Paradigm FestivalAugust 13 & 14

A conversation with Harmen, Joke and Kyra

Two regulars who can often be found at the Paradigm terrain, where they create one beautiful construction after another: Harmen and Joke. They’ve been a part of our community since the 2nd edition of Paradigm Festival. They started out as volunteers, doing the odd jobs here and there for a free ticket. Their involvement evolved over the years, as they were both given the space to express and develop their artistic creativity. They’re now a full deco-team these days, designing awesome ideas and putting them into practice throughout the year, with Paradigm Festival being the pièce de résistance. They’ve got some extra help this year: their daughter Kyra often comes along to play on the terrain and helps out whilst wearing her little work shoes she dubbed “Paradigm-shoes”. We’ve had a nice chat with them and talked about their plans for Paradigm Festival 2021.

Hey Harmen, Joke and Kyra. What are we looking at?
Harmen: We’re creating a wooden octopus in the forest, an idea conjured up by Joke. The head is a large object, sprouting arms from eight different spots out of the ground, crossing paths and walkways. We’re constructing suckers out of little wooden discs. We’ve also cleaned and upgraded all the little walkway bridges in the forest and added some more decorations. The Forest will have more walkways than ever before for everyone to discover everything the forest has to offer during the Festival.

Kyra: I’ve got a mosquito bite.

Which additional materials will you be using?
Harmen: Mostly materials that’ve been used in past projects and deco pieces. For our current project we’re salvaging scalings, wooden beams with a bark edge and old tree trunks. Wooden trusses will make up the foundation of the construction. And empty jars. We’re going to turn those into treasure chests.

Joke: We’ve also salvaged a couple of fishing nets to serve our purposes!

Harmen: The only ‘new’ material we’re using are screws, really. That’s it. Using residual materials always adds an extra layer of challenge to a project: the materials usually don’t complement our needs perfectly so we have to modify them as we go. This is extra satisfactory to accomplish as a result, seeing as beautiful projects can still come to fruition using these materials.

Kyra: Look! This rubber band is pink.

How would you describe the style of your creations?

Joke: It’s okay if it’s a bit rough around the edges with a natural feel to things. We tend to create suggestive things, not necessarily scale models.

Harmen: Exactly! We want to leave something to people’s imagination and stimulate their senses! We absolutely love it if people interpret our works in unexpected ways that don’t align with our initial ideas. That they’re surprised time and time again.

Joke: For them to feel like a kid again, to discover hidden pathways both intended and off the beaten path. For example, if you follow a certain path, you’ll end up in the head of the octopus! That’s the stuff we live for.

Harmen: The forest itself is beautiful on its own already. It’s even better to be able to work with it, enhance it in our own ways. We take that into account and tend to work with the way the forest is set up. Larger constructions are made to last for years, too!

Kyra: Would you like a nut?

What can you tell us about the theme?
Harmen: We’ve pieced together our own story about pirates!

Joke: Pirates are awesome. Freebooters if you will, just like we are. A little anarchy together with, in this case, a high cuddling rate. Incredibly fashionable nomads, which immediately sets the tone and vibe.

Harmen: We’ve got free rein regarding our theme and we hungrily grasped that opportunity. In our story, the pirates had to shift their activities towards land, seeing as the sea has been polluted so heavily that they had no choice but to head to shore.

Joke: Kyra has a book called The Pirate Cruncher by Jonnie Duddle. The book is riddled with illustrations of little pirates and sea monsters. This has been a low-key source of inspiration!

Kyra, whilst pointing towards a water skin: This contains water! Nice huh?!

What else are you planning to create?

Joke: Everything is related to the development regarding festivals. We’re hoping for clarity soon so we can really unpack and work out details to strengthen the story we want to present!

