Last Updated on June 30, 2023

What originally began as an unassuming cornfield in Chanhassen, MN, a suburb 20-minutes southwest of Minneapolis by car, became a vision brought to life. The 65,000-square-foot facility was a sanctuary where Prince could, and would, create, record, and perform.

Paisley Park completed its construction and officially opened its doors to creatives in 1987. Soon enough, it drew in artists like Madonna, Miles Davis, REM, and Lizzo to record and mix albums in studio. Along with music, the Hollywood-sized soundstage was used for various productions—from local commercials and award-winning videos to blockbuster film releases like the Sign O’ The Times Concert Film, 1990’s Graffiti Bridge and more.

Thirty-five years later, Paisley Park remains a creative sanctuary for guests to experience the rich history of the greatness created within these walls. Fulfilling Prince’s vision that one day Paisley Park would be open to the public, this historic venue now welcomes fans, musicians, and audiophiles for tours, concerts, festivals, and special events in this corner of the Twin Cities. 

Great Moments in Paisley Park History

One of Prince’s most legendary concerts ever took place in the Paisley Park parking lot in 1988 when “Muppet Babies Live!” took over the soundstage for rehearsals.

R.E.M. recorded “Shiny Happy People” (1990) off their Out Of Time album here. Additional individuals and groups who have utilized Paisley Park Studios include: Beck, Gwen Stefani, Sting, Miles Davis, Chuck D, Beastie Boys, Omar Apollo, Kool and the Gang, the Jets, Patti LaBelle and Jermaine Jackson.

Prince hosted the 2015 WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx at Paisley Park for a celebration after their victory. The night consisted of a private concert for hours with around 150 people in attendance and personalizing songs to include the Lynx’s players names. 

Visitors can view hundreds of Prince’s personal items including iconic clothing, numerous awards, handwritten pages, musical instruments, vehicles, rare music and video recordings, and more, including the newest exhibition, “The Beautiful Collection: Prince’s Custom Shoes,” showcasing 300 pairs of Prince’s iconic shoes as well as the world’s first 3D printed baby grand piano as a display case.

On October 19th, 2013, Prince and his band 3rdEyeGirl threw a “Breakfast Experience Pajama Dance Party” to celebrate the “Breakfast Can Wait” video. The performers and audience all wore pajamas and pancakes were served, a nod to the famous 2004 Chappelle’s Show sketch “Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories”.

The following movies were also filmed at Paisley Park (IMDB): “Graffiti Bridge” (1990), “Drop Dead Fred” (1991), “Equinox” (1992), “Grumpy Old Men” (1993), “Sign ‘o’ the Times” (1987).

Today, VIP visitors have the exclusive opportunity to record live vocals over a short segment of a Prince song in the legendary Studio C control room. 

Paisley Park’s still-active recording and production complex is capable of outputting any form of creative work Prince could envision – from music recordings, artwork and graphic design to music videos and even full-length feature films. The complex is complete with state-of-the-art recording technology, editing suites, video production and office space.

Beginning in the mid-1990s, fans began to experience Prince’s musicianship first-hand in Paisley Park’s intimate NPG Music Club. The 3,400 square foot space continues to host concerts, private receptions, special events, and the recently reignited After Dark dance parties and Cinema Series

In June 2023, over 1,000 guests came to Paisley Park to attend the annual Celebration event. They were treated to exclusive presentations of unreleased music from the famous Prince Vault and special appearances by and conversations with Grammy-winning artist Chaka Khan and Hip-Hop legends Chuck D, Doug E. Fresh and DJ D-Nice.

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