Recently, I was afforded the opportunity to attend the BPM Music Festival in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Immediately upon arriving on site at the ten-day festival, I knew that it was going to be a unique experience. Even though i had a “festival passport” informational pamphlet, I couldn’t have possibly foreseen what was in store.
Everyone involved in the BPM team was phenomenal; the BPM festival staff was among the most efficient and professional I’ve ever dealt with (it beat dealing with airport security, that’s for sure). Even the DJs performed at the top of their games—all of them. Many BPM DJs are personal friends of BPM co-creator Craig Pettigrew, but they all deserve to be there independent of these connections. In an interview, Craig stated, “this is the music that we all listen to; this is what we play in our cars and on our playlists.”
Between John Digweed’s performance, the rave in the cave, and Mark Knight’s killer four hour set (probably my favorite set of the festival), this festival clinched a position on my list of the coolest shows I’ve ever been to. And that’s barring the 22 label showcases, 30+ additional parties, general Playa del Carmen debauchery, and more than 200 other ridiculously good DJs spinning pretty much 24/7 over the 10 days of the festival. The festival was a nice escape from the ever-more-commercial aspect of the US EDM scene, drawing only the most hardcore fans of house and techno music. The whole vibe was just different; it could almost be called classy.
Each year since the festival’s inception, it’s doubled in size; still, the programming remains house and techno-heavy, just as its creators envisioned it would. Looking forward, BPM will be hosting a Primavera party in Playa in April, and word from the in-crowd is that we may have a Europe-based BPM to look forward to in the coming year. 15 years from now, there could be a BPM festival on every continent. Who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by bartenders and reveling partygoers for ten days? If there ever was an atmosphere conducive to good music and a solid party, this is it. Is Playa becoming the new Ibiza? No way. Is Playa del Carmen becoming its own clubbing powerhouse? Possibly. And as for BPM? It can only be described as simply amazing. Stay tuned for our photo album!