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Bristol's Colston Hall Renamed Bristol Beacon
Christian Eede , September 23rd, 2020 11:04

The venue had revealed earlier this year that it was deciding on a change of name to remove any association with slave trader Edward Colston

The Bristol music venue formerly known as Colston Hall has been renamed Bristol Beacon.

The venue was previously named after the slave trader Edward Colston, as is the case with a number of streets and buildings in the centre of Bristol. A new logo reflecting the change of name will be made over the next few months, and the team behind the venue says it will be created in partnership with young, local creatives.

The team behind the space had been consulting on and planning a change of name since 2017, with an initial intention to have completed the process by spring of 2020. Having missed that deadline, and with Black Lives Matter protests and the toppling of a statue of Edward Colston in Bristol having brought the issue into sharper focus, the venue's team pledged in June to announce a new name by this autumn. The signage was also removed in June.

"We know that our current name, that of the slave trader Edward Colston, means that not everyone has felt welcome or that they belong in their city's concert hall," a statement posted to Bristol Beacon's website says. "And if we can't share the joy of live music with everyone, something must change."

The statement continues: "Our organisation was founded long after Colston's death, and has no direct connection to him, financial or otherwise. We can no longer be a monument to someone who played such a prominent role in the slave trade."

Colston was a slave trader, whose company transported more than 100,000 slaves – including men, women and children – from west Africa to the Caribbean and the Americas between 1672 and 1689. At least 20,000 died during the crossings due to conditions on the boats, their bodies thrown overboard.

Find out more about the Bristol Music Trust's decision to change the venue's name here.