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9 July 2012, 12:19
Steve Reich was set to share the weekend stage with Snoop Dogg and Gary Numan before the wet weather sparked crowd safety concerns and the audience were evacuated.
Steve Reich fans have been left disappointed after he was forced to shorten his performance at this weekend’s Bloc festival. The festival, which has been held since 2007, is one of the UK’s largest electronic music events.
The American composer, famous for his works such as Clapping Music and Cello Counterpoint, arrived on stage half an hour later than planned, and performed a shortened set before the festival was shut down in the early hours of Saturday morning. This was due to concerns over crowd safety caused by the heavy rain.
Confusion from festival-goers prompted rumours of fatalities on Twitter but the Metropolitan Police have confirmed there were no injuries at the site. There were also concerns that tickets were over-allocated, leading to chaos in the crowd.
The festival organisers said on their website: “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.”
As well as sets from Steve Reich and Snoop Dogg, Bloc 2012 was due to include performances from Battles, Gary Numan, Ellen Allien and a headline set from Orbital before it was forced to shut down. All ticket holders will receive a refund.
Hopefully Reich fans will not have to wait too long for a further set from the composer – he is currently composing a new work, Radio Rewrite, inspired by the music of Radiohead, which will be premiered at London’s Southbank Centre in March 2013.
Reich is well-known for his collaborations with electronic and rock artists on the festival stage. In 2009 he performed at the Manchester International Festival with German electronic band Kraftwerk.