On March 30th, 1968 ‘Cosmic Relaxation Center Paradiso’ opened its doors. The goal was to offer an open place for creative talent. From this day, the church building on Weteringschans was a place that attracted youngsters, audiences and artists from Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Europe and the rest of the world. In the 40 years that followed, Paradiso has become a pop podium, a club and a cultural center in one.
The Main Hall has a capacity of 1500 and hosts world famous rock, folk, soul, country, reggae and blues heroes such as Al Green (2008), Jerry Lee Lewis (2004) and Smokey Robinson (2007) but also style icons like Grace Jones (2009). This hall is often filled to the brim for popular newcomers such as Queens Of The Stone Age (2002, 2005), White Stripes (2003), Last Shadow Puppets (2008) and Lady Gaga (2009). We also have regular visitors like Maceo Parker, George Clinton, De Dijk and Van Dik Hout who come back every year to play in the special atmosphere of the old church.
In the Small Hall with a capacity of 250, we host intimate and often magical concerts. Up and coming talent plays here, often as their first step before making it big. After a successful concert in the Small Hall of Paradiso, they return to play in the Main Hall. Franz Ferdinand and Kings of Leon are just two of the many examples of artists who started out in our Small Hall, then played the Main Hall and the big stadiums soon after. Also, the Small Hall is home to eccentric artists, young and old, who will never play a big music dome but are extremely special nevertheless. For example, Paradiso's Small Hall will always have a place for artists like Johnny Dowd, Michael Gira (Swans), Bob Log III and Steve Wynn.
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.