concert hall - club - cultural centre
Paradiso is housed in a converted former church building that dates from the 19th century and that was used until 1965 by the "Vrije Gemeente" (Free Congregation). Today Paradiso has become a pop podium, club and cultural centre in one.
Paradiso's main hall - an old church building
Paradiso was squatted by hippies in 1967 who wanted to convert the church to an entertainment and leisure club. The police ended the festivities the same year. In 1968 the city opened Paradiso as a youth entertainment centre. Along with the nearby Melkweg (Milky Way), it soon became a place that attracted youngsters, audiences and artists from Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Europe and the rest of the world. It is now the most famous rock venue of the Netherlands.
The main concert hall in the former church interior has high ceilings and two balcony rings overlooking the stage area, with three large illuminated church windows above the stage.
The main hall has a capacity of 1500 and hosts world famous rick, folk, soul, country, reggae and blues bands. Paradiso is known for popular newcomers and up and coming talent, but also many famous bands and artists have played at the Paradiso including Pink Floyd, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, Prince, Madonna, Joe Jackson, The Sex Pistols, Nirvana, Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga, Coldplay, Herman Brood, The Police, Red Hot Chili Peppers, U2, Pearl Jam, Metallica and Golden Earring.
The small hall with a capacity of 250, is host to intimate and often magical concerts.
Throughout the year, the big stream of concerts and other events is changed up with festivals, such as the Britpop oriented London Calling festival and 5 days off , the festival for electronic music and media art.
Backside of Paradiso with the Singelgracht - view from Stadhouderskade
From the beginning in 1968 audiences were dancing to live music at Paradiso, Paradiso was closed during the night and until the beginning of the eighties, there was no real club culture in The Netherlands. In 1982 DJ Eddy de Clerq started the change with his Pep Club dance nights. This legendary club night led to the rise of house music and culture in the late eighties and lots of other dance parties in Paradiso.
Paradiso's facade and entrance by night
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