custom café theater
Shows and events venue, transdisciplinary theater and platform of artistic reception for national and international partnerships.
This space was once the main haul of the former military hangars which in December 2003 was bought in ruins by the Custom Circus troupe with auto financing. When restoring this storehouse the troupe intended to transform it into its own theater, however, due to constant economic difficulties and much itinerant work its phased construction extended for 8 years. But perseverance worked miracles! Custom Café, the mysterious theater condemned so many times not to exist, finally inaugurated in March 2012 with the show Le Cabaret Rock, an intensive production that received more than 40 thousand spectators in 2 consecutive years, thus signing the residence of this troupe of nomadic genesis.
Its kinky cabaret ambience transcends the conventional theater and the transition from the company's underground imaginary to this venue was the result of a genuine story so scenographic that the aesthetics that Custom Circus represented in so many years on the road invade the visitor, from Dieselpunk to Bizarre Chic and Steampunk.
rehearsal rooms-band box
Studios prepared for Bands, Musicians, Roaddies, Backline, Tour HQ, Previews and national and international partnerships.
For availability of entry in the community, send a brief presentation of the project to:
The Band Box concept has generated a collective with more than 60 rehearsal studios fostering around 200 resident bands that form the most active community of musicians in our country since 2008, making the Band Box name nowadays synonymous with a rehearsal studio in Portugal, Spain and Portuguese speaking countries.
This idea came long before Nirvana Studios existence, sometime in 1995 when two of the future founders of Custom Circus traded old Harley-Davidson bikes in the USA; in a junkyard near El Paso-Texas, they met bands rehearsing in decrepit containers that were not just rehearsal studios but also clubhouses. This vision left them fascinated.
So when Nirvana Studios emerged in 2004, Custom Circus conceived a prototype which they ironically called Band Box* to give all troupe musicians the conditions and comfort they were not used to have. But it took 3 years of attempts with upcycling architecture and testing of various recycled materials to finally get it. In 2007 the name and brand were patented and the 1st band outside Custom Circus to join the project, the Easyway, receive the Band Box #01. That same year the concept soon lit a fuse in the national rock scene with dozens of bands calling for "political asylum" on Nirvana Boulevard. And thanks to all these artists, producers and technicians the Band Box scene was consolidated tour after tour, in backstages of festivals, jam sessions, recording studios and the stages each Nirvanian performed.
* Because originally the Band Box term designated the band's truck in a metaphor between "body & box", due to the fact that Custom Circus musicians played live on top of their trucks, whether in static or parade shows.
BANDS & pORTAL
Welcome to this huge family that has been the most active community of musicians in Portugal since 2008.
This was due to the courage and work of all these artists that between rehersals, music clips, shows, gigs and tours forged the mystique of the Alternative Cultural Center. Survivors or not these bands are part of our heritage, though with an annual average of over 200 resident bands and more than 100 national and international projects in transit, we've never been able to reference all groups. If your band also worked, resided or resides in Nirvana Studios and is not present here you can inform us with the name, the year of entry and the studio at:
Bungalows for residence of Artists, Students and national and international partnerships. To know about availability of entry in the Community, send a summary presentation to:
Utopia is like Art, it depends from the angle each one sees it! Custom Ville is utopian because it was thought that way. Why not build conceptual bungalows as if they were nothing more than scenography close to illusion? After all, when we arrived here this compound was no more than a ghost fort and maybe some day it will be again...
Here we've been inspired by the interiors of our trucks and caravans and therefore these bungalows, built from old military containers within upcycling and road culture architecture, are dedicated to those who live beyond the banal daily comfort, people who do not stahl in monotony and instead enriches us with their experiences. Custom Ville is mainly a harbour, small and simple on the inside but vast in the history of those who lived this adventure called Nirvana Studios.
Studios prepared for Musicians, Bands, Dj's & Vj's, Producers, Agents and multimedia concepts dedicated to the import-export of the arts.
For availability of entry in the community, send a brief presentation of the project to:
The Art Express concept is an artistic installation inside and out; inside it's Human because it boils with full-time activity thanks to the multidisciplinary groups that work in it; while on the outside it offers a platform conceptualized as a permanent exhibition. The structural element of the project is a convoy of 30 former military containers as a symbol of the free import-export of art and peace. Most of the building process followed the Upcycling philosophy, valuing the reuse of obsolete materials in an eco-architectural way.
At the angle of visual arts intervention Art Express expands in two longitudinal lines, the first line dedicated to the stars of the Wall of Fame that highlights characters from the panorama of culture that directly or indirectly helped in the consolidation of the Nirvana Studios community and where the term "fame" is used to level the alternative arts with conventional ones. The 2nd line at the top of the containers will evolve over time in a succession of sculptures dedicated to shows, tours and cinema.
