Twenty years ago, a sound engineer with no sailing experience snapped up a 2541 ton 80-meter-long fishing vessel, determined to turn it into the greatest nomadic music venue the world would ever see.
Thirty years before this, MS Stubnitz was being built in the then German Democratic Republic with four industrial-sized freezers to accommodate several thousand tons of Baltic fish. It was one ugly piece of metal but served as an integral food supply for the GDR population. When the Berlin wall collapsed and Germany reunified, state assets were liquidated and the Stubnitz was being sold for scrap.
Swiss-born Urs Blaser (aka Blo) spent the majority of the 80s seeking out disused industrial space across Europe to hold the greatest parties. Exhausted by the continual setting up and knocking down process, MS Stubnitz provided the perfect solution: a ready-made venue able to shift from dock to dock around the European coastline.
Its transition from packing in several tons of fish to being packed with up to 700 partygoers has not exactly been smooth sailing. But brave purchaser Urs Blaser had the foresight to turn the ship into a venue for cultural exchange. His endeavours paid off big time and he has been hosting an eclectic mix of arts and music events for the past 20 years.
So far, the vessel has docked and partied in 15 different ports in over 10 European countries.
Gutted out, fish stench removed, and fitted with not one but TWO concert halls, it now serves the seas as a moving music and performance art venue like no other. This July, it docks for the very first time in London to host an impressive line-up of artists that Bloc 2012 festival has on offer, including Hype Williams, Onetrix Point Never, Nathan Fake and Joy Orbison.
Take a look at this fantastic short documentary about the vessel especially for Bloc 2012.
And be sure to check out the dream line-up Bloc Festival 2012 has on offer.