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BPM 2015 Music Festival reviews


TRIBE Member
After taking years and years off from partying, I've been knocking off some of the things I was missing out on over the years -- Movement, Harvest, clubs in Montreal, New York and Europe, and now I can add BPM to my list.

Wow woweee! So worth the wait. I had heard mixed things from friends who have gone down over the years (some said it was the best party going and others said it was overrun with sketchy, dodgy characters) and I was on the fence for this but had a last second change of heart when I saw how many great DJs were playing as well as what an awesome crew of people I knew heading down. So I got a last min ticket and went - this festival is amazing, just a crazy good time. If you like warm weather, beaches, and the best in house and techno then it's almost impossible not to enjoy yourself.

I stayed at the Riu Palace Mexico, an all-inclusive up the beach from downtown PDC. I haven't been to an all-inclusive since I was a kid and tend to stick in the grit and guts of a city/town but this place was sick. Beautiful gardens, pools, beach, friendly staff - top-shelf liquor and the food was surprisingly good. Never drank so much (and wasted so much) booze in my life.

I decided to go just for the last half of the festival because that's more than enough crazy times for me. I snagged tix for the Innervisions night on Thursday and I also bought tickets for the Paradise event on Wednesday night (Jamie Jones, Steve Lawler, Richie Ahmed, Lee Foss and more), a Friday afternoon featuring Sasha and Scuba, a Saturday afternoon party with Green Velvet, Nicole Moudaber and others, and finally the Art Department, Dennis Ferrer and Cassy party that night.

I had a great time at pretty much all of them. A lot of the music was quite varied and the events each had their own vibe depending on who was playing which was neat to see. I don't think I heard one awful set the entire time I was there. So much great underground sounds - DJs having a blast playing for very up for it crowds. Seriously the crowds were live - all die hards who love the music and love to dance. Every club I went to was going off. Hard to top that experience if you are into that kind of thing.

Highlights: the Innervisions party was awesome. Great vibe, amazing people and good music. The venue was out in the middle of nowhere - Blue Venado Beach Club - a crazy trek through the jungle to this beachside bar, but for all the hassles getting in and out it was a pretty amazing space to party. Listening to Dixon play as the sun rose over a perfect beach with about 3,000 people there was a joy. A bunch of people just took off their clothes and went swimming. Magic! Mano Le Tough and Markus Worgull were top-notch as well. Dixon had a super bass-heavy turn behind the decks rumbling out big bass lines for the few hours he played. I met this guy from San Francisco who was calling out some of the newer tracks which are sure to be big this summer but I can't remember any of them. Such a fun night out.

I was also pumped to hear Sasha play at the Blue Parrot as I hadn't seen him since a party at the Guvernment in 1998. 17 years ago damn. I don't even know if I've heard any of his recent sets but He didn't disappoint - starting out playing some newer grooves but closing down with some old Sasha style atmospheric, trance-laden tech with a few crazy builds in there it was awesome. The crowd loved it - I met a crew of people from Buenos Aires there and danced up a storm with them.

Also really enjoyed sets by Moudaber, Joseph Capriati and Green Velvet/Cajmere. Seriously there were so many good DJs playing at the same time in different places it was hard to choose what to pick.

Weather was perfect - so great to be in a tank top, shorts and flip flops all week.

Drinks were 50 pesos - I only had beer or water as the mixed drinks were gross and I don't trust the ice, so like $4 not bad.

I didn't get a week pass as I was only going for 4 days and spent about $150 on advance tickets for 5 shows, sneaking into a couple of others too. More than enough music for me - and for the quality of DJs, the fun beachside venues, that's decent value.

Finally - I met so many great people - lots of friendly, older heads at BPM from all over the world. South Africa, Australia, Finland, Even met some local girls, which was cool because I had no clue they had any idea about the underground scene down there. These girls were giving 'er - so fun to see. Years of BPM must have indoctrinated at least some of the locals as the last few times I was in Mexico the club music was gross.

Lowlights: a few of the parties were too busy, including the Paradise jam at Blue Venado where there was just no room to dance. there were some aggressive people out that night as well which I am so not into.

There was also some crazy stories going around about people going missing. What? First, when I arrived on Wednesday my friends were already talking about a couple who went missing on Monday. They apparently sent a distress text to friends about being in trouble and nobody had heard from them in That's pretty scary stuff in Mexico. Then, on the Wednesday night/Thursday morning, the Paradise party went well into the morning and apparently someone disappeared from there as well. By the time Dixon had taken the decks the next night at the same venue, we heard the party was closing at 7 am, because the federalies had come with guns and what not to strictly enforce the closing. At 7 am there was still about 3,000 people on the beach and the dance floor and I heard hundreds more outside being turned away. They literally shut it down just as it was taking off - people was pretty disappointed including the DJ who left a packed dance floor/beach there to see him play.

Getting cabs out of that venue was a disgrace - it's 2 kilometres through the bush to get to the main road from the venue, but still worth it for an amazing night out. All the parties after that point closed at 7 am.

Even worse, the Art Department party at Blue Venado on the Saturday was cancelled and moved to Sunday and I couldn't attend as my flight was leaving. Pretty bummed about that, but I hit two great events that day so I went back to my hotel and chilled at the resort.

Something shady went down at that venue. People were also saying that BPM is possibly moving to Panama next year. Not sure if that's true either but with cartels and whatever else to deal with in Mexico I don't blame them. Not trying to spread gossip, just passing along what I heard over the five days. I loved PDC and hope it stays there.

In any case, The organizers of the festival should totally be commended. They can't be held accountable if people take too much drugs and wander off into the jungle or sea or get kidnapped (really hope that is not the case because that is scary as hell). But overall there was Awesome vibes everywhere, great crowds, lots of tanned, good-looking people, staff were friendly, top talent pretty much all day and all night if you wanted it and a well-run event for something that apparently attracts 50,000 people each year. It's a top-notch festival for fans of house and techno. If you haven't been it's more than worth it.

Anyone else there?
Stop Bill C-10

Surfer Joe

TRIBE Member
I went to my first big party at a cenote in the jungle not far from Playa Del Carmen in 1996. What a location. It's amazing to hear how big of a role PDC and the BPM festival now plays in the global electronic music scene.

Nice work on the review. Makes me want to go even more, though I think I'll stay away from whatever drugs that American couple took. Seriously tripping. Glad to hear they were found.


TRIBE Member
That couple must have taken some dirty, fake ecstasy or K to lose their minds like that. You need to play it safe down there for sure. There was so much brazen drug dealing by cartel-backed guys inside the venues it was pretty shocking. Right out in the open in front of security so you know the venues were involved. Ziplock bags full of strange looking blue, black?!? and gold pills. But seriously, you need to be kind of crazy to get anything off those guys. Buyer beware. Be smart.

But even if you just drank Tecate and DJ all day long like me you're going to have a blast in these beachfront, indoor-outdoor venues. Perfect environment for booze-buzzed dancing.
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