PULP gets PULPed at BLOC

2017 March 18

Dates: Friday 13th - Sunday 15th May
Location: Butlins, Minehead
Team: Jonathon Beattie (photographer), Ben Parish (Video/Audio),
Zoe Eliot-Brown (Video/Interviewer) & Holly Dicker (Co-ordinator)


Across three days and seven items of recording equipment the PULP Press team worked hard and partied harder at this year’s Bloc Festival. Set amidst the surreal surroundings of “Happy Family” Holiday Resort, Butlins in Minehead, the incomparable line up consisting of some of the biggest and best names in the underground dance scene should have equated to the three days of unadulterated music mayhem. Unfortunately the sanitised surroundings and sheer size of the site (we felt) inhibited the festival atmosphere that should have prevailed. By Sunday however this had lifted. We were no longer on a warped middle class seaside vacation, dining in Pizza Hut and playing arcade games before raving in the bingo hall – but at a festival, complete with attempted BBQs, frisbies and piles of expended bodies. A good time was definitely had by all. Here is our BLOC 2009 festival diary:


Friday 13th
“Have you heard of Dubstep”

Like most festival-fairing journeys, ours was lengthy and erosive. After three hours on a train and another three on a coach we finally arrived, weary but not defeated. We settled into the chalet and waited for the rest our party to arrive… Friday nights was dubstep night with Bristol’s finest Peverelist, Appleblim and Pinch competing against arguably the more renown Digital Mystikz – Coki, Plastician and Rusko in the Tec and Red stages.

We settled on the former, swapping over to catch the last half hour of Kode 9 playing a surprising jungle finale. We rounded off the evening with a reliable D ‘n’ B set from Ed Rush & Optical. The plan was to shift over to Jack stage for Martyn and whatever else we could handle, but with a one-in-one-out situation and no real hub of post-music hedonism, we had no choice but to retire to the chalet.

Saturday 14th
Swimming Pools and  Sinking Fools

We had to try out the pool. That was definitely the highlight of the day - although there weren’t  nearly as many spangled people about as we would have liked. Music-wise Saturday began really well with an unexpected union of reggae giants Scientist and Lee “Scratch” Perry.


However today was all about Aphex Twin. To many, the whole festival was about Aphex Twin – we learnt the hard way after exiting Clark to discover the rest of the festival in a tailback outside the mainstage. After some strategic aversion tactics we found ourselves at the front of the stage just as the legendary bedroom producer’s computerised introduction began. It is difficult to judge how suitable was his alliance with German sound artist, Florian “Hecker”, deciding to abandon the set halfway through for Modeselektor and Beardyman, only to be faced with the same trying predicament: another queue. Otto Von Schirach was the final cringing disappointment to an all-round frustrating evening.


Sunday 15th
Welcome to Bloc the FESTIVAL

It had taken two days to surmount the sterilised Butlins backdrop, but when we did, we did it in style – the PULP team let down more than just hair. We spent the day rolling about in the grass with the few choosing to do the same before entering the main festival site.We decided to keep things simple and hug the Red stage and surrounding area for the rest of the evening. Mad Professor warmed up the crowd before 2 Bad Mice took over the decks,


stepping up the tempo and setting the Old School Mash-up bar high for Skream & Benga, 4 Hero and Altern8 to follow. Here’s where the memory starts to falter. Thank god we had the video camera to fill in the gaps. Amen-bashing, afro-sporting, merchandise-launching Bizzy B is the last hazy recollection strenuously extracted from the thoroughly exhausted mind of your PULP reporter. Bloc, we salute you!


Bloc Highlights: Clark, Mad Professor, swimming, Appleblim
Bloc Lowlights: Abandoning Aphex before the set kicked off, missing Altern8 (or so we thought, until looking over Sunday’s video tape), Digital Mystikz and failing to visit the Jack:Block stage…

Words: Holly Dicker, Photos: Jonathon Beattie
Bloc 2009 Photo Album

One Response leave one →
  1. 2017 March 22
    zoe elliott-brown permalink

    lol fuckin brilliant!!!

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