The BPM Festival Portugal – Trip With Us Across The Atlantic

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For as long as we’ve been attending The BPM Festival, like clockwork each January would roll around and rumors would begin to surface about the “new” location of BPM in the subsequent year. From semi-believable, to downright laughable, it was always fun debating with friends, and mentally planning a journey we knew was never going to take place. Finally, in 2017, the rampant speculation came to an end. We learned (from the festival itself) – it’s actually happening! In September, The BPM Festival would produce it’s second 2017 installment, in Portimão and Lagoa, Portugal. As evidenced by history though, recreating an environment and vibe is no mundane task. Successfully expanding The BPM Festival isn’t as simple as throwing up a few stages in a parking lot – BPM customers expect more. We never had doubts that BPM would deliver, but our interest was in how they would do so.

 

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This question was partially answered before we even touched down in Faro, Portugal – en route to the festival. Maneuvering into position for landing, our plane provided us with a quick aerial tour of the area surrounding what we would call home for the next week. Picturesque cliffs overlooking pristine water and exquisite properties dotting the coast aren’t the perfect recipe for a successful festival, but from the air it was easy to tell that BPM had selected a host location with the ideal characteristics to carry the torch.

 

Once our feet were on the ground, these initial thoughts were immediately confirmed. Our first few hours in Portugal were consumed with eating (of course), and a journey to examine the nearby venues. In-line with previous installments of The BPM Festival, many of the day venues are open to the general public in the BPM off-season. Even a few days before the festival started, normies were enjoying drinks on the sand while speaker stacks were being assembled next to them, and stages were being built just down the beach within the same venue. The enticing beachfront scene at No Solo Agua was hard to ignore, so we decided to settle down on the sand and join them. Without the need for convincing, just confirming that BPM was going to be exceptional, we were satisfied and our pre-festival venue exploration very quickly turned into stage 1 of inebriation.

 

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Throughout our careers as Techno Tourists, we’ve had the privilege of attending a variety of events spanning all fathoms of the electronic music spectrum. Like all products and services that we consume in life, some events are a straight up cash grab, while others rely on event quality and production value to generate recurring visitors. Newcomers are always welcome, without them no festival would survive. But newcomers who become lifers due to the production quality and vibe generated by a festival are one of the building blocks that compose the foundation that The BPM Festival was built on. With an ever-expanding customer base that includes an extensive number of repeat attendees, BPM has shown that slow and steady organic growth is not only the path to success, but also provides customers with a refreshing experience year after year.

 

One challenge facing any decentralized urban festival is the seamless distribution of bracelets. As The BPM Festival began to grow in Playa, the ticket booth under Aldea Thai (and then in the parking lot across the street) lacked the adequate space to house eager festivalgoers. BPM adjusted to accommodate increasing demand as years passed, but in Portugal future growth is already on the menu. Approaching the traffic circle at the end of Estrada da Rocha, the parking lot that BPM had commandeered for their wristband distribution operation displayed that the festival was ready for any future growth. There were plenty of signs of party, even before the festival began, with empty Super Bock bottles lining the metal barricades approaching the bracelet booth.

 

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After being banded, festivalgoers head past the hilltop Fort of Santa Catarina attempting to decipher the source of low frequency audio emission nearby. As if the sound waves are a magnet, that hollow thud that all of us can recognize from a distance is nothing short of taunting. Within minutes, attendees face a fork in the road (not a literal fork, actually a traffic circle) – stay left and head to NoSoloAgua (where we enjoyed a 16 hour Paradise party, or bear right to Blanco Beach (elrow’s Portugal debut was spectacular). Each venue occupies a large swath of beach, adjacent to the facilities from which they garner their respective names. This flexible setup ensures that future growth of BPM can be accommodated effortlessly. In typical BPM fashion, these weren’t the only two day venues – just the largest. A short but stunningly beautiful walk up the beach, landed partygoers at the entrance to three of the smaller venues, Katedral, Oceans Club and then a more distant Cloque. While all venues were beefed up with more than ample sound + lighting and venue decor was on point as always – the view and sunset from Cloque were a particularly special treat.

 

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Deviating from the traditional BPM norm, the night parties were centered around one large, multi-room venue. Memories that will last a lifetime were created nightly, but those from The BPM Festival’s signature event – YA’AH MUUL still make our hair stand on end. A five-minute cab ride from the center of Portimão, Centro de Congressos do Arde in neighboring municipality Lagoa acted like a beacon in the night, with the roof of the structure glowing purple under the stars. Complete with food trucks, an abundance of bars and three massive rooms featuring the world’s top talent, this festival within a festival was The Jungle on steroids. Frolicking in the actual jungle was fun for the last two years, but having a large multi-room venue with modern amenities and a roof providing protection from bad weather (luckily there was none during the weekend) allows for an even wider variety of events to be produced. With The BPM Festival attracting over 12,000 attendees traveling from 90 countries, Centro de Congressos provided a little bit of everything and plenty of space for future growth, leaving all partygoers satisfied.