It’s already looking gorgeous! Can you tell us something about your personal motivations to create, at Paradigm in particular?
Joke: The togetherness. The energy and dynamics that usually comes with a construction week. The collective mind but also your own development. In our case, Harmen is the one with the technical know-how and he helped me out with lots of my ideas. But at some point he wasn’t around for a little while, which forced me to rely on my own skills. Slowly but surely I learned to do the things Harmen does by myself, which really boosted my confidence levels. It’s also great to be able to show someone else how it’s done and you’ll learn from them in turn too! The freedom and opportunities we’re offered are great for self-improvement. If you’ve got the drive, you can learn a lot here.

Harmen: What I love about this is that I’m able to do things that I normally won’t spend as much time doing in my every-day life! You’re developing and improving upon an ever-expanding skill set! Also, just take a look around! It’s such a brilliant place to work and become inspired.

Joke: The fact that SAC was cancelled was a heavy blow for all of us. That same uncertainty is still palpable, which is hard to deal with. But we want to stay optimistic!

Kyra: There’s a spider on your shoulder.

What do you think is the purpose for your creations?

Harmen: We want people to feel stimulated into feeling like a kid again!
Joke: To make people let go of the grind of everyday life. Kyra, just like the kids from Paul and Piter, are discovering everything the forest has to offer at the moment and we want visitors to experience a similar feeling when coming over during the festival!

… suddenly:

Kyra: Mommy, I have to poo.

End of the chat. 🙂

Paradigm Festival 2021 update

(English below)

Het Paradigm-gevoel. Iets waar we niet zonder kunnen. Afgelopen periode was een beproeving. En dat is het nog steeds. Voor iedereen. Maar er is licht aan het einde van de tunnel.

Hoop dat Paradigm Festival 2021 zou doorgaan, hebben we altijd gehouden. Maar we zijn afhankelijk van de routekaart van de overheid, de overige maatregelen en alle andere beschikbare informatie. Dit biedt niet de zekerheid die zouden willen, maar op basis daarvan hebben wel de keuze gemaakt om Paradigm Festival in een aangepaste vorm door te laten gaan. Want we kunnen namelijk niet wachten om het Paradigm-gevoel weer met jullie te delen.

Paradigm Festival wordt dit jaar afgeschaald van drie naar twee dagen: zaterdag 14 en zondag 15 augustus. De nachten komen te vervallen en zo ook de camping. Ook kunnen we naar alle waarschijnlijkheid minder bezoekers toelaten en zullen er dus minder kaarten worden verkocht dan vorige edities. Het zijn aanpassingen die we liever niet hadden willen maken, maar we kunnen niet anders vanwege de Corona-maatregelen. Wij voelen dat dit de juiste keuze is: we willen niet nóg een jaar niets doen. We willen patronen doorbreken en de misère omzetten naar positiviteit. Samen met jullie het leven vieren.

De aanpassingen in vorm en organisatie hebben consequenties voor de ticketing. We geven de tickethouders de gelegenheid om hun ticket een-op-een door te zetten naar Paradigm Festival 2022 of het ticket als voucher in te zetten voor de aanschaf van een ticket voor de aangepaste editie van dit jaar. Tickethouders krijgen hier vandaag een mail over. De reguliere ticketverkoop, voor degenen die op dit moment niet in het bezit zijn van een ticket, start op 10 juni om 13:00 uur.

We willen jullie enorm bedanken voor jullie loyaliteit en support. Ook willen we de bookers en artiesten bedanken voor hun flexibiliteit, support en welwillendheid. Ondanks de aanpassingen hebben samen met hen een prachtig programma gemaakt.

Eerste namen voor zaterdag:
Stranger, Ivan Iacobucci, Perc, Steve O’Sullivan, Afra, Quest, Kosmische Kracht *live, Comrade Winston, Joannes b2b Nuno Dos Santos, Alex Jansen en Gerrit de Boer

Eerste namen voor zondag:
DVS1, Steve Rachmad aka Sterac, Spokenn (Ferro & Reiss), ROD, Tripeo, Alinka, Joren Edwards, Milena Doudou en Neo Young

Laten we er een zomer van maken die we nooit meer gaan vergeten.

