Transformation Podcasts

Welcome to our Transformation podcast series. Throughout our £48.8m transformation project Harriet Robinson, a Bristol local, journalist and massive music fan, will be delivering regular transformation podcasts and delving into the stories woven throughout the largest capital arts project ever to take place in the south west.

Our auditoria are now closed, the seats are gone and the stage has been dismantled to make way for an innovative and modern performance space. This is an exciting moment in our Transformation as we build a world-class concert hall for Bristol.

But while the physical changes to our building will be truly transformative, by delivering a venue that is the most accessible in the country, with 21st-century acoustic technology along with inspiring education facilities, the revolutionary ambition doesn’t end with bricks and mortar.

In this podcast series Harriet will be discussing the physical changes with acousticians, leading musicians and construction experts, as well as exploring the philosophy behind our Transformation project and the complicated decisions we’ve taken as an organisation, including our decision to reopen the Hall in 2021 under a new name.

Transformation Podcast Ep.1 – “We sell sound”, the acoustics of our new hall

October 2018

In this first episode, we discuss one of the most important aspects of the transformation – ensuring the new auditorium sounds amazing. We talk to journalists, conductors, building managers and of course acousticians about what goes into making a concert hall sound so good.

View images of our acoustic model for the new hall and find out more here.


Transformation Podcast Ep.2 – What’s in a name?

November 2018

In this second episode, we discuss one of the most complex decisions taken so far – the decision to reopen the transformed hall with a new name.

We talk to our Chief Executive Louise Mitchell, former Trustee and venue owner Marti Burgess, artist Savinder Bual, and children at Cotham Gardens Primary School about the decision and the impact it is having in the city.

To find out more about the impact of our decision to change our name and how you can help shape our future, click here.


Transformation Podcast Ep.3 – Accessibility: physical, cultural and social

December 2018

In our third Transformation Podcast we discuss our ambition to build a venue with gold-standard levels of accessibility for both audiences and performers.

Hear from architect Mark Lewis about how the designs have prioritised accessibility; Siggy Patchitt – Head of the new National Centre for Inclusive Excellence – whose aim is to ensure that opportunities for advanced music training are available to all, no matter disability or background; Conductor Charles Hazlewood and his pioneering work with Paraorchestra & Friends and musician Charlotte Bott and her experience as a disabled musician.

Read more about this episode here.


Transformation Podcast Ep.4 – Building Our Artistic Programme

April 2019

In this episode, we discuss what’s happening on site right now. Project Manager for DSM Demolition Will Scriven talks us through the process of taking apart a concert hall, our Artistic Director Todd Wills explains how we’re working directly with venues and artists to bring the best new talent to the city, and we meet music fan and epic gig-goer Emma Champion to ask what live music means to her.


Transformation Podcast Ep.5 – Creative Learning, From School To Stage

June 2019

Why should we teach music in schools? How can music help people with dementia? What has a concert hall got to do with hip-hop?

Bristol Music Trust is not only embarking on an ambitious physical transformation of Colston Hall, but is also on a mission to ensure the power of music is shared by everyone. In this episode of our Transformation podcast Harriet Robinson finds out how we’re delivering music education for the city from school to stage.


Transformation Podcast Ep.6 – Uncovering our heritage

July 2019

In episode 6 of our Transformation podcast we focus on the heritage that is being uncovered at the Hall during the redevelopment.

Hear about our musical heritage, how we’re asking families and communities to share their memories, what’s been discovered inside a time capsule, the distinctive Bristol Byzantine architecture of the Hall as well as a musical extract from Lady Nade who’s adapted Suffragette Vera Holme’s poem ‘The Last Chord’.


Welcome to
Bristol Beacon

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.

More info Enter site