Saturday, July 07, 2012

Cocked Bloc: Festival dissolves in confusion

It sounded like a lovely idea: take over the Pleasure Gardens in Victoria Docks, London. Get a load of acts, from Snoop to Battles. Have some on boats, and some on dry land.

That'd be a great festival, right?

Today's message from Bloc suggests things didn't pan out:

By now everyone will have heard that Bloc 2012 was closed due to crowd safety concerns.

We are all absolutely devastated that this happened, but the safety of everyone on site was paramount.

Given the situation on the ground, we feel that it was the right decision to end the show early.

Bloc will not open on Saturday 7th July so please don’t come to the site.

Stand by for full information on refunds.
By most accounts, they're lucky that they're only facing a financial disaster, as last night went badly, badly wrong. Dummymag have done a great job of tracking how things fell apart.

Police closed down the festival at a quarter to one this morning, as too many people turned up:
The problems seemed to stem from a confusion over ticketing, reportedly handled by the extremely unfortunately named company Crowdsurge. One person we contacted, who wishes to remain nameless told us “there was a shambles getting in when it opened. No one seemed to have the right ticket, and security didn’t know the correct ones.”

Blogger Jamila Scott told us that by later on, this confusion had resulted in “two-hour” queues, so long that people burst over the fence. “People surged toward the front and jumped over the barriers by the toilets. There was then a stampede, with scores of people jumping over. Security went insane, screaming and shouting to try and stop it. Eventually though, they gave up and let anyone in.” She reported that no-one had checked her ticket.
There seems to be confusion over whether there had been over-selling of tickets, although once people stop having their tickets checked that becomes a moot point.

A massive crush of people, security losing control, and water. We're lucky we're writing about a festival error. I hope the Health & Safety Executive will be starting an investigation.

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