Heel veel liefde,

De mensen van Paradigm


The Paradigm feeling. Something we just can’t do without. It has been a trying time since the beginning of the current crisis. It still is, for everyone. But there’s a light peeking at the end of the tunnel.

Believing that Paradigm Festival 2021 would happen is something we kept doing throughout all this. But we have to follow up on decisions made by our government, relevant restrictions and make decisions based on the available information. This doesn’t offer any assurances but we’ve made the decision to work towards Paradigm Festival 2021 in an adjusted form, as we feel the need to share the Paradigm feeling with you once again in a safe manner!

This year’s Paradigm Festival will be scaled down from three to two days: Saturday the 14th and Sunday the 15th of August. The nights will be rescinded completely, as well as the campsite. We are also allowing fewer visitors than previously projected and we’ll have fewer tickets to sell as a result. These are adjustments we’d rather not have implemented, but we don’t have any other options because of the Corona restrictions. We still feel that this is the right choice as we’re not willing to abstain for another year. We intend to break the cycle and turn these rough times into something worthwhile and positive.
These changes have additional consequences regarding our ticketing. We’ll give ticket holders the choice between keeping their ticket for Paradigm Festival 2022 or converting their ticket to a voucher to be used for tickets this year. We’re going to send all ticket holders an email about this later today. Regular ticket sale will start on June 10.

We all want to thank you so very much for your loyalty and undying support. We’d also like to extend our thanks and immense appreciation to the bookers and artists for their flexibility and support in this matter. The following artists have been confirmed:

Saturday: Stranger, Ivan Iacobucci, Perc, Steve O’Sullivan, Afra, Quest, Kosmische Kracht *live, Comrade Winston, Joannes b2b Nuno Dos Santos, Alex Jansen and Gerrit de Boer

Sunday: DVS1, Steve Rachmad aka Sterac, Spokenn (Ferro & Reiss), ROD, Tripeo, Alinka, Joren Edwards, Milena Doudou and Neo Young

Let’s make this a summer to never, ever forget!

All the love in the world,

The people over at Paradigm.

A conversation with Mark Fischer (EMS)

EMS will host a stage with a wide range or artists again, just like last year! Enough incentive to sit down with project manager Mark Fischer! He’ll give us some insight into some of the shared values between Paradigm and EMS, as well as some tips on what to watch out for during the festival!

Mark, you became a familiar face at Paradigm in the last years, but can you give us a short introduction of yourself and EMS?

Yes, I’m project manager of Electronic Music Society 050 (EMS). We cooperate with Paradigm on three core values: arts & culture, sustainability and inclusivity. That resulted in EMS hosting a stage at the festival (EMS Arena) with art performances and music. And lots of other great results, which I hope you’ll see back at the festival.

Why is it important for you to work on these values?

I think we’re facing some huge challenges at the moment: our climate is changing rapidly. Not only the planet’s climate, but also our societies’ climate. I believe the only way to face these challenges is with optimism. In that sense Paradigm has always been an inspiring place for me. The atmosphere is one of a kind and I recognize a lot of optimistic qualities in the team, volunteers and visitors: generosity, curiosity, being open minded towards other people and cultures. To quote Frie Leysen, a wise woman and source of inspiration: “If you don’t open the windows of your house, it gets smelly inside. So, you have to let a breeze in now and then.” Paradigm and EMS have opened the windows, and I hope the breeze you’re feeling here can be the start of a hurricane towards a more sustainable, diverse and fair future.

One of the core values is sustainability, how will we see this back at the festival?

