The history of the trade fair building

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Throughout the centuries

The Ha Concerts building fulfilled various functions over the centuries. 

  • 500 to 1770 | Shooting range, Guildhall and Main Guard.
  • 1776 - 1850 | Horse Post Office and Post Hotel
  • 1851 - 1899 | L'Union
  • 1899 - 1990 | The Stock Exchange
  • 1945 - 1997 | From one to another & vacancy
  • 2000 to present | Restoration and Ha Concerts



Origin of Ha Concerts

The North Star Fund

'Noordstarfonds vzw' was founded in 1935 from the insurance company Noordstar and Boerhaave (now Baloise Insurance). The fund provided additional impulses to cultural life in Flanders. Over the years, it sponsored numerous events and organizations throughout Flanders.

A lot of organizations were able to blossom with the help of the North Star Fund

For example, Music Theater Lod, Theaterwerkplaats Rataplan, Time Festival, Brugges Festival, Netwerk Aalst, Behoud de Begeerte, Monty, De Werf Brugge, Poetry Center, Festival of Flanders, Nieuwpoorttheater, Victoria, Goeyvaerts Consort, Prometheus Ensemble, De Spiegel, Limelight and more.

The Yellow Room

In 1980, in addition to the sponsoring activities of this cultural fund, an operation of its own was outfitted. This became 'De Gele Zaal', a reference in Ghent until 1999. The Yellow Hall presented world music and contemporary classical music, in addition to temporary exhibitions of plastic art.

Ha Concerts

In 1997, the Noordstarfonds stopped sponsoring and decided to take a long lease on the Handelsbeurs, a historic building in the center of Ghent, and together with the owner, Baloise Insurance, renovate it.

The hall was equipped with a state-of-the-art stage infrastructure, where moving stage elements allow the space to be transformed from a standing room to a classic theater in twenty minutes. In its various configurations, the hall has superb acoustics for both acoustic and amplified music.

Work began in August 2000, and the building itself was inaugurated on Sept. 27, 2002. Since then, Ha Concerts has organized concerts of various genres there and the building is also rented out to third parties. 



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