional Murmurers’)
http://bit.ly/NkzDfZ (Bloc Weekend 2012 - queue for main gate)
Jonty Skrufff: http://listn.to/JontySkrufff