 

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As previous installments of The BPM Festival have shown, the dynamic nature of the event itself means that nothing is ever set in stone for future years. Venues are added, removed, expanded, re-located and treats such as pop up parties or surprise afterhours are introduced. BPM veterans remember sweaty nights in the Alux Cave and interesting sunrise walks on the beach to Bang afterhours – there are too many to name. Portimão and the surrounding area provide numerous opportunities for growth moving forward, consistent with BPM’s theme of future proofing via planning.

 

Creating a successful festival that generates sustained interest over time, while simultaneously providing attendees with new and interesting experiences on a yearly basis is no easy task in itself. Completely uprooting a festival that satisfies these criteria, and transplanting it on another continent without disrupting the perfect balance that has been curated over a period of years, is even more difficult. The BPM Festival made the transition flawlessly, without backpedalling or missing a beat. We are looking forward to the years and memories to come, as we continue to trip to The BPM Festival Portugal.

#tripwithus

 

  For as long as we’ve been attending The BPM Festival, like clockwork each January would roll around and rumors would begin to surface about the “new” location of BPM in the subsequent year. From semi-believable, to downright laughable, it was always fun debating with friends, and mentally planning a journey we knew was never […]

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The BPM Festival Portugal – 2017 Preview

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Techno Tourists who have been following us for years may remember our 2014 BPM review – aptly titled “Location, Location, Location”. If you’re a new reader, or simply need a refresh – the review can be found here. Although those words were written over three years ago, specifically about The BPM Festival in Playa, our expectation is that the same themes will be successfully extrapolated across the Atlantic, and create an unforgettable experience for attendees of The BPM Festival Portugal.

Instead of burying our feet in the sand of the Yucatan Peninsula, as we dance from sunset to sunrise, the beaches we frolic on will be those of the Iberian Peninsula. Learning about Mayan history and the Mayan culture while attending The BPM Festival in Playa over the years has been fascinating, but there’s absolutely no shortage of equally alluring history to consume, or sites of historical importance to visit in the Algarve region of Portugal. The land surrounding the festival location of The BPM Festival Portugal was once part of the Roman Empire, a hotbed for the launch of various naval expeditions over centuries and even holds some of the secrets of the Knights Templar.

Revisiting the themes of our 2014 review, and how they should flawlessly transfer to The BPM Festival 2017, in Portimao and Lagoa in Portugal.

Location: The Setting

The overall theme of the festival – being held across multiple venues, in an urban setting, will go untouched. Like Playa, the towns of Portimao and Lagoa are geographically located at a distance from major cities which allow them to preserve their local charm, while still being easily accessible to festival attendees. Our previous travels to Southern Portugal have been delightful from a culinary aspect, and it’s the only place that we’ve ever visited where bottled water actually costs more than a bottle of wine.

Location: The Stages

A major benefit of an urban festival is – the ability to generate a variety of different experiences for revelers, in a number of venues, which provide an excellent blank slate for the festival to build on top of and personalize. Being located on a flawless body of water, with beautiful beaches, only enhances the possibilities of what can be achieved. A quick social media search for venues like Oceans Club, No Solo Agua and Blanco Beach, provides BPM attendees a preview of the spaces where we’ll spend our days, nights and sometimes days (again) before retreating for a quick rave nap, just to do it all over again.

 

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Location: Your Stay

One characteristic of Playa, which makes it an ideal location for BPM, is the unusually large amount of foreign investment money entering the town and surrounding areas. Over time, this process creates a self-reinforcing cycle, which leads to a build up of luxury rental properties (apartments and villas), beautiful boutique hotels and a local infrastructure capable of hosting events like BPM (cabs, power, water, roads and venues). Like Playa, Portimao and the surrounding region is packed with a wide variety of luxury apartments and villas, as well as unique boutique hotels that appeal to all types of travelers.

What Does All This Mean?

The overall BPM experience that we’ve been privy to is not something that can be easily created successfully anywhere in the world. With no shortage of pristine beaches dotting the globe, a variety of other factors must be taken into consideration when determining the ideal location to host BPM – in a fashion that will guarantee everyone leaves with an unforgettable experience, smile on their face and endless tales of debauchery. The incredible lineup and showcases, which are cornerstones of BPM, will be transferred across the Atlantic to ensure that the same underground vibe is produced. Familiar faces from years past will unite twice in 2017, what could be better? Portimao and Lagoa, Portugal, are nothing short of the perfect locations to continue the party, and no one is complaining about receiving an extra passport stamp this year!

#tripwithus

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  Techno Tourists who have been following us for years may remember our 2014 BPM review – aptly titled “Location, Location, Location”. If you’re a new reader, or simply need a refresh – the review can be found here. Although those words were written over three years ago, specifically about The BPM Festival in Playa, […]

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BPM 2017 – Full Lineup and Showcases

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BPM 2017 is less than two weeks away, the full lineup and showcases have been announced. We’re more excited than ever to be headed down to Playa, and hope that you are too.

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And don’t forget, The BPM Festival documentary: Dancing In Paradise will have it’s world premier screening during the festival.

