The future of legendary Bristol venue Thekla is under threat


The future of popular Bristol venue Thekla could be under threat after plans for a nearby residential development were unveiled.

The floating club first opened in 1984 and has previously hosted gigs by some of the biggest artists to have emerged from Bristol, including Massive Attack and Portishead.

But the intimate venue, which is moored in the Mud Dock area of Bristol’s Floating Dock, is now under threat after plans were unveiled for a residential development at the nearby Redcliffe Wharf, including the development of affordable housing, offices and leisure space.


If Bristol City Council’s planning committee give the green light to the development at a meeting tomorrow (November 8), it is feared that noise control regulations could force the venue to shut its doors for the final time.

A online campaign has now been launched to save the venue’s future, receiving backing from the likes of DJ Yoda and Reverend & The Makers.

Posting on Twitter, the official account for Thekla wrote: “Our beloved ship is under threat from proposed residential developments across the harbour in Redcliffe. Across the UK, an estimated 35% of grassroots music venues closed down between 2007 and 2015, many due to issues like this. Let’s not let this happen to Thekla.”


Speaking to the Bristol Post, Mark Davyd of the Music Venue Trust said: “Sensible and adequately planned residential developments near to grassroots music venues like the Thekla mean that residents and music lovers can happily co-exist.

“That outcome starts at the planning application stage when a good developer recognises the cultural value of the existing music venue and takes steps to protect it.

“Recognising the existence of an iconic music venue like Thekla starts with a thorough environmental impact study that specifically understands the noise in the area.”