• Paradigm moves to Suiker Unie terrain

    From beets to beats

    Paradigm is moving to the Suiker Unie terrain. They want to build a new dance bulwark with old stones and – hopefully – thousands of euros in crowdfunding and subsidies.
    in short

    Dance bulwark Paradigm is moving to the old Suiker Unie terrain. The move even has a special name: ‘The Shift’.

    According to co-founder Piter Terpstra, the project is coming along ‘nicely’. Out of the 200,000 euros needed, one-fifth has been raised through crowdfunding.

    The intention is that the new Paradigm will be self-sufficient.

    The organisation hopes to acquire building materials through donations from companies and private individuals.

    But no matter what, the ladies and gentlemen at Paradigm will stay true to themselves. ‘We simply don’t book rude DJs.’

    Terpstra and DJ Milan Meyberg feel that Paradigm has been so successful due to the familial vibe.

    This vibe will also ensure the success of ‘The Shift’, according to Meyberg and Terpstra. And if it doesn’t, ‘we’ll do it in the location after the Suiker Unie’.

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    The move has been aptly named The Shift. And it’s actually coming along quite nicely, according to Piter Terpstra, one of the founders of Paradigm. ‘It’s now been three months, and we raised approximately 40,000 euros through the crowdfunding campaign.’ DJ Milan Meyberg, who is closely involved with the plan, tells us that a new website will be launched soon, and that it will have weekly updates on the project’s progress. ‘This increases our transparency.’

    The creative bulwark at the Suiker Unie terrain is intended to be self-sufficient. ‘Whether we’ll succeed in that remains to be seen of course, but we’ll just see how far we get’, says Terpstra. ‘The way we use materials and the construction process is an entirely new way of interacting with the environment’, Meyberg says. That idealism can also be found in the community behind the popular electronic music temple. ‘Why would we buy new bricks when we can get old ones and use those to build something?’ Terpstra asks. ‘That is a paradigm-crossing way of thinking,’ posits Meyberg.

    Tree trunks from Staatsbosbeheer

    Several companies and private individuals were very enthusiastic about the plans and offered materials. They all want to contribute to The Shift. The experiment of ‘harvesting’ materials actually started during the annual festival in August, where the main stage was constructed out of tree trunks donated by Staatsbosbeheer. The wood would otherwise have been burned. The municipality of Groningen is also enthusiastic. ‘We are in good standing within the municipality. We are very successful and make them more attractive’, Terpstra says.

    This enthusiasm should soon translate into subsidies. What the proportion of crowdfunding and subsidies is going to look like is not yet clear. What is clear is that before the first stage of the move, they need 200,000 euros. Ultimately, they would like to collect a million, although they would ‘prefer more’. Yet Paradigm will never become commercial. This is apparent in the Loodsrave, for example, which has just started downstairs in the building. This charming event, which has its kick off in the afternoon, has free entry until 11 p.m. and you can bring your own alcohol until 6 p.m. The Shift mainly leans on their large community, consisting of tens of thousands of people. They aren’t just to be found in Groningen, either; Paradigm is also a big name in the Randstad.

    No Martin Garrix

    But what if there is a hole in the budget once the crowdfunding campaign has ended? Is the organisation going to bring in well-known people such at DJ Tiësto and Martin Garrix? ‘No!’ the men yell in unison. ‘Not even if they came for free. Although, Tiësto playing an old school trance set is worth thinking about’, says Terpstra. ‘But even then, we wouldn’t advertise it’, Meyberg adds firmly.

    Tips for ADE

    This Wednesday, the Amsterdam Dance Event is starting in the capital. Through Sunday, people can dance day and night. Paradigm tells us where the best parties are.

    Warehouse Elementenstraat, and especially the (sold out) Friday night, when Ricardo Villabos is playing, among others. ‘Raw, with a really great line up.’

    Also fun on Friday: Seth Troxler in club Closure. If you’re lucky, you can still find a ticket on Ticketswap.

