A taste of Paradiso pulls in the crowds on Open Monuments Day

The music and arts venue in Amsterdam is offering breakfast tours. Photo: Brandon Hartley

One of the hottest tickets for Open Monumentdag in Amsterdam this year is Paradiso. The music and culture venue has thrown open its doors for breakfast tours this weekend between 10am and noon.

The first hopefuls arrived 90 minutes before tours started on Saturday morning. Those who made it in were served croissants, tea, and coffee in the basement before being led into the dressing rooms, various nooks and crannies, and Paradiso’s two performance halls.

The tour guides included staff members, some of whom have been working there for three decades.

One explained that the four dressing rooms downstairs are painted once a year to scrub away all the signatures and dings left on them by the roughly 1,000 bands, singers, and other acts who perform there every year.

When asked if The Rolling Stones left behind signatures after a show in the 1990s, one guide jokingly quipped: ‘We painted over Mick’s signature immediately.’

Another famous performer was Prince, who made a bizarre stipulation prior to a performance in the 1980s. A guide explained that he wanted a dressing room built for him on the 2nd balcony so he could ‘keep an eye on his fans’ prior to the show.

The staff obliged and he returned several times in the decades that followed.

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