First of all, Paradigm itself has done a great effort to reduce its footprint in the last years. Take, for example, the organization’s ban of disposable plastics (cups and coins). Those are first steps of a bigger plan. Together, we’ve set the goal to be completely circular in 2030. The only way to achieve this is in small steps, each year a little more sustainable. This year, for example, we’ve cooperated with NP3, a Groningen based artistic platform, to make the design of the festival more sustainable, challenging the designers to think differently about their concept. Not only in terms of sustainability, but also in terms of: what story does your design tell, how can you intertwine your design with the experience of the festival? Also, you can see sustainability back as a theme in the program of our stage. ‘The Fountain’ of Brazilian choreographer Fernando Belfiore speaks about our relation as humans to the earth and its recourses. And next to that, as EMS, we’re compensating the emissions of all the travels of our artists (if you’re interested in that yourself, click here). Next years, we’ll be building further upon these steps.

What does inclusivity and diversity mean to you?

There’s a lot of polarization at the moment in our society. As EMS and Paradigm we don’t want to emphasize the difference, but we want to embrace it. That means that everyone is welcome, but also that we have to be aware of our own privileges. I have to be honest that I’m pretty privileged myself as a white Dutch male. Take the program I made for the EMS Arena. I did some counting and it consists mainly of men. Why? There are more than enough amazing female artists. I wasn’t aware of it until I counted. There are still very big patriarchal structures and mechanisms of power that are influencing who we are, the chances we get and the choices we make. That applies not only to women, also towards people of color, refugees, underprivileged people, etc.. If we want to move towards a fairer world, we constantly have to be aware of that and fight it. In the end these patriarchal power structures lead to a society, where certain (groups of) people are being blamed for problems more than others and I think it’s ridiculous how we treat them (if someone is drowning, you safe that person, right?). Here at Paradigm we want to create a safe space where people feel welcome and respected.

How does this translate to the EMS program?

Now that’s out of my system, I can say that I’m very happy with our inclusion program, curated by Ahmad H Abdulwahab, giving a stage to talented newcomers. Ahmad performed at the festival last year, and his energy at the whole festival was amazing. I think I haven’t seen him without his hands in the air. This year he curated a program at the EMS Arena that consists of professional artists, mixed with talents from ‘Bab ad Daar’, a platform he set up in cooperation with Noord Nederlands Toneel, providing a rehearsal space for talented newcomers in Groningen. Ahmad invited me to a rehearsal there of Noumer Alali with 2 guys from Bab ad Daar: Omar Suleyman-like tunes, mixed with a lot of drums, while there’s a ‘Dabka’ (traditional Arabian dance) being performed. Don’t miss this at the festival, I assure you it’s going to be a party! Also looking forward a lot to the set of Jazar Crew on Sunday. They are throwing great dance parties in Israel and Palestine for the Palestine community, for which DJ’s and visitors sometimes literally have to climb walls to get there. Talking about fighting power structures…

You also curated part of the EMS Arena. Why put art performances on a techno festival like Paradigm?

The openness and curiosity I talked about creates a great context for art performances to take place in. Although it might seem a little weird to put performances between a lot of techno noise, I think there are enough people at the festival that, in between the electronic music, want to have a break and be amazed, astonished, teased and questioned. For me personally, techno festivals always have been a welcome escape from life and reality, but why not reflect a little bit on both whilst you’re escaping? Also, I chose performances that connect really well with the experience of the festival, so the transition from techno to art will be very smooth and sometimes not even noticeable.

What’s there to see, do you have some insider tips?

Yes, first of all, our local buddies from Teddy’s Last Ride. Some of you could remember them from the big sand pile last year or might have seen their preview of ‘The Others’ at NYE. Now they will perform their full 1h piece, about an alien descending to earth. It blew people away at WTTV 2 weeks ago. Also looking really forward to Arno Schuitemaker’s piece. He’s a Dutch choreographer, getting internationally renowned and just got selected by the Dutch dance jury for best dance piece of 2019. First time I saw a piece of him, it really pulled me into a trance (without any drugs). I’m really curious to see how this will work at Paradigm Festival. And last, but not least, Glasgow based artist Robbie Thomson will come to the festival with 2 projects: XFRMR, a performance by a Tesla coil on Friday evening (check out a teaser here). And, together with Jack Wrigley, a new project called ‘Stack’: a laser projection on the chimney of Zeefgebouw during the night. Visitors will be invited to put on silent disco headphones and watch the projection on the chimney to get the full experience. Can’t wait to see the result of this amazing project!

