A series of celebratory events has been announced to mark the end of an era at the Bristol venue
Colston Hall’s current performance spaces will host their last shows over the week of 4 – 10 June before the building begins its £48.8million transformation. Planning permission has been granted and the secretary of state has rubber-stamped the plans, meaning work can begin on schedule.
The current stage has seen performances by The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Ella Fitzgerald, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, The Pretenders and thousands of other music and comedy legends. The venue’s last week of shows will be a chance for people to experience the current hall one last time as part of a programme with three special performances; bringing the curtain down on decades of memorable shows and events.
On Tuesday 5 June, 50 years of Bristol’s children singing in the Colston Hall will be celebrated with a 600-strong choir made up of young people from across the city. Singers from local primary schools will join up with the Bristol Youth Choir and choristers from St Mary Redcliffe for Sing! Sing! Sing! – which will show off the superb acoustics of the current 1950s hall. On Friday 8 June, the Würth Philharmonic will continue Colston Hall’s dual traditions of hosting world-renowned classical music and offering young musicians the chance to perform. Named after philanthropist Prof Dr Reinhold Würth, the orchestra brings together some of the world’s most gifted young classical talent alongside superstar conductor and violin virtuoso Maxim Vengerov (pictured below; image by Benjamin Ealovega).
Then, on Sunday 10 June, the public will get the chance to fully immerse themselves in Colston Hall’s past and future thanks to Sensory Symphony. A unique installation created by Limbic Cinema, it will allow visitors to stand on the stage to experience the sights and sounds from across the years, experiencing the memories of millions of concert-goers before them. This audio-visual tribute to the hall will be the final farewell, and there will also be the chance to see artists’ impressions of what it will look like when it reopens in 2020.
With a carefully curated soundtrack by Joe Acheson of Hidden Orchestra, which brings together some of the UK’s finest musicians, Sensory Symphony will run all day on the Sunday, with multiple chances for people to take part. Each running will take 25 minutes, and there will be performances on the hour every hour between 11am and 6pm with space for 90 people at each. The experience is free, but members of the public need to book in advance to ensure a place.
As well as the special events, the final week of concerts will see the likes of Soul II Soul, James Bay and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s Heroes and Monsters taking place.
To book or find further info on the venue’s transformation, visit colstonhall.org