After months of anticipation, USC Events has FINALLY announced that Paradiso is returning to the Gorge Amphitheater June 14-16, 2019. Tickets go on sale Friday January 18, 2019. Their announcement was accompanied by a beautiful video that includes images of last year’s fest, which encompasses everything I loved about my very first Paradiso. The vibrant people, the colors, the excitement, the rides, the performers, the stage design, the variety of music, and of course, the Gorge Amphitheater.
Over the last couple of years attending festivals, I’ve realized something. Although the artists and music are what drives us to these events, there are many other factors that make a festival my favorite. And what made Paradiso my favorite festival of 2018 had more to do with the experience than the music.
USC’s vision of Paradiso shows in their attention to detail when you see their gorgeous sets and phenomenal dancers. I notice these things because for most of my life, I’ve been a performer. I played instruments, sang in bands, did musical theater, and all kinds of dance, including go go dancing. And for most of these performances, I was involved in set design and costume creation. Apart from my visits to Ibiza, I’ve yet to see performance art at a festival that compares to what I saw at USC’s Paradiso 2018.
Of course there were fucking phenomenal lasers, visuals, fireworks, and FIRE. I fucking LOVE fire! Always bring the fire! But what impressed me even more were the performance artists. There were male stilt walkers in what appeared to be Mayan and Aztec garb. And female stilt walkers dressed as enormous flowers! With every step they took, or movement they made, their petal skirts floated up and down like a flower touched by the breeze or a drop of rain. Costumed and festooned people actually danced in weird, coordinated, and different ways on stage. And their costumes were perfectly over the top.
So when I said it was more the experience than the music, I didn’t mean that the music was lacking in ANY way whatsoever. As per usual, USC brought it! Old school, new school. Known, unknown. Local talent, international talent. USC’s artist selection left nothing to be desired! In fact, I was constantly having to pick and choose who I wanted to see more, cause there were constantly artists on both stages that I REALLY wanted to see!
And don’t even get me started on the Gorge Amphitheater! I attended my very first festival there in 2001 and I’ve yet to experience a better venue. For many years I was told that Red Rocks is better. Shows there are better, the view is better, sound is better, blaaaahhhhh. But when I finally attended Above & Beyond’s final Common Ground tour stop at Red Rocks, I wasn’t impressed. There were no grassy expanses to relax and lounge between your favorite artists. There was no feeling of musical isolation with the twinkling lights of Denver in the background. There was no beautiful sun setting behind the stage and descending between the cliffs that hug the Columbia River on each side. I simply can’t say enough amazing things about the Gorge Amphitheater! In and of itself, it lends a majestic, and yet subtle beauty to every event I’ve attended there.
So get yourself ready, party people! Check out the beautiful announcement video, and do you see those monarch butterflies at the end, flitting over the river? That’s me! If you’re lucky, you’ll spot me flitting between the stages this year! And if you’re even
Tickets go on sale for Paradiso 2019 at
*📸 | @Dannyesque*