Click here to check out the full EMS line-up at Paradigm Festival 2019.

Make unsold furniture useful again at Paradigm Festival 2019

Sustainability is one of our core values and in light of that, we’re teaming up with thrift store GoudGoed. They have a lot of unsold furniture that we want to utilize for the chill out at Paradigm Festival 2019, making them useful again! What really sets this apart is that, if you fall in love with one of these pieces of furniture during our festival, you can send a picture of it to [email protected] and make an appointment to come pick it up free of charge! Let’s work together to reduce waste and make life more sustainable!

Tom’s 10 personal tips for Paradigm Festival 2019

We’ve recently unveiled the full line-up for Paradigm Festival 2019. We talked it over with our booker Tom van Ulsen, he came up with 10 personal tips you shouldn’t miss out on!

Tom: “I’m really happy wit our program. I think we’ve struck a good balance between established DJ’s, new faces and our Paradigm residents. This also applies to the collaborations with our diverse group of hosting partners. This diversity ensures a unique experience when wandering across our terrain during these three days and nights.”

British Murder Boys
1. “It’s a great honour to be the only festival in the Netherlands to welcome the British Murder Boys (Surgeon & Regis) this year. You can expect this to be a unique live act, performed by two of the founders of the UK techno scene.”

Red Axes
2. “Red Axes will be the closing act at the Forest stage after the live act by Rodriguez Jr.. This will definitely be a magical fairy tale spectacle.”

Speedy J
3. “I believe Speedy J is capable of creating a magical spectacle by himself. The Dutch legend will be playing a 5 hour set in the Romney Loods on Sunday, which is guaranteed to be a brilliant musical journey.”

The Ghost
4. “Josh Tweek and James Creed make up the Berlin-based DJ duo The Ghost, who are also the creators of the first mobile record shop in existence. Digging through crates for years on end has resulted in a couple of ultra refined record bags, so I can’t wait to find out which pearls they will bring along. Look for them together with Franceso, Alex and Gerrit in our forest at the Suvernuver stage!

5. “Alienata’s style enables her to strike a skillful combination of electro, acid, IDM and techno at the SoHaSo stage. Check her out alongside Dexter *live and Ultrastation if you would like to witness them connecting a number of musical styles.”

Jazar Crew
6. “The Jazar Crew popped up on my radar because they’re pioneers in the Arabic Underground scene. The EMS stage will be hosting this act. They have also invited Robbie Thompson, who will transform the Zeefgebouw chimney into a visual spectacle with his art project.”

The Horrorist
7. “The Horrorist *live. This is one of those acts that, if you haven’t seen it before, you won’t know what will hit you: insane music, even crazier vocals and a extravagant appearance that will definitely make you feel a little bourgeois. In short, a must see at The Beginning stage in our Container Club!”

DJ Rolando
8. “DJ Rolando is the perfect closing act for our mainstage! This living legend will be a perfect fit to bring the Saturday to a worthy close. The stage will feature the original Paradigm sound, brought to you by its co-founder Neo Young and Nick Curly!”

9. “Our partner in crime Dither, with whom we’re organizing the 12th edition of Convoi Exceptionnel at Paradigm Festival this year, has released his third album ‘Tools of Demolition’ back in June. Here at Paradigm, we’re proud of him and our joint venture and we’re happy he’ll be playing at the containers during the festival alongside The DJ Producer and many others. Industrial and energetic is how we like it and the reason why Convoi is such a constant here at Paradigm.”

10. “Last but not least: Deadbeat! This man has been exploring the deep corners of the spectrum with his dub-techno since 2000. You’ll be able to check out his sound in the basement on Saturday night. On Sunday he will be playing a Dub-reggae set at the Da Vinci stage, which is a perfect fit for day three.”

