Our Royal Festival auditorium was completed in 1951 and is currently undergoing a major c.£50 million transformation. Some of the world’s biggest music and comedy stars have performed on our stage, including The Beatles, David Bowie, Ella Fitzgerald and Bob Dylan. The perfect acoustics in the space have also attracted the world’s leading orchestras and classical soloists. The auditorium was home to our magnificent organ, which is now being refurbished, and had a maximum capacity of 2,075. Below is a gallery of images of our auditorium as it was before the transformation began.
Situated in the oldest part of the building, The Lantern was built in 1873 and set to receive a major restoration as part of our transformation project. In recent years The Lantern gained a reputation for its exceptional programme of world, folk, jazz, acoustic and new classical music in a quirky and intimate space. In former times the venue was a theatre, and staged performances by Bristol Old Vic Theatre School alumni including Patrick Stewart and Daniel Day Lewis. The maximum capacity for this venue before our Transformation project was 350 standing and 250 seated.
The foyer is a light and airy space to explore by day and perfect blank canvas for events, festivals and parties by night. Since opening in 2009 this space has showcased great local emerging talent with our Friday and Saturday night early evening performances and hosted major festivals such as Simple Things Festival and BBC 6 Music Festival.
Throughout our Transformation the foyer space will continue to present an exciting programme of events and offer meeting and conference spaces that are available for hire.
Our award-winning music education programme is run from our centre in Southmead.
The site is perfect for music and dance based activities. Three of the rooms contain high quality pianos, and there is a selection of musical instruments available to hire. The main hall is 164 sq metres with a sprung floor suitable for dance. To find out more about our education work, click here.
The transformation programme which began in June 2018 will bring back to life an iconic building with a sympathetic modern touch. This project will deliver a venue fit for a leading European, national and regional centre for the performing arts.
To read about our new main auditorium, the development of The Lantern, the creation of a new performance space in our historic cellars and to view artistic impressions visit our Transformation pages.
On Wednesday 23 September 2020 Colston Hall changed its name to Bristol Beacon.
Our new name is just the first step, it is about more than the sign above our door. Click below to find out more about how we’re changing, watch our name announcement, and discover how we want everyone to share in the joy of live music.