Bristol’s Colston Hall, which is named after a slave trader, has announced that it will reveal a new name this coming autumn.
The announcement comes as protests continue to take place across the US and around the world after George Floyd, an African-American man, was killed in Minneapolis on May 25 when a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes and ignored the man’s pleas that he couldn’t breathe.
Colston Hall is named after Edward Colston, a prominent 17th Century slave trader who has been a controversial figure in the city of Bristol for many years. It first opened as a concert venue in 1867, before becoming a popular rock concert venue in the 1960s.
On Sunday (June 7), protesters in Bristol used ropes to pull down a bronze statue of Edward Colston before it was dragged through the streets of Bristol and thrown into the harbour.
Edward Colston statue pulled down by BLM protesters in Bristol. Colston was a 17th century slave trader who has numerous landmarks named after him in Bristol. #BlackLivesMattters #blmbristol #ukprotests pic.twitter.com/JEwk3qKJx2
— Jack Grey (@_jackgrey) June 7, 2020
Last week the Colston Hall, which has played host to the likes of The Beatles, David Bowie, and Bob Dylan over the years, put out a statement saying that it supports the Black Lives Matter movement and that it wants to change the current name of the venue to one that will “reflect the unity and joy that experiencing live music together brings”.
Bristol Music Trust have now provided an update on when the name change will take place, which comes three years after it was originally announced.
“Following the Black Lives Matter protests and the removal of the Edward Colston statue in Bristol yesterday, Bristol Music Trust would like to reassert our commitment to changing the name of Colston Hall and give an update on the timescale for doing so,” a statement on the venue’s website read.
Following the Black Lives Matter protests and the removal of the Edward Colston statue in #Bristol yesterday, we would like to reassert our commitment to changing the name of Colston Hall and give an update on the timescale for doing so. (1/6) pic.twitter.com/p45R0Y5dFb
— Colston Hall (@Colston_Hall) June 8, 2020
“A new name was originally planned to be announced in Spring 2020, following a thorough and in-depth consultation process carried out with over 4,000 people from communities all across the city,” the statement continued.
“However, COVID-19 has had an impact on the timing of our plans, preventing us from being able to carry out our final round of community engagement. The majority of our staff are now furloughed and our focus has temporarily switched to protecting the future of our organisation, as well as supporting our partners, Bristol’s music community, artists, music teachers and others.”
Going on to explain that they understand that the pace of change is important, they confirmed that they “aim to announce a new name that is right for both the Hall and the city in autumn 2020.”
Colston Hall is one of the grassroots venues included in Music Venue Trust’s (MVT) recently launched ‘Save Our Venues’ campaign, an initiative designed to help fend off the continued economic threat to over 500 grassroots music venues throughout the UK during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
If you would like to help raise money for the venue, which is currently undergoing renovations, you can donate via Colston Hall’s ‘Save Our Venues’ Crowdfunder.