Our Impact

Bristol Beacon is a place of welcome, warmth and light; an open invitation to the city for everyone to come and share in the joy of live music.

Since 1867 we have been at the heart of Bristol’s cultural life. We are so proud and grateful to have played such an important role in our city and the lives of our audiences for so long.

Some of the world’s biggest music stars have performed on our stage, including The Beatles, David Bowie, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Ella Fitzgerald, London Symphony Orchestra, Louis Armstrong, Blondie and Bob Dylan. As well as thousands of Bristolians through our schools and creative learning programmes.

Our ongoing multi-million pound transformation is set to create the world-class music centre that Bristol deserves.

Through Bristol Plays Music, the music education hub for the city, we aim to make Bristol the ‘UK Capital of Young People’s Music’.

The difference music makes

Bristol Beacon creates meaningful musical experiences for the people of Bristol to share in the joy of live music. On this page you can find a summary of the impact that our work has.

Our impact document gives more information about the difference we’re making beyond our four walls. Click below to download our most recent impact document.



Pre-transformation (2017/18)

  • 600+ events
  • Audience of c.300,000
  • 15,000 artists & musicians

During transformation (2018/19)

  • 200+ events
  • 30+ partner venues including Trinity Centre, Fiddlers, The Exchange, St George’s Bristol
  • 18% of artists we work with are people of colour
  • 65% of audience were from a Bristol postcode
  • 35% of audience were from wider region, national and international

Creative Learning and Engagement

  • We work with 91% of Bristol Schools
  • 7,000 hours per week of music tuition delivered
  • £60,000 per year invested to support free music tuition for children in care and those with disabilities
  • £400,000 invested over next 5 years in 13 schools in areas of high deprivation
  • £46,000 invested per year in curriculum resources, including One Bristol Curriculum
  • £400,000 invested in new community programme supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation from 2020
  • Hope Creative weekly music sessions for vulnerable young people living in care

“I just like coming here because I like making new friends”

– Hope Creative participant

Activity during the Covid-19 pandemic

  • Over 17,000 views of Bristol Takeover Online programme in May and June 2020
  • Over £15,000 raised to support Music Venue Trust & partner venues
  • 12,000 people tuned in to watch The Lark Ascending Centenary from Tue 15 December 2020 – Fri 15 January 2021
  • Partner in Bristol Arts Channel – a collaborative summer programme of events from multiple organisations across the city
  • Over 300 young people supported via our Virtual Academy online music tuition at the height of the pandemic
  • A New Song for Bristol city-wide song-writing project launched
  • Regular Instrumental Lessons continued to take place in 61 schools
  • Our Earthsong instrumental sessions are running in 35 schools
  • 228 young people supported online to engage with our music centres
  • Free online music tuition for young people with disabilities through our Flow Creative online programme – we currently have 11 young people with complex needs engaged in regular online music-making
  • 5 young people supported by National Open Youth Orchestra engaging in one-to-one tuition
  • Free online sessions for 32 young people in care through our Hope Creative online sessions

Our value for money

  • £12 million gross value added contribution to Bristol’s economy each year
  • £1.5 million invested into local artists, music leaders and tutors per year
  • £200,000 spent with partner venues per year
  • For every £1 invested by Bristol City Council, £8.30 is generated
  • As a charity, every penny is reinvested in our programme

The impact of our Transformation

  • Over £52 million raised to date
  • £13 million projected contribution to Bristol’s economy in first year of reopening
  • 273 full time equivalent jobs created
  • Carbon neutral by 2030
  • 3 state of the art performance spaces
  • Recording and broadcast studios, education suites, rehearsal rooms and live stage facilities for emerging artists

Annual Report


Bristol Music Trust Annual Report 2018-19

Bristol Music Trust Annual Report 2017-18

Bristol Music Trust Annual Report 2016-17

Bristol Music Trust Annual Report 2015-16

Bristol Music Trust Annual Report 2014-15

Bristol Music Trust Annual Report 2013-14

Bristol Music Trust Annual Report 2012-13

Bristol Music Trust Annual Report 2011-12

Programme partners

Capital partners


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