INVITATIONS had been sent out, the DJ booked and Stephen Wilson was looking forward to a massive party to celebrate his 40th birthday.
But the Gloucester man was left gutted and angry to find out just hours before it was due to start, the venue had closed down.
The dad-of-two had nearly 300 guests coming to the celebration at Voltage in Brunswick Road on Friday night, which he had spent two months planning.
He said he began to get concerned after owner, Marc Watts, did not reply to his text messages, phone calls and e-mails last week.
But panic started to set in when on Thursday night his DJ went down to the venue and found it closed.
He then saw on Facebook a message saying it had closed.
At 3.30pm on the day of the party, he received a call from co-owner, Gemma Watts, saying she had been away for six weeks and returned to just discover the booking.
She returned his £50 deposit that day, but Stephen from Abbeydale is still disappointed at the way it was handled – particularly given he had been a regular in the nightspot for years.
Stephen, a former student of the old Oxstalls Community School said: “I had arranged it two months ago and had hand delivered around 400 invitations, so it was going to be a big crowd.
“At 9.30pm on the Thursday night we saw the Facebook post and I had to ring around other venues, but everyone was fully booked or could not take that number of people.
“I was just absolutely devastated and had to cancel it. I went out for a meal and had a house party, with about 20 guests instead.
“I am enraged, disgusted and furious – to say I am angry is an understatement.
“I was a regular there and they have not even had the decency to contact me back.
“I have never had a real birthday party before. It was a special age and I thought I am in a comfortable place in my life and I wanted to celebrate.
“People were travelling down from across the country and there was a lot of time and effort gone into planning it.”
Gemma, who has co-owned the bar since November 2012, said Voltage closed down for person reasons.
She said the two members of staff that worked there had been given prior notice of the closure.
She told the Citizen: “I can understand why he is upset and I have met up with him myself to say I am sorry.
“I made inquiries to find him another venue, but unfortunately everywhere was busy.
“I am sorry that it has closed. Voltage was an amazing place and we put a lot of work and time into it.”
She added she thought a new owner was taking over the venue from Wednesday.
The building, which has been homed to several bars in the past, currently has an expletive graffitied on it.
The Citizen was unable to contact Mr Watts for comment.