In photos: Colston Hall from 2008-2018
It’s almost a decade since we opened our iconic foyer. Since then we’ve seen legendary artists perform in our hall and diverse emerging talent flourish in The Lantern.
On 10 June 2018 we will say farewell to these much-loved but worn-out spaces, including our 1950s auditorium, as we begin our once-in-a-generation project to transform the hall.
The building of the foyer represented Phase One of our transformation project. Before we begin Phase Two, here’s a look back at some of the moments in our Hall’s history from the last 10 years.
“Rock. Pop. Classical…Leftfield”? Back in the late noughties Colston House was looking a little tired (as were our marketing banners!). But we were on the eve of an exciting change in our building’s history as we prepared to build the bold and iconic foyer that stands today.
In September 2009 our award-winning new foyer opened to acclaim with a week long celebration of live music and arts. The £20m project was delivered on time and on budget. It took 88 weeks to complete, we removed and recycled 139 tonnes of metal during demolition, used 332 tonnes of steel and 250 panes of glass during the construction of the new foyer building and clad it with enough copper alloy to reflect the sun from just about anywhere in the city centre!
Many iconic artists performed at the Hall following the foyer opening including Rodrigo y Gabriela, Snow Patrol, Bat For Lashes and Bristol’s own Roni Size and Reprazent as part of one of our foyer opening parties on 25 Sep 2009. The event was recorded and has since been released as a Roni Size live album.
This year was a big one as we brought some iconic artists to Colston Hall including Jeff Beck, Joan Armatrading, Ricky Gervais, Biffy Clyro, Manic Street Preachers and the incredible South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela who sadly died in January this year.
Bon Iver, James Blunt, Buena Vista Social Club and Anoushka Shankar all performed in 2011 and, three years after winning the X-Factor, so did Alexandra Burke with her troupe of male warrior dancers…
London hosts the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, the Mars Curiosity Rover successfully lands on the surface of the red planet, and the Scissor Sisters perform on our stage.
This year saw us host Simple Things Festival for the first time, which has grown to be one of the country’s most respected festivals of diverse and new music. We also welcomed back rock royalty in the form of Robert Plant to play with the Sensational Space Shifters for one of only two UK shows.
In the summer of 2014 we were absolutely thrilled to be granted Arts Council England NPO funding with our friends and neighbours St Georges Bristol! This funding has led to some fantastic music projects including the very first Bristol New Music which brought the very best international new music to the city.
The Lantern is Colston Hall’s smaller, more intimate venue and a jewel in Bristol’s colourful live music scene. 2015 saw a staggering variety of emerging artists perform there including Benjamin Clementine and Ibibio Sound Machine. Binkbeats also showed us what a great space our foyer is for live music performance. But, for many who work here, Sufjan Stevens‘ sublime performance on Sun 6 Sep in the main hall will go down as a truly special occasion.
This year saw the return of some of our most loved festivals including Hoo-Ha! and Bristol’s Americana Weekend which became River Town. We celebrated the life of David Bowie with Charles Hazlewood and Paraorchestra and Friends, and hosted the BBC 6 Music Festival with a stellar line-up including Underworld and Laura Marling.
Kraftwerk, Monteverdi 450, The Flaming Lips, Erased Tapes is 10 festival – 2017 was a year of brilliant artists and events. We also announced our decision to change our name from ‘Colston Hall’ and turned 150 years old!
This year we start on our journey to transform the hall. The transformation will form Phase Two of Bristol’s biggest ever redevelopment programme in the arts sector. We can’t wait to give the city and the South West the world-class concert hall it deserves!
We need your help to make the transformation a reality, this is your moment. Find out more about how to support the transformation here.
Say farewell to our 1950s auditorium at the specially commissioned audio-visual performance Sensory Symphony, created by Limbic Cinema. Performances take place on Sunday 10 June and are free. Find out more here.