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Colston Hall becomes the Bristol Beacon

By | Published on Thursday 24 September 2020

Bristol Beacon

Bristol venue Colston Hall has announced that it has changed its name to the Bristol Beacon. Plans to cut ties with its controversial slave trader namesake were announced in 2017, with a major refurbishment seen as a good time for a rebrand. It reconfirmed that plan earlier this year when a statute of Edward Colston was pulled down during a Black Lives Matter protest in the city.

“Since 1867 we have been at the heart of Bristol’s cultural life”, says the venue. “We are so proud and grateful to have played such an important role in our city and the lives of our audiences for so long. And now, in 2020, we have a new opportunity – a chance to acknowledge difficult parts of our past and look forward with hope towards our future”.

“We know that our former name, that of the slave trader Edward Colston, meant that not everyone has felt welcome or that they belong in their city’s concert hall”, it goes on. “And if we can’t share the joy of live music with everyone, something must change”.

“Our organisation was founded long after Colston’s death, and has no direct connection to him, financial or otherwise”, it explains. “We can no longer be a monument to someone who played such a prominent role in the slave trade. This is an opportunity for a fresh start and a chance to play our part in creating a fairer and more equal society. We believe in the power of music to break down barriers and cross boundaries. Bristol Beacon will celebrate this in everything we do”.

Watch a video announcing the name change here: