The Electronic Music Society (EMS). This is to be the name of the grand plan of the people behind Groningen’s Club Paradigm. In short, the EMS will become an elaborate creative settlement revolving around pretty much every aspect that dance music entails. The progressive club management has decided to move its club location in order to construct a creative complex consisting of a club, festival site, workspace for artists, producers, DJs, VJs and every imaginable creative profession that has something to do with dance music and event production. To get a better idea of their ambitions, I had a talk with Paradigm co-owner Piter Terpstra and Shift coordinator Milan Meyberg.

A quick history lesson: Paradigm started out as a festival and in 2012, Paradigm Festival saw its debut edition. Over the past years, Paradigm has cemented a place inside Dutch festival culture. It already welcomed myriad Dutch and international artists from all styles and strata, like Nina Kraviz, Redshape, Clockwork, Malbetrieb, Speedy J, Jaydee (Yes, mr. Plastic Dreams himself) Timo Maas and Matador. Due to the growth of the festival, Paradigm decided it was ready to start hosting two festival days in 2015, bringing together over 7000 visitors from across the country – a lot of people for an underground festival in a Dutch city, maybe with the exception of Amsterdam. -, billing, among others David August, Thugfucker, Guy J and East End Dubs.

The profits of the first festival back in 2012, however, were used to finance a club/creative collective right next door to the festival site. Club Paradigm, at the Helsinkistraat, has made an equally significant statement in Groningen, and now hosts weekly events with the same musical focus. Their latest events have drawn in DJs like Mano Le Tough, Marc Romboy, Dennis Ferrer, Oscar Mulero, Ruede Hagelstein and Prins Thomas.

“[The Paradigm Shift] will create a creative settlement, where a great number of forward thinkers that want to contribute to culture, events and music in one way or another  – be it DJ/producers, video editors, light and sound engineers, artists, stage builders – can live, work, and create, all under one roof.”

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The Shift 

The third fase of the Paradigm project will be in “constant development, and never finished”, as described by Terpstra. It is one that is under construction as we speak and will also be the most interesting one. It is called the Paradigm Shift, and its end goal sounds ambitious to say the least: to create the biggest cultural settlement in the Netherlands.

The announcement was made during this year’s edition of Paradigm Festival, and visitors were told that within two years, Paradigm’s location will be moved to the former ‘Suikerunie terrain’, where a vast stretch of land (25.000 m2) will become the new grounds for not only the new club and festival site, but also the creative settlement, where a great number of forward thinkers that want to contribute to culture, events and music in one way or another  – be it DJ/producers, video editors, light and sound engineers, artists, stage producers – can live, work, and create all under one roof.

Milan Meyberg explains:

“For Paradigm, this was the direction necessary to take. The philosophy and expression of collaborative production and doing things as a group of like-minded people has always been key in everything that has been done here. What I mean is that the club should not only be a refuge for dancing a few nights away, but a home base, a residence for people that want to have the freedom to let their creative juices flow without any restrictions. We have already done this at a smaller scale with the volunteers that have helped in, for instance, the entire production of the different editions of Paradigm Festival.”