There can be few venues in the country that can claim to have hosted such an eclectic Who's Who of famous faces.
Everyone from the composers Mendelssohn and Elgar, The Beatles and Rolling Stones to Charles Dickens and Margaret Thatcher have appeared at Birmingham's Town Hall, currently undergoing the final stages of its two-year, £35 million renovation project.
The building has been closed to the public since 1996, although the work proper only started in the last two years. It's been an ambitious venture, part funded by Birmingham City Council (£18.3 million), Heritage Lottery Fund (£13.7 million) and European Regional Development Fund (£3 million).
This month sees contractors Wates hand the building over to the management team, who will oversee the final stages of the refurbishment, including fitting out the bars, fine tuning the acoustic system - and the three-month job of cleaning and re-tuning the famous organ. This alone will take up the whole of April, May and June.
Built in 1834, the hall was designed by Joseph Hansom (he of the Hansom cab), and styled on the temple of Castor and Pollax in Rome, it was the first of its kind in the country.
Sadly after 150 or so years of hosting all manner of concerts, talks, meetings and dances, the Town Hall began to show its age, both inside and out. When pieces of the Anglesey marble exterior began falling off in the mid 90s, the council were forced to close it and develop a substantial renovation plan.
"Initially the brief was how much it would cost to get the building opened again," says Project Architect Barry Adams.
"When external [funding] organisations came in, they said it had to be a bolder scheme."
The project was certainly that. Rather than simply restoring the building to its former glory, the engineers and architects set about "trying to get all the modern requirements of a 21st century performance venue within the framework of a Grade 1 listed building," as Barry puts it.
Work began in earnest two years ago; as well as the marble exterior being cleaned and restored (the side facing Victoria Square becoming a giant billboard in the process), the inside was transformed.
All 28 windows were fitted with 1/2 inch thick secondary glazing and double layer acoustic blinds; a new state of the art acoustic canopy was installed, which can be raised and lowered to suit the type of music being played and control the reverberation time; two lifts have been built; the second gallery introduced in 1927 removed to leave one large gallery and allow more light to flood in; the brown and red colour scheme replaced by a much kinder blue and white palette. The 15x8 metre stage now has hydraulic risers, so equipment can be easily added or removed as well as allowing several levels to be set for orchestras.
Whilst a stream of 21st century technology has been brought in, however, Mr Adams is quick to point out that's not at the expense of the original Victorian splendour:
"If [Joseph] Hansom came back in he would be able to see some familiarity with his original plan," he insists.
Flexibility appears to have been the buzzword for the project - set to be reflected in the programme of events which begins with the opening gala festival on October 4. This, says General Manager Simon Wales, will set the tone, with jazz, pop, comedy, classical and world music all on the agenda.
One key target area for the new 1,100 capacity venue will be the younger end of the market - many of whom will never have been in the Town Hall, which has been closed for over a decade.
"For them it's always been covered in scaffolding, a lot of them don't know what this building is," says Simon. "Our aim is to get them in the door and show them what's on offer.
"It's such a great building which has been closed down for 10 years, [now] opening in a Birmingham that's changed so much - to be relevant to Birmingham it's really got to stake its claim."