Iconic Paradiso Updates With CHAUVET Professional

Posted on July 26, 2023

AMSTERDAM – From the outside, the sturdy three-story former church with a central clock just off Leidse Square looks much like any of the other majestic stone structures built in northern Europe during the late 19th century. Inside, though, this building’s walls reverberate with the echoes of a very unique musical heritage that began 55 years ago when it was reborn as Paradiso, with an inaugural concert by Pink Floyd.

Indeed, one would be hard pressed to find a building anywhere with as much music history per square meter as Paradiso. With light coming through and reflecting off of its towering stained glass windows (a remnant from its days as a church) and two- tiered balcony, the building has provided an evocative setting for countless musical performances.

Over the years, those performance have been as diverse as they’ve been monumental. Artist from AC/DC and Adele, to David Bowie, Nirvana and Madonna have performed here. Its stage hosted Glen Matlock’s last show with the Sex Pistols, as well as an acoustic performance by The Rolling Stones, that Keith Richards regarded as one of the band’s finest.

Alex Boonstra, Paradiso’s Technical Systems Supervisor, and the rest of the team at the venue are keenly aware and appreciative of its rich history. However, with 1,200 shows taking place on its different stages every year, they spend a lot of time looking forward, working to update their lighting and sound system to deliver the best possible results for fans and the performing artists.

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The venue’s goal is to update its system every five years or so to ensure that it’s employing the latest technology. This spring, Paradiso completed its most recent modernizing project when it installed a new lighting system anchored by CHAUVET Professional fixtures, which were supplied by Air Light Holland. Featured in this collection are 40 Maverick Force 2 Profile units, 25 Rogue R1 BeamWashes, six Color STRIKE M motorized strobes, and seven Ovation P-56VW pars.

“For this project, we worked with Air Light Holland, just as we did on our last update,” said Boonstra. “Ruud Pouwels of Air Light Holland was very helpful. We came into contact with Chauvet late in the process and immediately wanted to switch to them. The Maverick Force 2 Profiles fit perfectly into our plans. It has the output we want, and it is ideal as a front light.

Benefiet Turkije & Syrië in Paradiso - 16022023_2
“We split the 40 Mavericks into different groups, each with its own function,” continued Boonstra. “Some do front lighting, some project gobos, some light backdrops. During dance nights however, we wanted to move the center of gravity off the pop stage more to the dancefloor and use the stage lights less. In this way the fixtures are multi-purpose, and we are able to use one type of spot for the entire set, which is great.”

The addition of the Color STRIKE M fixtures has greatly expanded the opportunities for visiting designers to transform the stage with pixelized special effects, and to engage the crowd with intense audience lighting. Also broadening creative horizons at the iconic venue are the Rogue R1 BeamWash units, which are often used for side lighting and general stage washing.

Prior to its recent upgrade, Paradiso had conventional par can side light for the whole room. This was inconvenient, especially given the club’s diverse programming since team members had to get up on ladders to change the fixtures when something other than a concert took place.

The Rogue R1 BeamWash has addressed this issue. “We can set them and forget them,” Boonstra said of the LED units, adding that this gives the team more time to look for new ways to enhance the environment at Paradiso, a venue rich in history, but one with its eyes fixed firmly on the future.