After a statue of the slave-trader was hurled into the water...

More calls have emerged for Bristol's Colston Hall to supply clarity over its name-change.

The venue is one of many landmarks around the city named after Edward Colston, who bought and sold as many as 90,000 slaves - with up to one tenth perishing on the Atlantic journey alone.

A Black Lives Matter march in Bristol saw a controversial statue of the slave trader toppled, with the jubilant crowd then hurling it into the harbour.

It's just one of many landmarks in the city, though, with schools, municipal buildings, and a famed concert hall all bearing his name.

Colston Hall is one of Bristol's most prestigious venues, yet its name means that the likes of seminal local group Massive Attack refuse to play there.

Currently closed during a refurbishment process, Colston Hall had previously explained that the name of the building would change on its re-opening, stating that it “acts as a symbol of division”.

That process has been delayed due to COVID-19, but in a statement made before the Bristol march the Colston Hall team re-affirmed themselves to supporting Black Lives Matter:

“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...”

The demonstration at the weekend has strengthened public calls to re-name the building:


Officials from Colston Hall have sent a statement to Music Week, confirming a new name for the building will be revealed in Autumn.

The statement also made clear that the building - opened some 150 years after Colston's death - wasn't founded using his money, while separating their aims and objectives from his legacy.

"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. 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.

"We understand that the pace of change is important and we are working hard to adapt our plans through the pandemic. We aim to announce a new name that is right for both the Hall and the city in autumn 2020. There are a number of steps we need to take between now and then, but as a demonstration of our commitment, one of these will be removing the external signage from the building."

The statement finishes: "We will provide further updates on this as soon as we are able to. In the meantime, we will continue to listen and learn and reflect on what more we can do as an organisation to make positive change in our city."

Find the statement HERE.

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