To: Louise Mitchell, Chief Executive, Bristol Music Trust

Rename Colston Hall by December

Rename Colston Hall by December

Change the name of Bristol's premier music venue - the Colston Hall - so it reminds us of somebody or something genuinely worth celebrating.

Ask for the public to suggest new names and start the process of renaming the Hall by December 2017. The Hall is 150 years old this year - use the celebration to finally rename the Hall.

Create a permanent display or plaque near the entrance of the Hall about Colston. We shall not erase history but move our culture into the 21st Century.

Why is this important?

Edward Colston was Deputy Governor of Royal African Company (RAC) - the dominant slaving organisation in the British Empire. Between 1672 and 1698, the RAC transported around 100,000 enslaved Africans to plantations in the West Indies and America.

This included women and children as young as six – each enslaved person was branded with the company’s initials on their chest. More than 20,000 enslaved Africans were killed during the crossings. Their bodies were thrown overboard. Colston, RAC and Merchant Venturers became millionaires from this so-called 'business'.

However, Bristol is full of resistance. Since 1920, Bristolians have rallied, boycotted and demanded that Bristol's institutions stop honouring Colston through statues, buildings and ceremonies. The Hall is 150 years old this year - now is the time. Use the 150th year celebrations to finally rename the Hall.

Massive Attack boycott the Hall, as do other musicians and artists but the Hall's management continues to turn a blind eye to calls for progress. People of colour have been ignored and excluded even though they make up 16% of Bristol's population.

We demand that our institutions reflect our communities and become accessible to all Bristolians. Enough is enough.

We are proud of our city - Bristol is a modern, inclusive, multicultural place. We want to be proud of our main music venue.

Share your thoughts on social media using #CounteringColston and Like us on Facebook -

Sign and share this petition and partake in the Colston Hall Consultation (until 24th Feb). More info on our website:


Reasons for signing

  • Cos this skewed, messed up remembering of history infiltrates SO MUCH if not all of our lives lived together on this 'ere planet. Listen to Akala, he lays it down. Then listen to his Fire In The Booth Part 1.
  • It's important to emphasise people who have helped make Bristol and the world a more enjoyable place for all, rather than slave traders who brought such terrible suffering. A cultural centre like the hall should be at the forefront of this. People go there to enjoy others' creativity.
  • Places are traditionally named and renamed after figures worthy of public celebration. A renaming is not an undoing but it does make explicit that slave trading is not something that people in Bristol endorse. Keeping a slave trader's name suggests quite the opposite and is offensive to the memory of all those who suffered.


2017-02-22 21:45:35 +0000

1,000 signatures reached

2017-02-22 13:21:40 +0000

500 signatures reached

2017-02-08 07:46:08 +0000

100 signatures reached

2017-02-07 17:11:52 +0000

50 signatures reached

2017-02-07 14:26:09 +0000

25 signatures reached

2017-02-07 11:50:38 +0000

10 signatures reached