It's nearly time for Colston Hall's big bash...


The Hall is marking it's 150th anniversary and birthday with a not to miss free event

Colston Hall, Bristol’s largest music venue, is counting down to its 150th anniversary on Wednesday 20th September, and has marked 2 weeks to go with a breakfast disco outside the venue featuring free coffee, a roulette wheel of music, DJs and a crowd of dancing Bristolians.

The Hall marks its 150th anniversary with a big free Birthday Bash on Wednesday 20th September – exactly 150 years from when the venue first opened – to which all of Bristol is invited. Highlights include the world famous Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, immersive projections from Limbic Cinema and toe tapping swing music from the Bruce / Ilett Big Band. 

The free event will begin at 6.30pm and see a complete takeover of the building, giving people the chance to explore every corner, stumbling across musicians, DJs, installations and projections, as acts pop up to create a unique party atmosphere.

Joining the big birthday celebrations will be The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, bringing their globe-trotting act to Bristol for the occasion. Playing together for over 20 years, the group are mining the history of pop music that has played out on Colston Hall’s stage to create a set list that celebrates the amazing acts that have performed there alongside other favourite tunes, all in their unique Uke style.

The best of Bristol will also be represented as the Bruce / Ilett Big Band guarantee to get the dancing started with their classic big band music and the City’s only professional chamber orchestra, The Bristol Ensemble, will be performing a selection of favourite pieces from throughout the decades. Bristol Choral Society meanwhile will join the celebrations as one of the South West’s premier symphony choruses, having performed at Colston Hall since their first ever concert, which took place at there in 1890. 

And bringing the history of Colston Hall to life will be projection specialists Limbic Cinema.

As well as the Big Birthday Bash on Wednesday 20th September, the celebrations will continue with the Big Anniversary Sing with BBC Radio Bristol on Wednesday 23 September as well as a Bristol music takeover  on Saturday 7th October featuring a cream of Bristol talent, from This Is The Kit and the Moonflowers to Smith & Mighty and Pinch. 

As part of the celebration, Bath Ales, the award-winning regional brewers has collaborated with Colston Hall to launch a bottled ale to celebrate the anniversary. The 3.9% ABV 150th anniversary limited edition beer has been specially brewed to commemorate the occasion, and the easy-drinking pale ale is available from Colston Hall’s bars.

Louise Mitchell, Chief Executive of Bristol Music Trust which runs Colston Hall, commented: “The Hall’s 150th anniversary is a key moment to celebrate Bristol’s rich music culture. Generations of artists and audiences have come together in the building to make incredible music and memories and this September we want to open the doors and invite the city to join us for one huge birthday party.”

Colston Hall first opened its doors to the public on the 20th September 1867, after The Colston Hall Company bought the land from Colston Boy’s School in 1861 to fulfil their vision of building a concert hall in the city. The Hall has seen four iterations in its 60 years, with the fourth and present Colston Hall opening in 1951. 

In addition to the anniversary celebrations, 2017 will also mark a pivotal point in the Hall’s transformation to make the venue one of the best arts and learning facilities in the country. 

For more information about the 150th anniversary events and to register for free tickets for the Birthday Bash please visit or call the Colston Hall Box Office on 0117 203 4040.

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