Thekla has been revealed as one of just five live music venues nationally to be up for the honour of Grassroots Venue: Spirit Of The Scene honour at the Music Week Awards. Created in collaboration with the Music Venue Trust, the award aims to recognise the vital contribution that grassroots venues under 500 capacity make to the music industry.
The winner will be announced at this year’s awards ceremony at Battersea Evolution on May 6. For the first time the winner will be determined solely by a public online vote. Voting closes midday 2 March.
Voting here www.musicweekawards.com/grassrootsvote
The iconic floating boat music venue last year marked 35 years as a staple of Bristol’s thriving music scene with a three day anniversary festival showcasing acts from across the south west of England.
Owner DHP Family invested £1million for an essential refurbishment which included a complete new hull to secure its future for the next 50 years.
Thekla general manager Alex Black said: “Bristol is blessed with a vibrant music scene and Thekla wouldn’t be the venue it is today without our loyal customers. Being nominated for this grassroots venue is a true testament to that.
“It isn’t always plain sailing for us though, a couple of years ago we were running our #savethekla campaign to help raise awareness of a potential threat from a property development nearby. Fortunately we had a really strong response from the people of Bristol as well as from international artists. It’s great to know that Thekla still has a place in everyone’s hearts, no matter how frequently they come aboard. To win the award really would be the icing on the cake to an epic year!”
As well as programming 150 gigs in 2019 despite spending three months in dry dock, Thekla also makes an important contribution to the local community. Profits from a Silent Disco were donated to local charity Caring in Bristol and a food drive for donations at its weekly club night Pressure has seen hundreds of canned goods donated to the Julian Trust night shelter.
A film was recently released featuring never seen before footage of the herculean effort it took to save Thekla.
Up to 50 workers in the Albion Dockyard battled around the clock seven days a week to give the world-famous party boat a brand new steel hull in record time. A bucket list venue for many touring artists and a platform for local emerging talent, the Thekla is a beloved landmark of Bristolians and tourists alike.
100 tonnes of steel and three tonnes of weld wire later, their mammoth efforts saw Thekla returning in shipshape fashion to its long-term berth in Bristol’s Floating Harbour.
Bristol legend, DJ and producer Roni Size, a regular on the boat, shares in the film what Thekla means to him. “I hope it outlives me. Long may it last.”
Voting closes midday on Monday March 2.