Events could be moved amid Empress Ballroom damage fears

The Empress Ballroom showing the ceiling during preparation for an open day earlier this year
The Empress Ballroom showing the ceiling during preparation for an open day earlier this year

Contingency talks are underway in case a raft of events planned for Blackpool’s famous Empress Ballroom can’t go ahead after damage to the ceiling was discovered.

As reported in the Gazette on Tuesday, the sold-out Alt-J gig scheduled for tonight was cancelled when ‘a sudden deterioration’ to the plaster work needing ‘immediate short-term repairs’ was found.

The Libertines are due to play the Empress Ballroom on September 22

The Libertines are due to play the Empress Ballroom on September 22

Several events due to take place in the ballroom could be moved to alternative locations within the Winter Gardens so visitors are not left disappointed.

In a statement, Winter Gardens’ management said: “During the weekend damage was discovered in the Empress Ballroom, involving an ornate ceiling panel which requires immediate attention. “Working with Blackpool Council, initial surveys have been conducted and plans are currently being developed to rectify the issue as soon as possible.

“While every effort Is being made to avoid disruption one event has had to unfortunately be cancelled, Alt J.

“We hope early next week to be in a position to update everyone on our plans for the Empress Ballroom including the works to be undertaken.”

Events due to take place in the Empress Ballroom this month include the ska festival Coast Town on Saturday, September 16, The Libertines’ sold out gig on Friday September 22, The National Association of Teachers of Dance conference on Saturday and Sunday September 23 and 24 and the EVA Awards on Friday September 29.

A gig by Bon Iver will take place – as planned – in the Opera House on Monday, September 25.

They were due to play the Empress Ballroom in February but cancelled their tour dates due to personal reasons.