BRANDON Block is in a good place.
After his stint on Celebrity Big Brother last year, the superstar DJ and Ibiza legend has continued on the journey of self-discovery he embarked on through his own recovery from the demons that almost beat him in his darkest days. He has worked extensively helping people suffering from mental illness, addiction and homelessness and has just launched a new project called Happy Days which aims to help people take control and enable them to lead happier lives by challenging negative patterns of thinking and instead choose happiness.
In addition to this work he is preparing to launch a new festival in Hertfordshire this weekend called Strawberry Woods and has already kicked off the Ibiza season at Es Paradis where he has a residency. He will also be joining his friends at Clockwork Orange for another huge summer of parties both in Ibiza and the UK.
We caught up with him on the phone for a chat to find out more.
Firstly let’s talk about the Strawberry Woods festival that you are involved with. How did it all come about?
I have a friend Paul Webb who has a big farm in lovely fields and woods on Bovingdon airfield. It has a runway and lovely areas of tree lined fields. We spoke to Paul two years ago about his dream of having a festival. We had no idea the of the magnitude or the scale of what we would end up with but we all had a dream of cool bars, nice food, great soul and funk music and lots of activities for kids. So myself, Ali Jobe and Paul had various meetings and by chance I bumped into Roy Marsh who is a very old friend and was my agent at one time for many years. I’d completely forgotten he was involved in the very early festivals and we discussed the possibilities of him getting involved in the project and walked round the site. We both grinned from ear to ear and thus Strawberry Woods Festival was born!
Roy, Phil Beaven and the rest of us have been working tirelessly to build this incredible event which is going to be epic and will become part of the community in the years to come. We have many local businesses and a couple of local homeless charitie represented on site, as well as many kids workshops and activities. We have a tent for personal development and we have called in some my friends to speak and spend some time with us. It is sponsored by Yes Group London who are London’s foremost personal development monthly group. Tickets have sold fantastically well and we’re looking forward to an amazing weekend.
You have worked for the last seven years in mental health. How important is this to you and what is your current involvement? I know you have been inspired by Tony Robbins.
When I left the job I was drained both spiritually and mentally. I left a big void in my life and I felt there was still more I could achieve and wanted to share the message in a different environment. I came across a Tony Robbins event and it helped me discover a whole new world of self-improvement which resonated so much with me. It was not dis-similar to all the training I’d done and my own experience but it was just learning to harness it in a different way.
I’ve embraced this new found passion of goal mapping and I am now a practitioner. It’s a wonderful model by Brian Mayne and I loved his seminar so much I asked to become a teacher he very generously gave me a course. I’m planning a small workshop next weekend in Ibiza and then a full day seminar here and then another in Ibiza mid-July and a big three day one later this year. They are about evoking change, thinking better and achieving your dreams. In the last year I’ve achieved nearly all of my goals so I know it works.
You are an avid publisher of videos on social media where you share your ideas on a daily basis through your Happy Days project. Can you tell us about this?
Happy Days is a project we’ve started myself Neil Reid and Michelle Allen. We have many great advocates and speakers who are involved including Brian Mayne, Allan Khleynans and Karl Pearsall from Yes Group London. This will allow people to access videos and content to enhance their day enabling them to think better on a daily basis, improving their well-being and motivation. It’s a labour of love and is being very well received. I feel that after working in a health industry which is faulty, to be able to offer some guidance and to share our learning is wonderful. It’s about coaching people to help them be happier on a daily basis. We are planning a day seminar in Ibiza in July a seminar end of June and three day seminar later in the year, then after that retreats at various locations around the country. It’s all so good and exciting.
How important has the music been in your journey through life both in the good times and the more challenging times?
I think that we all have a place for music. Lots of us map our lives by music, emotion, memories, good times and bad times. Music has helped me many times in my life and will continue to do so. I’m producing music again with Ricky Morrison formerly of Blockster so it’s great to be working with him again. As the old song says ‘Music is my life, it helps me though the night, it’s the joyyyyy I have inside!’
You played Es Paradis opening last weekend in Ibiza in addition to holding seminars on the island. It must be like going home for you especially playing alongside Ibiza legends, your friends Clara Da Costa and Jason Bye?
So I was honoured to have been asked to play the opening of Es Paradis with Jason Bye and Clara Da Costa, two of my oldest friends. It is wonderful after all these years to still be able to play lovely music on the island where we have so many beautiful memories. We plan to make so many more.
Musically disco and funk are making a huge resurgence and I’m loving it! That’s where I grew up. So I have a Monday night residency there called What the Funk? Playing disco, house, disco edits, soulful house and nice grooves where we got together some of the best DJs and brands from the UK and Ibiza to add to some funk back into what I have always considered to be the most beautiful club on the island.
I’m planning a few seminars on the island this year to do with self improvement and goal mapping which is as I said is something I’ve become a practitioner in recently. It’s a fantastic model helping people to realise they’re dreams and aspirations.
The first of my seminars also takes place this weekend at 45’s bar in Playa d’en Bossa from 10am on Sunday. It will be a couple of hours taster. If you’d like to come please go to the Happy Days group on facebook and check the event.
Finally I have to ask you about Clockwork Orange. The resurgence of Danny Gould and Andy Manston’s amazing party has been incredible over the last few years and this summer looks to be one of the best yet. What’s it like to be still be involved all these years later and having seen first-hand from the beginning till now how important this party is to so many people?
I can tell you it feels amazing to still be involved in Clockwork and their ongoing success. They have done so well and to re-invent the brand in such a big way is incredible so hats off to them both. It makes me proud to see what they have achieved.
Find out more about Brandon Block’s Happy Days here.
For more information on Es Paradis Opening this weekend head here.
For more information on Strawberry Woods Festival head here.
For more information on Clockwork Orange Ibiza head here.