Take thousands of beautiful people, the world’s best DJs, a healthy dose of sunshine, and some of the best sound systems around, throw them all together in the Mexican paradise of Playa Del Carmen, and you’ve got the spectacular BPM Festival. Ten days of a magical seventh edition flew by even quicker than the last as friendships between music lovers were built, life-affirming memories were created, and the masses danced and grooved from morning to night to morning to night to… you get the picture. We’ve compiled a few highlights from North America’s best festival, so that whether you were there or not, you can be involved in the joy that we experienced.
Culprit – 1/6
Fusion Beach Club was a welcome addition to the collection of venues that the festival’s day parties took place at, and the Culprit showcase took full advantage of the beach bar’s intimate space. A killer lineup that included sets from Climbers, label-heads Droog, and a crazy fun b2b between jozif and Matt Tolfrey, was topped off with an incredible showing by Adriatique. A night party wasn’t even necessary after the refreshing vibes of this one.
Diynamic – 1/9
Although Blue Parrot could get a bit hectic at times, braving the packed crowds was a necessity at the German label’s event. Stimming turned in a majestic live set that consisted fully of his own productions, Adriatique impressed once again, and David August’s live piano work brought the house down. The music was special at this one, and it was impossible not to dance if you were by the front. Check the Diynamic party out at be-at.tv.
Circoloco Day Party – 1/10
Montezuma unfortunately got the better of my body for a brief bit early in the week, taking me out of commission for Circoloco’s nighttime shindig and Tale Of Us’ set at the Life & Death showcase, but the Circoloco day party at Mamita’s more than made up for it. A cracking b2b between Dan Ghenacia and Dyed Soundorom gave way to the booming sounds of Tale Of Us, and the world’s second-ranked DJs did not disappoint (though only Karm made it to this one) with plenty of new material and a few crowd-pleasers towards the end. This may have been the most energetic party all week, with Seth Troxler bringing it to a close in his signature cheeky style, switching between genres at will and whipping the crowd into a frenzy on the heels of some rare and eye-opening cuts.
Innervisions – 1/10
Innervisions… at Blue Venado… it’s difficult to even put this one into words. If you were there, chances are you’re in agreement that this was the best party of your life. Âme’s beautiful live set was the perfect transition into a true journey (more experience than set) by #1-ranked Dixon, and as the sun rose over the stunning beach, a double rainbow appeared to force us all to question reality. Seriously, that’s how good this party was, and it wasn’t even over! The entire lineup (Michael Gracioppo, Marcus Worgull, Mano Le Tough, Âme, Dixon, David August) proceeded to go b2b2b2b2b2b for another three hours and change around 9 a.m., showering us with easily the best music that the entire festival had to offer, each track getting better than the last.
All Day I Dream Closing – 1/11
Innervisions was so good that it was impossible to stop partying, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a better spot to keep it going than the second All Day I Dream fiesta at Mamita’s. Christian Loffler and Bob Moses turned in some super blissed out live sets before Lee Burridge took the reins for an immaculate display of track selection and mixing skill under the clouds. Or was it on the clouds? Who knows, all that matters is this party was truly a dream.
All in all, this was an extremely successful seventh BPM. Festival Director Vito Tomasicchio explained that BPM “started with 70 DJs, and seven years later we’re at over 300,” and it’s truly no wonder why. The whole experience is run perfectly, with Director of Operations and Finance Alessandra Axelsson eager to relay that “seeing 40-50k people having the time of their lives makes all the work worth it.” And of course, it couldn’t be in a better location. After you go once, every successive BPM becomes a necessary pilgrimage, and we can’t wait to get down at the beginning of next year already!
A few other sets and memories that deserve mention:
Art Department @ No. 19 / Claude VonStroke @ dirtybird / Frank & Tony @ Scissor & Thread / Three b2b Bill Patrick b2b Konrad Black @ Listed / Seafood and tequila at Las Brisas / The organizers of the festival and everyone involved in running BPM so smoothly
Photos by Marjana Jaidi/Cultivora, The BPM Festival