Crowd safety fears force organisers to cancel Bloc

Crowd safety and management fears forced the organisers of Bloc to cancel the festival on Saturday morning, as thousands of fans travelled to London Pleasure Gardens to see Snoop Dogg and Orbital.

At 00.45am, following advice from the Metropolitan Police, Bloc was subject to a controlled shut down. Egress was managed by the police and the site was clear by 2am.

The decision to cancel the event’s second day was taken to ensure public safety as a measure against the potential for more overcrowding.

Over the weekend, Bloc’s organisers released the following statements: “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.

“We are currently gathering information about Friday night’s events. We are also working to ensure that everyone will be refunded for their tickets. Please bear with us while we do this.

“Thanks to all of you, as well as the many artists and crew who travelled across the world to come to Bloc – we are so sorry that we couldn’t deliver the experience we had planned. And thanks so much to the event control, security, stewards, police and public who worked together to ensure that no one came to harm during the peaceful evacuation. This is far and away the most important result of the night.

“For those of you who are frustrated and angry – we hear you. For those sending love and support – thank you.”

This was the first time that the annual festival, which began in 2007, took place in London.

Speaking about the incident, Garfield Hackett and Debs Armstrong, co-directors of London Pleasure Gardens (LPG), said: “We are hugely disappointed that Bloc Festival had to close early last night and has been cancelled today. We are fully investigating what happened and will provide further information when we are in a position to do so. We thank our staff for dealing with the issue in a manner which ensured that the site was cleared safely.”

The BT River of Music Africa stage, which will be using a completely different site layout and is not affected by the same issues, will be going ahead at the venue as planned on July 21-22.