Block9 are set to debut a new immersive installation, IICON, at this week's Glastonbury festival. One of the collective’s co-founders has given DJ Mag the first details about the new stage.
Returning to the festival after Glastonbury’s fallow year, Block9 co-founders Gideon Berger and Stephen Gallagher have spent their time away from Worthy Farm working on the all-new IICON concept, which promises to be the duo's most ambitious installation yet.
"IICON is a giant, anonymised, 65ft head that represents both the single individual person and all of humanity at the same time" Berger told DJ Mag, "This giant monument to the self and humanity has been anonymised by a giant block that contains an LED wall entranced by the image of itself, and by the screens. It represents the sight when you look across the street and you see every single member of the public staring into their telephones at the same time.
"IICON is a sinister monument to the terrifying realities of this digital, post-truth age that we find ourselves in," he added, "It's fucking massive and it's the biggest thing that we've ever attempted to do. It's not just a static, sculptural object or an architectural intervention — it's a massive, immersive 6D sound arena and a giant video mapped sculptural object."
Previous years at Glastonbury festival have seen installations from Block9 that include the infamous NYC Downlow and London Underground, but Gideon said the colossal IICON has been the product of "so many late nights, so much blood sweat and tears, screaming, arguments... everything."
Block9 will take over two fields at this year's festival, with IICON holding a capacity of 15,000. "When things get big sometimes they lose their magic,“ Berger added. “It's scary to expand but we just had too many big ideas.
"The little pockets of Block9 magic still exist in places like the NYC Downlow, and the Meat Rack for those intimate experiences. I think that because proportionately everything has scaled up so much it still isn't going to feel like a main stage."
Larry Heard, Fatima & Paul Cut, Laurel Halo and Kode9 will all perform on the IICON stage. Check out the rest of the Block9 line-up here.
After Glastonbury, IICON will be travelling to cities like London, New York, Los Angeles, Shanghai and Sydney, with a new line-up for each city.