Located just outside of Belfast city centre you will find the massive King’s Hall Complex, a record-setting multi-purpose venue and exhibition hall. Ideally located in the Balmoral area with convenient access in and out, this world famous venue welcomes more than 120,000 visitors each year and is the largest and most versatile complex of its kind in Northern Ireland.
Owned and operated by the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society, the King’s Hall Complex plays host to a wide variety of events including concerts, retail exhibitions, trade exhibitions, sporting events, conferences and one of Ireland’s largest agricultural events, the Balmoral Show. This popular annual event includes equestrian competitions, motorcycle displays, food exhibits, shopping, a children’s farm, livestock exhibits, and endless options for entertainment. Each year this event draws an average of 75,000 visitors.
In 1891, the North East Agricultural Association of Ireland outgrew its current location at the Belfast Corporation Markets and needed a new locale (and apparently a new name). Many new sites were considered including Bloomfield, Andersonstown, and Ulsterville, but Balmoral was found to be the best of the best, located right in the heart of South Belfast. An appeal was made to members of the Association and the general public for funding the construction and in 1894 the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society agreed to purchase the 32-acre site. Work began two years later and the complex officially opened on June 30th 1896 with the first ever three-day Balmoral Show.
In 1933, J & R Thompson of Belfast built the King’s Hall, as you would come to know it, which was officially opened by the Duke of Gloucester on May 29th 1934. This was the largest exhibition venue and the only large concert venue in Northern Ireland until the completion of the Odyssey in the year 2000.
Another change took place in 2012 when the King’s Hall was replaced by a new, unique, and semi-permanent building known as the King’s Hall Pavilions. Even larger than the last, this facility was designed by Röder HTS Höcker of Germany and opened on September 29th 2012.
It goes without saying that with more than 75,000 visitors, the Balmoral Show is the biggest draw for the King’s Hall Complex every year. In addition to this event, the Complex hosts countless trade shows and exhibitions, concerts of some of the biggest names in music, and sporting events with a particularly significant tie to the sport of boxing. Some of boxing’s most talented athletes have competed here at Belfast’s King’s Hall Complex including Rinty Monaghan and Barry McGuigan. These two have become synonymous with the King’s Hall and in 2007 a blue plaque was displayed in honour of John Joseph “Rinty” Monaghan, the one time undisputed world champion.
Attending an event at the immense King’s Hall Complex is a wonder in itself. Currently the largest indoor exhibition venue in Northern Ireland, this complex welcomes you with its art deco style façade, ample parking, convenient city access, and wide open facility space. Stop in for a concert with 25,000 of your friends or join in the sheep shearing competition at the Balmoral Show.