News / Bristol Beacon

Bristol Beacon: how the city has reacted to the new name

By martin booth, Wednesday Sep 23, 2020

“I have checked. It’s not April 1st. This fucking stupid name cannot be real.”

Cleo Lake, former lord mayor and member of Countering Colston
“Alongside the efforts of campaigners I want to acknowledge the leadership of Louise Mitchell towards this significant name change. I am confident that the new name will live out its namesake and be that beacon for arts, culture and inclusivity.”

Elliott Porter, former member of Bristol Unicorns marching band
“Like the new name but also sad to see it changed (understand why though). It was practically my home from 10-17 years old. Performed there twice a year. We became World Showband Champions in 85. Our rehearsal rooms were in the cellars.”

Helen Docherty, children’s book author
“A very happy day for Bristol (my home for 12 important years).”

Kathryn Chiswell Jones, Artspace Lifespace company manager
“Look forward to the day when I can say ‘I’ve got tickets to a great gig at the Beacon’”

Marti Burgess, co-owner of Lakota
“We are going through such turbulent times so the venue opening under a new forward-thinking name is really something to honour. I can’t wait for the venue to reopen under the new name.”

Marvin Rees, mayor of Bristol
“I welcome this new name, two years in the making, so that this can be a world class venue all of Bristol can be proud of.”

Matt Griffiths, Youth Music CEO
“Today’s name change is a significant moment and will be remembered by generations to come. It acknowledges cruel injustices and inequalities of the past whilst recognising there continues to be so much more to do to achieve a fairer, equitable and inclusive society.”

Bristol Beacon’s historic cellars will be opened up for the first time in 100 years when the venue reopens to create a cabaret style performance area and education suites for lifelong learning – image: Bristol Music Trust

Roger Griffith, race equality consultant and writer
“Looking forward to the city taking a giant step forward together with this announcement and get on with the business of engagement, creating new talent and concerts without controversy! Well a little controversy maybe, it is Bristol after all!”

“Need time for it to sink in. However, first thought is that it sounds like a 1970’s tower block; not a music and arts venue.”

Stephen Williams, West of England metro mayor candidate
“Bristol has a new name for its premier concert venue. A positive name that shines a light of hope, not Colston’s reminder of oppression.”

Thangam Debbonaire, Bristol West MP
“This fantastic venue has been at the centre of Bristol’s cultural life for many years. So many of us have enjoyed special events there or heard fantastic music, but been unhappy at the name and what it signified. I am pleased that the hall will become the Bristol Beacon, a name from the voices of the people of Bristol.”

Vanessa Kisuule, city poet
“Proud to have penned a piece to usher in a new era for one of Bristol’s best music venues. Once Miss Rona’s dealt with I’ll be one of the first to go enjoy a gig at the Bristol Beacon.”

The venue formerly known as the Colston Hall is in the midst of a £50m transformation – image: Bristol Music Trust

Main image: Bristol Music Trust

Read more: Bristol Beacon will be ‘a focal point for music in the city’

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