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Glastonbury festival’s queer party space Block9 returns for 2022: Here’s what you need to know

After a three-year wait, Block9 is returning to Glastonbury with two fields and a whole host of late-night parties celebrating queer culture to see you through to sunrise

By Emily Maskell

Words: Emily Maskell; Image: Allan Gregorio

Block9 is set to return to Glastonbury for its 15th year from Thursdsy 23 June – Sunday 26 June, celebrating underground music, queer culture and a brand new collaboration with Notting Hill Carnival.

As the first permanent queer space at a British festival, Block9 is the go-to spot for late-night parties, debauchery and drag. For 2022, Block9 is back with two main fields, Block9 East and Block9 West, which house multiple installations and music venues described as “musical utopias.”

In a press release announcing Block9’s Glastonbury return, co-founder Berger says: “This year, Block9 is paying homage to the philosophy and spirit of Castlemorton. Thirty years on, we continue to fight for the utopian dream… of music, community, and progressive inclusivity free from state control and corporate profiteering.

“Today, Block9 provides a festival platform for a new generation of artists and DJ’s upholding the very same political principles at the core of dance music both in 1992 and 2022,” Berger continues. 

Here’s just some of what you can expect from Block9 at Glastonbury festival 2022…


Block9 West sees the most highly anticipated comeback of 2022 with queer nightlife institution NYC Downlow and its backroom counterpart, Meat Rack. Additionally, for one year only, Genosys Soundsystem will honour the legacy of music as a form of political protest.

NYC Downlow 

Image: Matthew Walter

Described as Block9’s pièce de résistance, the NYC Downlow is a multi-roomed temporary club space housed inside a life-size, film-set replica of a seedy New York warehouse that will host DJs from across the international queer underground.

NYC Download highlights include: a homecoming from the Godfather of UK Garage Todd Edwards, rave royalty Grace returns to her NYC Download residency and Honey Dijon bringing authentic New York City realness. 

Also at the NYC Downlow, performances from Thursday to Sunday night are structured around themes – from kink to Club Tropicana to Vegas – culminating in a closing night party following Diana Ross on The Pyramid Stage. There’s only one theme for this closing night, and that’s big: big looks, big hair, whatever you do, do it big.

Meat Rack

Image: Egle Trezzi

At the back of the NYC Downlow, you will find The Meat Rack with the ultimate sleazy homo-centric line-up.

Meat Rack highlights include:

Ukrainian house supremo Alinka, House music’s New York veteran vocalist Mandel Turner and future heavyweight newcomer Tom Jay.

Genosys Soundsystem 

The Genosys outdoor arena was created to explore the birth of electronic dance music and its lasting legacy and this year it celebrates the vital role of music as a form of political protest by marking the 30th anniversary of Castlemorton.

Genosys Soundsystem highlights include: South London techno heroine Ok Williams will be making her Block9 debut, Block9 veteran and infamous House purist Brawther is playing and co-founder of queer nightlife collective MARICAS, Barcelona’s ISAbella joins to tear up the dancefloor.


Image: Martin Perry

Next door to Block9 West, Block9 East will host IICON, a monument to our digital age. Also, Block9 is hosting the collaboration between Notting Hill Carnival and Glastonbury that will feature Notting Hill’s finest selectors and DJs alongside The Mangrove Steelband at Block9 East’s home base.


IICON is an immersive audio-visual arena taking the form of a colossal, anonymised head – a pseudo-religious monument to the terrifying new realities emerging in our digital, post-truth age.

IICON highlights include: rising star Shygirl combines hyper-real electronic music with her high fashion-cum-performance art, Hercules and Love Affair showcase tracks from their brand new album in a live performance created especially for IICON and Lsdxoxo leads the new wave of techno artists blurring the boundaries between ghetto house, hardcore, electro and techno.