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Bristol’s ship venue Thekla to close for three months of repair work

By | Published on Tuesday 2 April 2019


Bristol’s ship-based music venue Thekla is to be floated off for a £1 million refurbishment in June. This follows the discovery that its hull is in need of major repair work. Built in 1958, the ship marks its 35th anniversary as a music venue at the beginning of May, and will close a month later while work to repair and update it is carried out.

“There’s a lot of love for Thekla in Bristol, around the country and worldwide”, says George Akins of DHP Family, which has owned the venue since 2006. “Both music fans and bands like Florence And The Machine, White Denim, Mumford & Sons, Ellie Goulding and many others who have played there over the years have taken part in some great nights. We’re committed to preserving that heritage and that’s why we’re getting the new hull fitted – we need to make sure that Thekla continues to be a great night out for the next 50 years”.

Thekla’s future was placed in doubt in 2017 due to a nearby housing development. The outcome of this remains unclear, although it is hoped that DHP and developers of the Redcliffe Wharf property scheme can work to mitigate the likelihood of noise complaints from any future new residents.

The need for the upcoming repair work was uncovered earlier this year when the ship was moved to the nearby, recently re-opened Albion dry dock. It will return there to have the maintenance work completed.

No date has been given for the re-opening of the venue, but it is expected that the repair and refurbishment work will take around three months.