Bristol’s very own club on a boat has been towed from its usual home at The Grove to the Albion Dry Dock next to the SS Great Britain for a major refurbishment.
Thekla has moved to the Dry Dock where it will sit for three months, to undergo a huge £1m refurbishment that will secure its future as one of the city’s most famous music venues.
Built in Germany in 1958, the venue has been an integral part of the Bristol music scene and year on year provides a fun and dynamic home for live music and entertainment.
The boat will have a new, steel offset hull welded into place around the whole of the existing hull.
Although Thekla undergoes regular, routine inspection and repair, a detailed survey showed that the existing hull is near the end of its life.
Martin Childs of the Albion Dock Company said: “We are very pleased to be undertaking works on the Thekla and so secure her long term future in Bristol.”
Over the years, owners DHP have faced fights when it comes to preserving the venue but continue to work hard to maintain its legacy.
Five years ago they funnelled £500,000 into revamping the boat and installed a £50,000 sound system the year after.
When the venue came under the threat of closure, DHP and Bristol’s music community rallied against the contractors, forcing them to rewrite their plans for closure.
“There’s a lot of love for Thekla in Bristol, around the country and worldwide,” says George Akins of DHP.
“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.”
Despite Thekla not standing tall in its usual spot, the music will keep on coming.
Meanwhile, Thekla Faraway on Small Street will host indie night Pressure every Thursday; Chadders takes control of rock, punk and metal at The Lock In every Friday; and Saturday night will be a night of guilty pleasures with Pop Confessional.
Read More: £1m overhaul to secure future of Thekla