Refurbished SWX Bristol to open this autumn following arson attack

"Our vision is to create a 21st Century club and gig venue which music fans and artists will embrace for the next 50 years"

SWX Bristol will reopen in September after being refurbished due to an arson attack.

The historic Bristol venue, which launched in 1964 with The Beach Boys and The Faces, has new bar areas, toilets and has retained the feature of a sprung dance floor.

Sugababes will kick off their first UK headline tour in more than 20 years (with original line-up of Siobhan Donaghy, Mutya Buena and Keisha Buchanan) at the venue on October 16. SWX Bristol officially reopens on September 9.

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Other acts confirmed to play the reopened venue this autumn include Banks, Animal Collective, Poppy, Joey Bada$$, Black Midi, Julia Jacklin, Half Moon Run and The Horrors. An international DJ line-up is to be announced to underpin SWX’s FarFetched and Codec weekend club events.

Dominic Madden, CEO and co-founder of Electric Group which owns the venue, said: “I’m delighted to announce the reopening of our beloved SWX music venue. SWX has been an integral part of the musical fabric of Bristol since the 1960’s and we are very excited to share our exciting vision and reimagination of SWX following the devastating arson attack of June 21 [2021] which so badly damaged our venue.

“We have used this opportunity to reimagine and upgrade the venue (for example making sure that the venue is more DDA compliant such as installing a disability compliant lift and generally making the main room far more accessible), whilst retaining many of the things that are so loved.

“Our vision is to create a 21st Century club and gig venue which music fans and artists will embrace for the next 50 years. I would like to thank all of those in Bristol who have provided so much support to our vision of reopening SWX in the face of many obstacles.”

See images of the redesigned venue below:

Main room looking towards stage, SWX Bristol
Main room looking towards stage, SWX Bristol. CREDIT: Design at Source

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Stage 2 upstairs room, SWX Bristol
Stage 2 upstairs room, SWX Bristol. CREDIT: Design at Source

The damage to the venue last July came less than a week before the venue was set to reopen its doors for the first time since the start of the COVID pandemic.

SWX was due to hold a reopening party on July 19, 2021 as all legal restrictions on live events were set to be removed.

Meanwhile, the bosses behind London’s reopened KOKO spoke to NME recently about the improvements made and what it means for music fans, artists and culture in the city.

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