Colston Hall renamed Bristol Beacon

The music venue has dropped association with slave trader after decades of protests

largest concert venue Colston Hall, named after slave trader Edward Colston, will now be known as Bristol Beacon.

Bristol Music Trust, which runs the venue, says this is a “pivotal moment”.

The name was revealed at an event in the venue’s foyer on Wednesday last week without a live audience due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The trust consulted with 4,000 people across the city about the new name, which has also been endorsed by the board of trustees.

Louise Mitchell, chief executive of Bristol Music Trust, said: “Society has changed and it is not right that a venue with no material connection to Edward Colston continues to stand as a memorial to a slave trader.”

She also said that the renaming of the hall is a “reminder of the power of music to break down barriers and cross boundaries” [as told to Bristol24/7].

The process of renaming the hall started three years ago in April 2017, following protests by civil rights campaigners and artists, including Bristol band Massive Attack, who refused to perform in the venue until the name was changed.

The “Colston Hall” lettering was removed in June this year, eight days after Edward Colston’s statue in the city centre was
toppled by protestors.

Colston made his fortune in the 1600s through the human slave trade which transported millions of people by ship from Africa to the Americas.

Colston was also a philanthropist, and Bristol honoured his benevolence by naming dozens of buildings, institutions, charities, schools, sports clubs, pubs, societies and roads after him.

The hall, which has hosted music legends such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix, is currently undergoing a £50m refurbishment and will not be open until at least 2021.

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