A great success for the campaign came in April 2017, when trustees announced their unanimous decision to change the name of Colston Hall. Louise Mitchell, chief executive of the Bristol Music Trust, told the press that the decision was “an affirmation of the music venues’ values of equality, diversity, and inclusivity”.
Following a lengthy consultation the name ‘Bristol Beacon‘ was chosen. The venue was officially renamed in September 2020 (earlier than planned) due to the toppling of the Colston statue.
For decades, Bristolians have campaigned to change the name of Colston Hall. Edward Colston’s crimes are well known, and many people believe that it is wrong that he should be honoured by having a prestigious cultural venue named after him. In our own campaign for a name change, we ran a petition, organized a series of awareness-raising events, led informative public walks, promoted the Colston Hall consultation, lobbied the Board of Trustees and worked with the media. We argued that:
- The name of the hall should be changed so that it no longer honours Edward Colston.
- The refurbished and renamed hall should permanently incorporate a historical display acknowledging Edward Colston’s crimes against humanity, and more generally, the history and legacies of slavery and abolition.
- There should be an ongoing programme of events established at the hall to address this subject.
Photos: 07.02.17 outside the first event of Colston Hall’s 150th Anniversary year, supporters of a name change held a demonstration and handed out leaflets.