    NGHTDVSN on Saturday, where Paradigm’s in-house DJ Malbetrieb will be playing together with, among others, Max Cooper, Stephan Bodzin and Gabriel Ananda.

    Sunday, Speedy J will be playing at Awakenings presents: Electric Deluxe, together with Nina Kraviz, among others.

    The best afterparty is Breakfast Club, with Brent Roozendaal in club Closure. ‘Always a big zoo.’

    This attitude is telling of the club’s vision. ‘We refuse 95 per cent of the external parties that want to throw a party here’, says Terpstra. That’s simply because they do not match Paradigm’s identity. According to him, it’s a matter of perseverance. ‘When you’re very commercial, you can grow really quickly. But we choose the path of the most resistance.’ And in this, the music is the most important. Electronic dance music (EDM), played by big name DJs such as Martin Garrix and David Guetta, is not welcome. ‘All those one-trick ponies that charge hundreds of thousands of euros just for that one trick – we’re not interested in that’, says Meyberg.

    And the club goers appreciate this. Paradigm is also famous for the new, unknown music they play. The bar is set high because the employees have been organising events since they were teenagers, are often DJs themselves, or visit a lot of festivals and parties. ‘We spar with each other. That way we keep each other sharp’, says Meyberg. And that is very important, according to Terpstra. ‘We are pretty fierce with each other, because we have to be at our absolute best in order to guarantee a certain level of quality.’ That is not always easy. An evening with 150 or 200 visitors rather than 350 is all right now and again, but it does cost money. ‘You can’t have your programming be too extreme, of course. We do want to continue to experiment, but you can’t do something like that too often’, says Meyberg.

    Family vibe

    The biggest factor to explain Paradigm’s success is the family vibe, according to the guys. ‘Paradigm became something unique because we have so much fun together’, opines Terpstra. ‘We’re very nice to our visitors. Everyone is welcome. And we simply don’t book rude DJs.’ Meyberg, who moved to Amsterdam from Groningen, sees a big difference between the club scenes. ‘The Randstad is a very hard, competitive environment, where people only think of themselves.’ At Paradigm, where a large part of the activities are dependent on volunteers, the opposite is true. ‘We’re not so much concerned with the quality of an individual as we are with the quality of the collective’, says Terpstra. ‘Here, we are a club of people first and foremost’, Meyberg adds.

    This sense of solidarity is why they will succeed at the Suiker Unie terrain, the DJ thinks. They are very ambitious. The annual festival, for instance, which was expanded from one to two days last year, is supposed to last five days at the new location. ‘People would be able to camp out and bring their own beer’, says Terpstra. Whether this is feasible remains to be seen. But if it doesn’t work out, no harm, no foul. ‘Then we’ll do it at the next location after the Suiker Unie. I’m sure we’ll get there someday.’

    What is going to happen?

    Paradigm is an underground club, housed in an old grain factory on the Helsinkistraat. They play mostly electronic music such as techno and house. The club gets a lot of student visitors. The move to the Suiker Unie terrain was announced last August during the annual festival. Approximately one-sixth of the terrain (120,000 square metres in total) will be utilised. This space is meant not just for clubs, but also for artists’ studios, office space, a restaurant, a café, an outdoor cinema, music studios, edible gardens, and an energy park. This will all be done under the umbrella of the foundation the Electronic Music Society (EMS).

    The manner of construction is innovative: they will only use sustainable, recycled materials. To this end, two specialist architectural firms have been hired. EMS also wants to collaborate with for example benefits agency UWV to involve unemployed people in participation and learning programmes. Furthermore, they would like to experiment with a basic income. All of this will have to be financed through crowdfunding and subsidies for innovation and sustainability. Fans can donate on the website Part of the Shift. In exchange for their donation, they will receive bags, EPs, or lifetime access to the club.

    Paradigm will open for the first time in the new location for their New Year’s Eve party. The move should be finished in the summer of 2017.