Bristol Venue Colston Hall Is Working To Change Its Name

As the statue of slave trader Edward Colston gets pulled down in Bristol, fans are calling on Colston Hall to change its name as soon as possible.

Bristol Venue Colston Hall Is Working To Change Its Name

Update: Colston Hall write in a statement that they "aim to announce a new name that is right for both the hall and the city in autumn 2020."

Having previously announced a huge refurbishment and change of name, Bristol music venue Colston Hall is doubling down on its plan get rid of the association with 17th century slave trader Edward Colston upon the venue's reopening, in light of the Black Lives Matter protests taking place across the globe right now.

With a statue of Edward Colston being pulled down on June 7 and thrown into the city's harbour, music fans are now urging Colston Hall to change its name immediately. The venue – which has hosted everyone from Iron Maiden to David Bowie – say they will find an alternative that will “reflect the unity and joy that experiencing live music together brings”.

“We believe that we can’t be neutral on issues of racism. Our organisation is committed to challenging our ways of working to identify and eradicate inequality and it wouldn’t be write to stay silent,” a statement earlier in the week read.

“Black culture and musicians are part of the rich and diverse musical heritage of Colston Hall and of music universally. We are acting to ensure that these voices are amplified.

“We are invested in this issue because the current name of Colston Hall acts as a symbol of division. Alongside our work supporting Bristol’s black communities and musicians, we are currently working on a new name that will reflect the unity and joy that experiencing live music together brings.”

Following the toppling of the Edward Colston statue, @MoreReasonsThan wrote to the venue on Twitter: "So when are you going to change your name? Every second that you don't is another second of shame."

"Still waiting on a name change," added @bl0odsuckerr. "Get it done."

As of April 2020, the Bristol Post reported that refurbishment work on the venue was ongoing, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

“The safety of people working at the Colston Hall site is our number one priority and we have rigorous procedures in place to ensure everyone on site follows these measures, which very much falls within our existing health and safety protocols governing safe site activity and is being enforced as such,” said a company spokesperson for Willmott Dixon.

Last autumn, it was announced that the venue wouldn't be ready until at least 2021.

Wondering how you can make a difference?

• Donate to George Floyd’s memorial fund.
Fight for Breonna Taylor, a first responder who was killed in her bed by police searching for drugs that were never found.
Help the family of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man who was shot while jogging.
• Donate to the community bail funds of protestors.
• Head over to Movement For Black Lives.
Connect with leaders building grassroots campaigns.
• And check out these anti-racism resources.

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