ROCKERS in Rugby are lamenting the loss of one of the town’s leading live music venues as The Vault nightclub announced its immediate closure.
Staff said they had failed to attract funds for a ‘much needed’ premises refurbishment, and to ease some of the business’ ‘historic financial challenges’.
A statement released by staff on the venue’s Facebook page said: “Despite the team’s best efforts, we have been unable to secure the investment required to continue trading and the current financial position of the business has meant that we have had to cease trading with immediate effect.
“During the previous five years we’ve shared some amazing times with the people of Rugby and attracted to the town a number of leading artists and delivered a number of innovative clubbing experiences.
“We would like to whole heatedly thank all our customers who have helped cement Rugby’s place on the live music scene within the UK. It’s been an amazing journey.”
The venue has attracted acclaimed rock acts such as Funeral For A Friend, Bury Tomorrow, Skindred, Drowning Pool, Skid Row and The Subways since opening five years ago.
Sound technician Tom Long posted to Facebook: “I kept telling people to use it or lose it. Too much apathy and nothing like enough takings to sustain town centre rates and a greedy landlord.
“Four of us subsidised Vault for the last two years until we simply couldn’t put any more money in, so a lot of those fabulous gigs were to some extent at our expense.”
Andy Walker, who works for the County Music Service and plays guitar with White Men Can’t Funk, said: “We played some of the best gigs ever at Vault.
“The hard work, vision and expertise that went into some of the productions are unlike anything I’ve seen at similar size venues around the country.
“The team are the best. I really hope they continue to work together in some capacity or other in Rugby.
“The Vault has been incredibly important to Rugby music – it will be sadly missed.”
Fans expressed their sadness in messages written on the wall of the venue, and on its Facebook page.
Graham Bliss said: “We have a very apathetic town in more ways than one, so extra respect must be given to those that tried to do something for us, even if it didn’t work out in the end.”
Chris Catalyst added: “This country, particular smaller towns like Rugby, really needs these cultural centres that bring people together, and provide people with an alternative to the mainstream. We’ll miss it.”
Chelsea Boyle said: “This place has become like home – so sad this has had to happen.”
And Tom Collings added a mournful: “Well, that’s the Rugby music scene on its way out.”
The team behind the venue plan to continue promoting and developing live music in the town through events like Rugby Bike Festival and Rugby Music Festival.
They added discussions were underway to move planned events to alternative venues.