Glastonbury’s Block9 in photos: raising the bar for electronic music stage production

Glastonbury’s Block9 in photos: raising the bar for electronic music stage production

Glastonbury Festival returned last weekend from 26th-30th June, with over 200,000 people descending on Worthy Farm near Pilton in Somerset.

While the festival’s main stages might boast the biggest capacity, it’s become increasingly clear in recent years that many at Glastonbury spend the vast proportion of their time amongst the dedicated dance music areas, continuing the development of a strong history of electronic music on the farm.

Exploring the intersection between art, music, theatre and politics, Block9, situated at the entrance to Glastonbury’s South East Corner, has long been the jewel in the crown of the festival’s much-loved late night area for underground dance music. Despite a line-up boasting the likes of Honey Dijon, Midland, Goldie, Roni Size, Smokin Jo, Francois K, and a Bicep CHROMA AV set, the standout from this year’s Block9 was simply how the team continued to raise the bar for conceptual stage production in electronic music.

This year, Block9 welcomed the triumphant return of its Genosys stage after a five-year hiatus — an imposing dystopian tower block with guttural sound programmed to explore the birth of analogue electronic music. IICON also returned after debuting in 2019, with its huge, looming, fully projection mapped head — which the team describe as “a pseudo-religious monument to the terrifying new realities emerging in our digital, post-truth age” — continuing to develop on an already distinct visual identity.

At the back of the Block9 area, inside a life-sized replica of a New York meatpacking district warehouse space, lies NYC Downlow — now in its 17th year — as well as its expanded second room, The Meat Rack. Opening for longer than ever with an additional day party this year, an hours-long queue snakes from its door and around the back of the building from start to finish for the five days that it’s open.

“We all had a great year,” explains Block9 co-founder Gideön Berger. “Personally, I find it really hard to party with what’s happening in Gaza right now, but because we are raising money for various charity’s including Medical Aid For Palestinians, it felt like we were kinda doing something worthwhile, you know, not just escapism and hedonism. I mean hedonism and escapism can be useful things if they are recharging the soul and spirit for returning to real life when the festival is over, I guess.”

Check out the photos below from Block9 at this year’s Glastonbury Festival.

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