Now it's been a long time since I enjoyed some good old electronic music, so when the chance to go to BLOC presented itself, I jumped at the opportunity, taking my younger brother Alex along for a treat. Loading up the car with enough food and drink to last us the weekend, we drove down to the Butlins Resort in Minehead where the three-day event was being held.
This was in fact the fifth year that BLOC had taken place. And it sold out in just six weeks, earlier than ever before. Not surprising either with an impressive line-up including the likes of Aphex Twin, Beardyman, LFO and Moderat, to name but a few.
Driving into the Butlins Resort, the atmosphere was electric with everyone already partying and making friends. We located our chalet where some of my brother's mates were also staying and they warmly welcomed us with a nice vodka and lemonade. We all sat around chatting, talking about the people we were going to see. Aphex was on everyone's lists, naturally. And I was hell bent on seeing LFO, Kenny Ken and Beardyman.
Of course, accommodation was included in the ticket price, and there were loads of facilities on-site with five main arenas to explore and a very impressive line-up that has BLOC firmly established as the UK's leading electronic music festival.
Leaving our chalet, we went off to see Beardyman and listen to his beat boxing skills. I know many people opted out of going to see him, worried he'd just be doing a 'stand-up' set. But actually, he put on a pretty darn amazing show with track after track of beatbox looping and sampling to create a whole host of danceable tracks for the crowd to enjoy. And enjoy it we did! I'd give him a 9/10.
Running to the other stage we got to see Apparat on the new Red:Bloc sound system. A hugely deserved 10/10 and I'm sure anyone who was there would agree, it was awesome.
Other headliners on the Friday night included Magnetic Man - something I got pretty bored of quite quickly and I'm sure others would agree. Dub Step has never really been my cup of tea anyway, so I'm afraid it's a 5/10.
LFO's Mark Bell came next and it was absolutely spot on. In fact, I didn't stop dancing or smiling. Techno had never been so enjoyable. A definite 10/10 for the set. And 11/10 for my brother dancing with me. The strobe and lighting effects were awesome.
After very little sleep, Saturday's musical offerings came thick and fast. We had a good laugh in the small dome tent watching AGT Rave Cru (don't ask me the names of the different arenas - I can't remember) and dancing along to some old skool classics and rave tunes.
We also got to see a little of Mary Anne Hobbs before L-Vis 1990 came onto the stage of Red:Bloc. Both reasonable sets but not really my kind of thing. There was only really one focus for me and that was Aphex in the main arena with Moderat beforehand giving a 10/10 performance. When Aphex finally did grace the stage, he didn't disappoint. His set was eclectic beats with some pretty awesome visuals. It's a 9/10 from me, although I'm sure not everyone would agree with many arguing he wasn't at his best.
After Aphex, this tired 30-something had to take her tired feet to bed. And sadly, I couldn't stick around on Sunday as work beckoned on Monday morning. So I didn't even get to see Kenny Ken, Laurent Garnier or Billy Nasty on the Sunday night. Gutted. Maybe next year? And I'll definitely take the Monday off.
Overall, a 9/10 for an amazing weekend. BLOC is definitely on my social calendar. To find out more visit www.blocweekend.com.
A special mention goes out to Chan (lovely company), Jack (your hair is amazing), Lewis (for the techno arm pumps and smarmy smiles), Dave (for the fizzy sweets and good vibes) and my brother for putting up with his sad, older sister (and for being easy to spot in the crowd for being so tall!) See you next year BLOC!