By now many have heard the news that our venue has been closed down.
Though explaining the exact circumstances of our closure would be incredibly lengthy we’ll break it down to a few short paragraphs which will hopefully get the message across.
We have been in dispute with our landlords over several serious issues with the building for many months, exacerbated by the potential conversion of the neighbouring block into Student accommodation. Naturally if this conversion were to proceed, it would have a major impact on us as a live music venue, and we voiced serious reservations over this occurring.
Instead of corresponding with us, the landlords elected to ignore all communication.
In addition to this, since taking occupancy of the building we have encountered a host of problems with the upkeep. The venue was in a poor state of repair when we took it on, but I simply can’t convey the degree of crap we’ve had to put up with over the 2.5 years we’ve been in there, far, far more problems than we anticipated. As an example, we have virtually had to replace the floor of the venue on 3 separate occasions due to a constant ingress of water as a result of the club being in a basement. It has been a huge financial burden as an independent business to continue repairs and maintenance on such a regular basis that were arguably the responsibility of the Landlord.
On the morning of Wednesday 23rd October my bar manager arrived at my venue to discover the Landlords had changed the locks on the premises. This action was taken with absolutely no communication with us. The Landlord’s solicitors stated they were able to take this action due to an anomaly in the lease. We are currently seeking legal advice regarding this but as this stage with the redevelopment imminent and the poor condition of the infrastructure of the building, it seems unlikely that we will choose to reopen at this premises.
This is the reason we were forced to close so abruptly and had we had more time we would have notified you all of what was happening well in advance to avoid disappointment.
So what does the future hold? When we released a statement addressing concerns about the potential development next door in May we were already in the process of looking at other premises. We’ve already viewed several properties and there are several options on the table right now. I will say, I’ve asked myself the question “Is it really worth moving again?” since this will be the fifth time we have moved (the first since we’ve been a self owned venue) and I have to laugh about the comedic element of that. But we’ve always moved because of either closure or pending closure of the venues we’ve occupied, not out of choice and judging by the majority of comments on Facebook and tsunami of emails, people expect us to reopen.
Regarding ticket refunds: We are currently in the process of moving, rescheduling or cancelling shows that are currently booked. We are making every effort to move shows where possible so at this time we ask everyone to be a little patient. Where we are unable to move or reschedule, we’ll be refunding everyone who purchased tickets (when a reschedule happens, people will naturally be given the option of a refund). Shows that were already cancelled have all been refunded. People who bought tickets from over the bar will have a place to get refunds (if a cancellation occurs) when returning their ticket(s), more info on this to follow shortly.
On a more directly personal note, we’ve seen a small bunch of idiots voicing their opinions on why we closed and offering their views on what we were “doing wrong” on Facebook, Twitter etc. (even “promoters” who work in small venues in Cardiff who’ve been in this business 5 minutes and already believe they are somewhat profound in what they are doing). We ask you to dismiss these totally speculative comments because 99% of them are coming out of said peoples backsides, they just like to think they know what they’re talking about but have no authority or experience to offer such comments.
I’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to ever single person who’s stuck by us over the years. Can you believe it will have been TEN YEARS next month since we relaunched Bogiez at the Engine Rooms? Bogiez will have been running for a DECADE – mind blowing! We’ve seen very healthy numbers attending shows we’ve put on over the past few years (particularly this year) and our club nights have remained a success over all these years.
All the emails we’ve received, comments on Facebook, PM’s and calls have been utterly humbling and remind us how awesome you all are!