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Bloc Weekender: New Festival

A new cutting-edge electronic music weekender will take place in the UK at the end of March.

Dance music has always been about living for the weekend.

And whilst the hard dance and soulful house communities have built their community around regular weekend rave-ups in holiday camps across Britain, underground electronica and techno fans enjoy no such annual escape.
Until now.

Bloc Weekender

Bloc Weekender, which takes place 23rd - 25th March is aimed solely at underground techno and electronic purists, and will take place at Pontin's Holiday Centre in Hemsby, Norfolk.

"We went to Exit festival in Serbia, came back and realised that there wasn't a single festival in the UK that's ran through the night, offers proper accommodation and, most importantly, features independent, credible dance music," said Alex Benson, one of the organisers behind the event.

Bloc Weekender has grown out of Alex and George Hull's Brighton club night Bloc.

Humble Beginnings

"We first started throwing parties in a very dingy attic near a river in Norwich," explained George.

"We were so young we got ID'd when we tried to set stuff up.

"Nothing ever worked, all our records were scratched and most people playing were too shambolically drunk to speak.

"But the important thing was the place was heaving and everyone was dancing."

Since then Bloc has grown out of its humble beginnings and is about to become its own mini-festival.

Three Arenas

There will be three arenas catering for techno, electro, drum & bass and dubstep fans, and DJs and live acts appearing over the three days includes Luke Slater, Surgeon, Autechre, Andrea Parker, Plastician, TwoLoneSwordsman, Alex Smoke, Billy Nasty, Cursor Minor, Vector Lovers and Silicon Scally.

Top Leeds club night Technique will also be celebrating their sixth birthday at Bloc.


"Our line-up is very underground but that's not a negative thing," said Alex.

"Our festival is not dictated by marketing or flavour-of-the-month features in fashion magazines, but by real dedicated electronic music fans.

"People respond to an authentic, heartfelt event - look at the recent Warehouse Project in Manchester - over 2000 people turned out to see Autechre.

"Just because a lot of the acts who are appearing at Bloc aren't on the mainstream radar it doesn't mean that the demand's not there.

"All the best moments in the history of dance music have happened on the underground."

Tickets to Bloc Weekender cost £105, which is more than reasonable considering it includes private self-catered accommodation and a killer line-up.

A brief history of weekenders

• Weekenders trace their roots back to the mods and rockers' bank holiday rave-ups on the South Coast in the 1960s.

• Soul boys were the first to start holding weekend parties in seaside holiday camps.

• By the 1990s the idea had been franchised by dance music promoters.

• The Tidy Trax community is built around its regular weekenders.

• The long-running Southport Weekender is a chance for house heads to meet up.