In the beginning, there was the End ('t Eynde)
Musicclub 't Ey goes back a long way to 1991, when its predecessor, 't Eynde (the End) was started. Up to 2000, when its location at the Eindestraat had to be abandoned, the non-profit organisation (the Flemish "vzw") set up hundreds of concerts and other cultural activities. Many of those were folk-gigs and the club would later profile itself as predominantly folk. But many other popular acts like Raymond vh Groenewoud, Philip Catherine, Willem Vermandere and Wannes van de Velde were staged too. So artists from all over the world made their appearance in what used to be the farm's cowshed, miraculously made over into a small concert hall. The public also enjoyed a number of purely ethnic music bands on their stage. And yet, this typical brown café or pub had to go too and a modern bloc of flats has since risen in its stead. It was Wannes van de Velde, the renowned Flemish folk singer-songwriter who closed its doors on December 17th 2000.
Since then the non profit organisation have found a new home at the former Belsele primary school just across the street from the demolished 't Eynde. The move, set up as a public party with musical band, really rang in a new era.
Indeed: over the last eight years this new location has been transformed by tens of volunteers and one paid employee into a music club really worthy of its name. In their first year (2000) the team already organised some 15 concerts, a number that was to rise as the load of rebuilding work diminished. We can boast of a rising number of concertgoers every year. In 2007, we had some 4000 visitors to our club.
't Ey is located in the village's former primary school at Koutermolenstraat 6b in 9111 Belsele, joined to Sint-Niklaas, about half way between Ghent and Antwerp. The property has been given in long lease contract by the city council up to 2027.
The building holds various rooms: a 100 seat concert hall, a 'foyer' or lounge for some 70 people, a kitchen, a backstage area with shower, an attic fully refurbished for rehearsals and an office.
All of 't Ey's activities are made possible by tens and tens of ready volunteers. A steering committee hold responsibility, meet on a regular basis at least once a month and set out the club's policy as best as possible. All volunteers have a say in the running of the club at public meetings, organised three times a year
Quality is our trademark
The prime motive for our engagement to this kind of music is not purely entertainment: we believe that such small-scale concerts as we organise them really bring people closer together. As a result, we are opposed to a commercialised music scene, even if that would be a folk scene. Yet we want our gigs to be organised in a professional way with an eye for real quality, in exchange for a bit of respect of public and musicians alike. This is the only profit we make. Let the surplus value of our stage be food for the soul...
vzw 't Ey are supported by the city of Sint-Niklaas, the province of East-Flanders and the Flemish Community.
Four private partners help us survive as well:
- Keymusic, Sint-Niklaas
- The Bavik Brewery, Bavikhove
- The Volksverzekering (an insurance company), Belsele
- Boelens Brewery, Belsele
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