Paradise City: quality music festival with a green touch

Paradise City photo by Alohafred
Paradise City photo by Alohafred

A new electronic music festival is born in Belgium. BPM in electronic music means Beat Per Minute: it?s an indicator of speed. Festivals that go 140 BMP are often conceived fast and the results are less pleasant. This one is matured in slow motion, well ideated and designed. Best results are yet to come.

If you like nature, design, innovation, food, entrepreneurship and, above all, edgy electronic music you should keep Paradise city under your radar. It is a good mix of all this, and on top of that, it is located around a magic castle in a place full of history.

The lord of Perk, a town located in the Flemish Brabant, owning one of the most beautiful castles around Brussels, opened the doors of his domain and the castle to host 5.000 people in a beautiful music festival last 4 and 5 of July.

The festival is run under the direction of Gilles de Becker and Dimitri Verschueren. They are two young entrepreneurs (both under 35) and have been working on the concept and location of Paradise City for the last 3 years now, cooking it at 110 BPM.

Music lineup: Mostly a day festival. There were 3 stages running both days from 2 pm to 2 am. One was called LIVE and it was for live music and bands. It was the least populated stage but good music quality: we saw artists like the icelandic veterans GusGus, brilliant pop female voices like Susanne Sundfor or groovy funky bands like Jazzanova.

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The other 2 scenes (named Love and Jackmode) were for DJs and synthetiser ?live acts?: it was surprising to see the quality of the DJs. Big names for a festival that is just starting. In order to configure the lineup the festival established partnerships with collectives like Bruxsel Jardin or the (Ghent) collective Abstrakt or promoters like Arnaud (former CozyMozy). It was nice to enjoy delicate and inspiring sets like Robag Rhume, Kolsch or Kollektiv Turmstrasse were very consistent and really managed to shake the dance floor.

A green festival. The organisers have been visiting quite some festivals abroad, where they noticed that Belgium was still running behind regarding ecology, eg in The Netherlands, music festivals have been dealing with ‘green’ issues in a much smarter and efficient way for some years now. So they decided to give it a go and explore the possibilities for a CO2-neutral festival in Belgium.

In order to achieve this, they have hired a company ( CO2Logic) to monitor and calculate the CO2 emissions. The goals is to be carbon neutral. If results are positive they will invest in some green projects to balance the emissions. They have partnered with other actors like Uber to encourage shared rides, or to use train instead of cars.

The ?Food Lineup?: If you want to survive a 2 day festival like this you definitely need to eat well. Paradise City invited innovative and healthy ?Food Trucks? to configure the food lineup. ?No junk? food policy was the name of the game. It was truly different: grasshopper brochettes, paleo food, or even beer brewed with insects.  The problem here was that they were not able to serve all the demand, so on saturday evening it took us more than 1 hour to wait for a ?veggie? hamburger.

paradise city food lineup
paradise city food lineup

But a park is mostly a place to hangout with friends, enjoy the sunset, touch the water, chill and the place was perfect for this matter.  The festival incorporated functional furniture and beautiful lightings made mostly with pallets and other recycled goods.

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Pretty complete and well done. I would even say an impressive achievement for being the first edition. You can see that there is clearly some thinking and good job done in the organisation and a good collaboration and partnership with different actors. This is definitely a festival to watch out and come back. Hopefully we will be there next year!