We’re hiring: Decoration and Performance frontman/-woman Paradigm Festival 2019

Job description
The decoration and performance plan for Paradigm (Groningen, the Netherlands) is always a big and challenging project for everyone involved. Dozens of carpenters, artists, welders, painters, upholsterers and performers are working diligently on their projects in the month coming up to, during and after Paradigm Festival. Properly directing their efforts will be your task, working in the field (festival terrain) alongside your team, guided by both the creative director and the production leader. The decoration and performance plan will be your guideline. You’re responsible for the execution of said plan, as well as budgeting and planning. You’re also going to be the center point of contact for everyone involved with the plan.

July 17 until July 21
July 24 until July 28
July 31 until August 4
August 7 until August 16

Required knowledge, skills, and abilities
- Experience in the creative sector is a must.
- Able to communicate clearly with both the artists and the management team of a large festival.
- VCA and EHBO certificates are desirable but aren’t required.
- Stress resistant.
- A large creative thinking capacity.
- An open mind and attitude.
- Able to do project-based work.
- Manage/drive the creative team.
- Ability to maintain oversight in every situation.
- Able to maintain a flexible and calm attitude.

In return we offer
- A salary (negotiable depending on experience).
- A temporary stay on the terrain during the project is an option.

To apply (before June 11) or for more info, please send an email to [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you!

Paradigm Festival, breeding ground for artistic talent

Paradigm Festival (music and arts) is constantly looking for creative minds and talented performers. Paradigms vision and theme in 2018 is freedom in arts and expression. We invite you to create an amazing work of art and/or performance, by working on an area, object, or idea. Our terrain is very big so we can offer you lots of space for you to freely express your creativity.

Send in a plan for your own art/performance project

If you want to create your own piece of art, decorate your own stage, to perform, please send us your plan. If your plan is approved, you will get a budget agreed upon with the organization and full freedom to execute your idea. This means you will be responsible for everything regarding your own project as well. Responsibilities include: finding volunteers, making a realistic budget, creating a planning, and providing a list of necessary materials and tools. Important: most of the materials you’ll be working with (70%-80%) have to be recycled and repurposed materials. The realization of your plans will take place during the festival_build_up_manifestation, from Monday 09-07 till Friday 09-08. Please send an email with a detailed description of your plan to [email protected] before 01-07-2018.

You need a couple of things to qualify for applying:

  • Creative mind
  • Able to work on a project basis
  • Ability to keep an overview
  • Skilled with tools and materials
  • Responsible
  • Ability to lead (if you are working with your own group of volunteers)
  • Safety comes first, we expect everyone to work safely and sober

Sign up to volunteer

If you want to help out during the festival_build_up_manifestation from Monday 09-07 till Friday 09-08, please send an email to [email protected] or sign up at Any of you who has helped us before knows how much fun it can be to work on festival construction at Paradigm. The vibe on the terrain is great every year because of all the love, creativity, passion, humor, innovation, and inspiration that’s being channelled by everyone. We will be providing meals and drinks during these weeks, as well as capable team leaders, professionals, plenty of construction materials, relevant tools and very detailed plans. These are a couple of the projects we’ve got queued up for this year’s festival:

  • Decorating the outdoor stages
  • Helping out art/performance project leaders
  • Cooking for the volunteers daily
  • Maintaining the garden
  • Constructing a community kitchen/pavilion
  • Making the camping area festival-ready
  • Building the new chill out stage
  • Constructing new bars on the terrain
  • Building an eco-dome
  • Signing on the terrain

We’ve got the following rewards lined up for anyone who wants to help out for one or multiple days:

  • ½ token per hour
  • Work shifts that are flexible in nature. You can make your own hours and pick the days that work best for you!
  • Anyone who helps out 5 days or more will get 1 personal ticket for one of the following events: Paradigm Festival Friday, Saturday, Sunday, NYE, or NYD