Paradigm FestivalAugust 7, 8 & 9

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.

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!


Alienata
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!”

Dither
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.”

Deadbeat
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.

Timeframe
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!