The history & heritage of st george's hall
A People's Palace
A place where the communities of Bradford can gather to be inspired by the world’s best music and entertainment.
Our Stunning Victorian Concert Hall
St George’s Hall, in the heart of the city, opened in 1853 and was the first grand public building in Bradford.
Since then many world famous musicians and bands have performed on stage; it has become home to the Hallé Orchestra; provided a platform for many notable speakers, including prime ministers, protestors and political trailblazers; and in among its many incarnations has been a court room, a cinema and even an airport lobby!
St George's Hall closed its doors in 2016 for major work to restore it to its former glory and make it fit for the future. The refurbishment was made possible with funding from Bradford Council and the National Lottery Heritage Fund and brings the treasured venue back to the heart of the community.
The brainchild of Bradford Mayor, Samuel Smith
Designed by Lockwood and Mawson in the Italianate style, St George’s Hall was the brainchild of Bradford Mayor, Samuel Smith, who famously described it as “the best means of removing the vice and immorality so prevalent in our population.”
It was his idea to build 'a large public hall, in which thoroughly good concerts could be provided at a cheap rate, and would have the effect of drawing away people from beer-houses and other low places.'
Black History at St George's Hall
A huge array of amazing black artists has performed at St George's Hall throughout its long history; including Hague’s Minstrels, The Fisk Jubilee Singers, Dizzie Gillespie, Count Baisie, Howlin’ Wolf, Big Mama Thornton, Sarah Vaughn, Cleo Laine, Shirley Bassey, Marvin Gaye, Dionne Warwick, Willard White, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Beverley Knight.
This exhibition, curated by Maureen Rowe and Lincoln Anderson, presents five stars and highlights the immense contribution these artists have made to both society and our cultural life.
'St George's Hall became a magical place for me...'
Audience member Margaret Jagger
Do you have fond memories of your first ever gig here in Bradford? Queuing to get your tickets, seeing your idol live on stage, maybe even meeting them after the show… we would love to hear your memories of St George’s Hall.view all
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St George’s Hall continues today to serve its original purpose to provide “thoroughly good concerts” with its exceptional acoustics and intimate atmosphere.
The venue remains a popular choice for leading names from the music world as well as top stand-up comedians.
The venue also attracts big names in variety entertainment, receives regular children’s shows and amateur productions and still continues to offer an increasingly exciting and diverse programme.