Thekla is a cargo ship which houses a music venue of the same name, moored in the Mud Dock area of Bristol's Floating Harbour, England. Originally brought to Bristol as the Old Profanity Showboat, it was a late 1982 brainchild of novelist Ki Longfellow-Stanshall, the wife of Vivian Stanshall. The showboat was based on the idea of creating, owning, and running a theatre on a sea-going ship and using it to showcase music of every sort (limited only by the size of the hold), including cabaret, comedy, plays, musicals, and poetry events. The ship also contained an art gallery. During the 1990s, under new management, it was run as a rent-a-nightclub. The ship has now been returned to its original working name of Thekla.
DHP Family have been operating Thekla since 2006
To ensure the future of our iconic venue on a ship, Thekla, we are having to replace the whole of the grand old ship's hull. This is an expensive and complicated operation but will mean you'll be able to enjoy music on the Thekla for many more years to come. It's not something we'd expected to have to do, and it's costing in the region of £1m which would lead to closure of most venues of it's size. So to help fund this essential work £1 has been added on to your ticket purchase. Thanks for your help!
Level Access is incredibly difficult to provide but we welcome as many disabled people as we can and offer free Essential Companion tickets to enable those that are able to access the venue. Access Cards offer automatic entitlement to the free companion ticket.
Standing and Queueing
The nature of the venue means that standing is very common - seating may be provided upon request but good lines of sight to the stage cannot be guaranteed.
Wheelchair Access at Thekla is significantly limited due to the size and shape of the venue, and it’s previous life as a cargo ship. We do not recommend wheelchair users to go to the lower deck of the venue due to the number of stairs. We cannot assist in carrying any individuals or wheelchairs; please bring someone strong enough as your free pass if required (see below).
There is accessible Council-operated parking in front of the venue on The Grove. The live venue area of Thekla is in the hull of the ship and lift access is not possible. There is nowhere in the venue that avoids stairs, the shortest distance is to the balcony which is made up of 9 steps.
Access To Toilets
We do not have disabled toilet facilities, but will provide assistance - if needed - to use the existing toilets we have on the middle and top deck.
Given the nature of the venue we would discourage customers from bringing assistance dogs with them during shows and busy periods. We do however offer an essential companion concession in these instances.
Customers with accessibility difficulties who need a full time assistant in order to attend the event are eligible to purchase 2-for-1 tickets, in order to bring a personal assistant or carer to the event at no extra cost. To apply for a 2-for-1 ticket, please book a standard entry ticket and then email proof of eligibility through to [email protected]
Accessing Visual Information
For customers with difficulty accessing visual information our phone line can provide you with additional information to meet your needs,
Accessing Audible Information
For customers with difficulty accessing audible information pre visit feel free to use type talk to get in touch or any of the other communication methods via our website.