The Beatles not in Belgium

The Beatles actually never performed in Belgium. The Belgian public would have to wait until 1972 to see a "Beatle" perform live in their country. That was Paul McCartney, with Wings, in Borgerhout near Antwerp. He later returned to Gent, in 1993. The only other Beatle to have performed live on Belgian soil is Ringo Starr, who appeared with his "All-Starr Band" at the Beach Festival of De Panne in 1992 and at Marktrock in Leuven in 1998.

We came very close, though...
Jeff De Boeck, a renowned jazz musician who had come to work as an A&R man for the Gramophone Company in Belgium in 1959 and who later would become Salvatore Adamo's first producer, also represented the publishing company Ardmore & Beechwood, wholly owned by EMI.

As Ardmore & Beechwood owned the rights to "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I love you", Jeff De Boeck was introduced to The Beatles' manager Brian Epstein in the London offices of the music publishing company.
Although Jeff De Boeck could not recall exactly when that was, the meeting very probably took place towards the end of 1963.

"Brian Epstein told us that The Beatles were available to perform on Belgian television," Jeff remembered, "and that they would only have to pay the band's expenses. But neither the Flemish BRT nor the French-speaking station RTB was interested. When they finally got interested, it was too late, as there was now a waiting list of two years for The Beatles. But it gave me the opportunity to place Helen Shapiro instead!"

In a memo dated 24 December 1963, the General Manager of Gramophone in Belgium summarised discussions he had had during his visit to EMI Headquarters from 12 to 18 December: "The Beattles [sic] have been booked to appear in Germany, Belgium and Holland from 1st to 5th May 1964... Note: I have since seen a letter stating that RTB are not interested in these Artistes (The Beattles) and should like to be informed if it means the visit to this country has fallen through. "

In its 2 January 1964 issue, the Flemish Radio & TV weekly Humo wrote that it was "almost sure that The Beatles [would] perform on Flemish TV in April or May". And on 6 February: "Brian Epstein, the 27 year-old manager of The Beatles, told us over the phone that he had expected a phone call from the BRT but in vain. The only dates left are in the first week of June."

In the end, the Beatles performed in Holland instead.