Street with areas and backgrounds prepared for filming, photo shoots, outdoor events, tours, conventions, receptions, cultural, conceptual, corporate or associative events.
For booking, info and estimate consult:
For partnership actions send a summary project presentation to:
At the entrance of the Alternative Cultural Center, Nirvana Boulevard begins, which is the area where most of the studios, workshops, and projects are located. This central street that has been extended more than triple by the Custom Circus is the backbone of the community and also its time capsule. In the 1940s it was just a narrow path used by the army trucks from this well-hidden fort we now know as Nirvana Studios. But here is a testimony of the troupe:
"In December of 2003 this compound was for sale and we stopped here our truck convoy because there was something in this ruin that attracted us. This place saw Constellation airplanes shining in the sky, listened Amália on AM radios, saw the April 25 on a black and white TV and after so much, so much history, it was eventually disabled during the Portuguese New Wave in 1984.
We peeked through the rusty fence like children in a candy store and it was love at first sight! We bought the place with all the mortgages we could get and a few months later, here we were! 30 nutjobs with the mission to resuscitate and restore all these hangars! Not for war but for art. In a few months this ghost street reborned thanks to the troupe and all its entourage. Now this place sees the Airbuses shining in the sky, listens to Amália in a cell phone or the news on the web and after so much, so much history, maybe one day it will become a ghost fort again.
Nirvana Studios Diner
Open daytime and night time, this place also has the capacity to host bands and events.
If you visit us do not miss the opportunity to taste our local specialties: the Nirvaninho bonbon and the Dr.Apokalipse Miraculous Liquor.
Link Video: Nirvaninho
Link Video: The Miraculous
In 2013, this 1903 JC Brill tramway was in an advanced state of degradation and with a view to its preservation, the Oeiras City Hall approved the proposal of Custom Circus which haimed to save this vehicle. The entire process was financed and done by the members of the troupe: special transportation, restoration and construction of this surrealist station so that more generations can be part of the amazing heritage of this veteran from the industrial revolution.
Multipurpose Studio Gallery for transdisciplinary arts and their experimentation, hosting of cultural projects and national and international partnerships.
To know availability send a short presentation of the project to:
This former heavy artillery hangar was the first performance indoor venue used by the Custom Circus at Nirvana Studios. Between 2004 and 2008, their chaotic apocalyptic shows, many installations, settings, mechanisms, films, visual arts and conceptual events took place here. From 2008 the Nirvanian migration of artists with complex structures increased and by 2009 the venue was converted as the Big Box project that received hundreds of pre-tour, videos, concerts and releases. It was from this "strange" phenomenon of constant occupation that the idea of the name STRANGE arose. No one knows for sure what this hangar is. A rehearsal room? Yes! A multi-purpose studio? Right! A set for performances? Also! A gallery? Bingo! At the moment, the curatorship of the Nirvana Studios collection has also been annexed to the venue with a permanent exhibition platform that can also be digitally visited at:
iNSTALLATION-wall of fame
Platform advised by a committee correlated with the concept and media trend of Nirvana Studios.
Attributed for specific reasons each star of this installation emerged in a Zen way free from any kind of pressure. Here the term "fame" is not used with its usual meaning but rather to level alternative arts with the conventional ones, joining side by side for example, Tattoo artists with Musicians or Graffiters with Actors. The Wall of Fame highlights characters from creative areas and arts who directly or indirectly helped in building the Nirvana Studios community enriching its mystique.
The UR Project is a co-working hub for out-of-the-box collectives. These structures are profiled on open space islands that fit the back of the Military Road-Estrada Militar and serve as headquarters for adventure sports and active tourism organizations managed by professionals.
The name UR that evokes a distant antiquity is here the acronym of Upcycling-Recycling, whose logo calls for the renewal of materials, energies and resources. The central element of these buildings involves obsolete containers in a symbiosis between iron and recycled wood. The construction process respects the eco-architectural trend from the Nirvana Studios movement, valuing the reuse of wasted materials.
As a result of this philosophy, some elements where highlighted, such as the original bended containers doors, beer bottle made panels or the acoustic insulation in Nircork (a concept created in 2005 for the Band Box project consisting of used wine corks glued to discarted wooden boxes).
For example, around 50,000 corks have been re-used alone in the Check Point open space, something just possible thanks to the unsurpassed dedication of the Nirvana Studios Suporters who have managed to collect and recycle all this cork. The Check Point was the first UR and is simultaneously the zero point of the eco bicycle trail that starts in the Alternative Cultural Center.