About This Festival
Paradise in the Pacific (Northwest)
The definition for "paradiso" is a place of extreme beauty or delight. It is a state of supreme happiness, and is often used to refer to heaven or Eden. When you combine an amphitheater with breathtaking views and a kaleidoscopic displays lights and lasers emitting from the stage into the night sky to incredible beats, you the definition of "paradiso" is instantly brought to life.
It may be the picturesque sunset that takes over the horizon as you comfortably lay back on the hills surrounding the famed Gorge Amphitheater. It may be the pure joy of seeing your favorite DJ for the first – or twentieth – time. It could be the rare combination of both, thanks to the guidance of co-producers LiveNation Entertainment and Seattle-based event producer USC Events, that fulfills this festival's name. No matter the ingredients in its magical brew, Paradiso is quickly proving to be the Pacific Northwest’s best and largest electronic music festival.
USC Events celebrated its 15th anniversary on June 23, 2012, by producing Paradiso. The inaugural event brought 20,000 EDM fans to the reputable amphitheater, where the esteemed Sasquatch! Music Festival and Watershed Festival, both produced by Live Nation, are held. Starting its first year strong with renowned artists like Afrojack, Avicii, and Above & Beyond, Paradiso had plenty of memorable moments that convinced its attendees it meant business. Avicii’s two-hour set included 2011’s highly addictive anthem “Levels” and his hit remix of Nadia Ali’s “Rapture.” Above & Beyond entertained the crowd from the main stage’s spiral DJ booth and closed out with “Thing Called Love” for their signature Push The Button bit, while Donald Glaude closed out the Digital Oasis Stage with his funky house tracks. Artists from a variety of EDM sub-genres, from trance, house, trap, and dubstep, among others, ensures there is something for all kinds of dance music fans.
Even Kaskade listed Paradiso as one of his favorite 2013 moments. “There are a million different things that have to come together to make an incredible night. It happened @ Paradiso. They were up for every twist+turn+massive drop. They wanted it all, + after doing it for 2 days, incredibly, they were still up for it,” tweeted Kaskade after his appearance.
Digital Meets Nature
With a slogan of “Digital Meets Nature,” Paradiso's dance-a-thon truly captures what it means to engross yourself in both a digitally punctuated atmosphere (lights, lasers, massive video projections, and electronic music) and the beauty and serenity of nature (the Gorge Amphitheater's stunning backdrop). Festival-goers dance in the open air, unhindered by closed walls. With the mountains framing the stage and the sun shimmering off the river, the strobing lights illuminate artists and crowds while subwoofers throb. It all makes for an epic sensory overload.
Like New York’s Mysteryland and British Columbia’s Pemberton Music Festival, Paradiso is also a camping adventure. The Gorge Campground is adjacent to the amphitheater. Camping in the Premier or Terrace sections provide access to a shuttle service, but if you’re in the Standard locale you will have to make a bit of a trek to the stage areas. If you prefer convenience and have a bit of cash to spare, opt for the Premier or Terrace camping options. They come with free showers, private restrooms and shuttle service. Gold campgrounds are next to the entrance of the festival and Terrace campgrounds serves complimentary morning pastries and coffee, concierge service, and access to other campsites.
The Stages and Beyond
The venue houses three large stages: the Paradise Main Stage, Digital Oasis, and The Wreckage (which was bass haven back in 2013), and two smaller stages: Moving 92.5 and Berm Stage (new in 2015). The Paradise Main Stage, stacked with big-room sounds, house, and trance, is the place to be if you want to take advantage of the views. If raging and fist pumping is your M.O. then the dance pit is the ideal place for you. If you’re more of the stay-in-the-back kind of festie, then the Gorge lawn is just as rewarding as being front and center. No matter where you sit on the lawn, you've got plenty to see.
The Digital Oasis resides on the east side of the venue on flat land. 2015’s stage design featured a tiki-style set piece flanked by LED panels on both sides. Here, you’ll find deep house, electro house, and techno tracks from artists like Amtrac, Green Velvet, TJR, and Mord Fustang. The Wreckage Stage is more of a traditional stage with a nontraditional sound. Trap and dubstep music rules this domain, so you’ll find artists like Zomboy, Yellow Claw and Luminox here.
Amusement park rides (like a 96-foot-tall Ferris wheel, and Cliff Hanger thrill ride), art installations and live art, and theatrical performers sprinkled throughout the venue complete the whole Paradiso experience. Acrobatics from Vau de Vire Society, San Francisco’s circus performing troupe, and Richard Dalton of Los Angeles-based Stilt Circus join Seattle-native performers in thrilling the crowd as they pass between stages