Bristol’s Colston Hall unveils new name in wake of Black Lives Matter protests

The venue has changed names over its association with slave trader Edward Colston

A new name has been confirmed for Bristol’s Colston Hall, following lengthy protests over the venue’s historic association with the slave trade.

The hall, which was named after 17th century slave trader Edward Colston, will now be called the Bristol Beacon following a public consultation.

The move comes after Black Lives Matter protestors captured the world’s attention in June when they pulled down a bronze statue of Colston, before dumping it in the city harbour.


However, the venue had first confirmed plans to change names in 2017, as a result of Colston’s controversial legacy in the city.

Colston Hall
Underworld performing at Colston Hall in 2015. CREDIT: Adam Gasson/Redferns via Getty Images

He was a member of the Royal African Company, which transported thousands of men, women and children from Africa to the Americas. When he died in 1721, he left his wealth to various charities and his legacy is still visible in the name of Bristol’s streets, memorials and buildings.

The new name was determined after close consultation with city mayor Marvin Rees, creative organisations and the Bristol Music Trust – the charity responsible for running the hall.

Describing the name, the trust’s chief executive said it was “A focal point for music in the city. A gathering space, illuminating the way ahead. A place of welcome, warmth and light.”


The renaming comes ahead of the venue’s proposed re-opening in 2021 after a £48.8 million refurbishment project.

It has previously played host to appearances from the likes of The Beatles, David Bowie and Bob Dylan.