A huge Bristol venue which closed unexpectedly before the bank holiday weekend has sparked anger among customers who had bookings.
Propyard, a massive warehouse in the city centre that was transformed into a successful food, music and arts venue over the summer months, had to shut its doors earlier than expected due to staff shortages.
Many of its staff work at festivals and so were unable to work at the venue over the bank holiday weekend, but customers have been left feeling short changed by the abrupt closure.
One customer, Adele Hamilton-Sturdy, had plans to celebrate her 30th birthday at Propyard today (August 27), but they have now fallen through.
Adele said: “I had booked for 18 people this Friday evening for my 30th birthday. I received no cancellation email and only became aware that the Propyard was closing when one of my friends screenshotted their Instagram post.
“I am extremely disappointed as I will struggle to find somewhere that can cater for that number of people at such short notice and I will probably have to cancel.
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“I was very much looking forward to the evening and have not attended the venue before. Honestly this experience and the management’s apathy for the situation has entirely put me off.
“I am a local to the Propyard (about a four minute walk away) so likely would have frequented it often.”
Another customer, Rachel Jameson, has also had birthday plans disrupted by the closure.
Rachel said: “I made enquiries in July for my partner’s 50th birthday venue. I was asked to make an appointment which I did towards the end of July.
“I was shown around and told they could accommodate us. I followed up the viewing with an email with a request for confirmation and got no response.
“I received an email back to apologise and copied in director Jamie to confirm entertainment, what food trucks would be there, dropping off a cake etc. I had no response after a week.
“I then saw the post on Instagram. I am now left with 20 people coming from Portsmouth, London and Wales with no venue for September 11.”
Rachel said that she had an email from Jamie to say that issues with staffing and finalising a licence with the council led to the closure.
Propyard took over the former Ministry of Defence base on a St Philips trading estate in July.
The vast hangar and spacious outdoor area just off Feeder Road, which had a capacity of more than 500 even with social distancing in place, will return in September.
Over the past two months, Propyard featured street food trucks, stretch tents and fire pits, as well as a huge wall covered in a mural by renowned Bristol street artist Inkie.
Announcing the closure earlier this week, one of Propyard’s founders, Sam Watts, said: “As a new venue with a summer pop-up, many of people who make up our hospitality team work at festivals.
“With the return of so many major events this weekend, it has become untenable for us to be able to host guests this weekend with a level of service which we would want.
“We’re massively disappointed and apologise to all our customers who booked to join us but we promise to be back with some exciting things after a few weeks away. We have had a huge number of promoters, organisers and events get in touch over the last few months so from September we will be back as an events venue, hosting awards, music events, private and public parties, exhibitions and some special experiential pop-ups which are really exciting.”
Propyard has been approached for further comment on the complaints.
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