Epigram News Team
The cargo ship and music venue Thekla has been found stuck on the River Avon, blocking the entrance in and out of Bristol by boat.
Bristol’s beloved party-boat has been found lodged in the River Avon this morning, after it was returning to its usual site in the Mud Dock area following repairs.
Events are due to take place at the venue on the week commencing 21 June, in line with the government’s easing of lockdown.
Some claim Thekla had been docked peacefully to one side but riot officers from Avon & Somerset Police said it had become aggressive and charged at it, causing it to get stuck.
The blockage comes just a few days after the ultra-large container ship Ever Given was re-floated in the Suez Canal having held up global supply chains for six days
One local resident at Bristol’s Harbourside this morning, told Epigram: ‘I know all those health experts were talking about a ‘Bristol variant’ but I didn’t expect it to be this.’
Thekla’s blockage has sparked widespread concern for student life in Bristol in the run-up to 21 June, if the venue’s events are eventually cancelled.
Maggie Oxbow-Taylor, a fourth year Medical student, told Epigram: ‘I really worry for these first years. After a year of not knowing Thekla, they may never experience it right into the summer.’
‘Think about that: a whole generation of culturally illiterate students who haven’t known Thekla Thursdays’
‘Think about that: a whole generation of culturally illiterate students who haven’t known Thekla Thursdays. It begs the question: can they really count themselves as Bristol students?’
The situation has also caused issues for this week’s ‘Kill the Bill’ demonstration, the fifth to have happened in Bristol in just two weeks, due to the effect on city’s supply of daffodils.
A major supply of daffodils is due to be heading into Bristol by boat before Saturday.
One protestor, who wished to remain anonymous, explained they were ‘really worried about the supply of daffodils coming into Bristol’ and were concerned their protest ‘will have little to no impact if the protest can’t use daffodils as projectiles to aim at police.’
Ben Bloch, News Editor for Bristol Tab, who has been filming recent ‘Kill the Bill’ demonstrations in Bristol, told his followers on Twitter this morning that he plans to film the blockage ‘for as long as it takes’.
‘I’m going to go to the actual source of the River Avon to livestream a live stream,’ he said, ‘That’ll get me my Pulitzer.’
In response to the blockage, Bristol SU are preparing a ‘virtual boat party’ using the platform V-Fairs, the same that was used to host last year’s virtual Freshers’ Fair.
An SU spokesperson said: ‘We’re aware of Thekla being stuck in the River Avon as of this morning and the impact this could have on nightlife for Bristol students, as pubs and clubs open on 21 June.
‘Given the popularity of our Freshers’ Fair last year, which had over 3,965,428 unique attendees, we wanted to prepare a virtual Thekla so that anyone who would like to attend from 21 June can do so safely, from the comfort of their own home.’
When asked, the SU spokesperson clarified that some of the attendees of last year’s Freshers’ Fair were ‘invalid’.
Thekla organisers have also expressed concern to Epigram that the government’s new ‘Free Speech Champion’ will seek to fine them should the events be cancelled.
A Bristol SU spokesperson said: ‘We’re aware of the concern for students raised by the prospect of Thekla not reopening on 21 June. Here are some services for you to look at.
‘We don’t comment on ongoing situations.
‘All we know is our campus remains COVID-secure.’
Featured Image: Epigram
Have you been down to see Thekla stuck in the River Avon?