 

BPM 2017 is less than two weeks away, the full lineup and showcases have been announced. We’re more excited than ever to be headed down to Playa, and hope that you are too. And don’t forget, The BPM Festival documentary: Dancing In Paradise will have it’s world premier screening during the festival.  

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The BPM Festival 2017 – Nearly A Decade of Delight

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Screen Shot 2016-12-02 at 9.37.08 AMJanuary 2008 – For most, this month does not result in the recollection of fond memories. The 21st marked Black Monday in global stock markets, kicking off a year that would rather be completely forgotten by the majority of individuals globally. Fortunately though, that January also signaled the beginning of something that continues to deliver positive sentimental experiences for a then small, but ever-expanding group of auspicious partygoers also extending to every corner of the planet. Initially a small industry event, spanning from January 5th – 12th, 2008, The BPM Festival has matured in size and scope with each installment, and is widely regarded as the preeminent electronic music festival in existence.

 

As BPM veterans since 2011, we have seen the transformation of Playa from a quaint seaside town, to the most unique festival setting we’ve experienced, for six consecutive years. As we have thoroughly covered in our previous reviews, BPM does an exceptional job of preserving the town’s charm, while managing to nestle in the best day, night, beach and jungle parties we’ve ever seen or experienced. Just a stone’s throw away from some of Mexico’s most spectacular ruins and centoes, and literally steps away from some of the most delicious Mexican cuisine to tickle our taste buds, BPM has it all and more.

 

Over the years, elements of the festival have come and gone, keeping the experience fresh and new for all who attend. What hasn’t diminished though, is the infectious vibe that keeps us all on the dance floor, beach or rooftop for hours on end. Those who are less seasoned in the fine art of marathon partying may look at you funny when you tell them that you’re going to a festival for 10 days straight, but as for us – we wouldn’t have or want it any other way.

 

Back for it’s 10th installment in 2017, BPM has become a cornerstone of many Techno Tourist’s yearly circuit. The festival’s reputation for exceptional programming has not gone unnoticed, and at this point many revelers begin to plan their journey long before any hint of a lineup is whispered. To those who are regulars, the question “Are you going to BPM?” isn’t even asked within circles of friends, more often the question posed is “When do you get down to Mexico?”.

 

Last year’s installment of BPM introduced us to The Jungle, a massive complex hosting festivities in a setting representative of a more traditional festival space, conveniently located just outside the town center. This year’s Ya’ah Muul (The Jungle) will feature a second stage, sponsored by Warung. The 10th Anniversary of BPM will be commemorated by the long awaited release of The BPM Festival Official Documentary: Dancing In Paradise. The full-length documentary film will be an excellent addition to post BPM withdraws, and will help to further educate partygoers globally on the history and rise of BPM over the years.

 

We are looking forward to seeing what new treats BPM has in store for us in 2017, and look forward to seeing old and new faces on the warm sand of Playa’s beautiful beaches, and in the dimly lit shadows of nightclubs/venues scattered throughout the area.

#tripwithus to Playa del Carmen, Mexico – January 6-15, 2017 for The BPM Festival’s 10th Anniversary

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January 2008 – For most, this month does not result in the recollection of fond memories. The 21st marked Black Monday in global stock markets, kicking off a year that would rather be completely forgotten by the majority of individuals globally. Fortunately though, that January also signaled the beginning of something that continues to deliver […]

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BPM 2016 – So We Tripped To The Mayan Riviera, And…

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Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 7.41.13 PM Late December 2015 - As our annual flight of party-goers yet again glided in for a landing at Cancun International Airport, we could already sense that the 2016 edition of The BPM Festival was going to be different and exciting. Gazing out of the window and over the tarmac to the airport control tower, we caught our first sights of the Bud Light logo, the festival’s newest corporate sponsor. The new sponsor signaled an anxious anticipation of change, and a hope for continuation of the excellent festival execution for which The BPM Festival is deservedly famous. As attendees of BPM for almost every year running, we were eager to see what revelry the new beer partnership would help spawn.

 

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aLIVE Coverage for TheBPMFestival.com

 

As we have noted in one of our in previous pieces, we believe that The BPM Festival is at the forefront of delivering and organically growing a festival model that is economically sustainable in the long haul. Year in and year out at BPM, smart decisions, precise planning and forward thinking lead to a consistently unforgettable festival experience, and we expected this year to be no different. As we would later ascertain, we vastly underestimated 2016’s additions.

 

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At TT, we feel obliged to pay appropriate homage to the unique urban layout of the festival. Couple this with the sizzling hedonism of Playa del Carmen, global reputation of BPM’s stellar musical programming, careful line-up arrangement and vast array of exotic venues, you behold some of the most valuable assets of the festival. As BPM ages and grows, the various attributes of the festival continue to seamlessly adapt to the needs of the ever expanding and diversifying customer base.

This diverse customer base and ever evolving partnership selection is a direct result of what some consider the corporatization of electronic music. Most notable over the past decade, the phenomenon has sparked controversial debates across every aspect of the industry. The purists will tell you that real DJs only spin vinyl, the “progressives” will tell you that a SL-1200 is the newest luxury car model and then there’s everyone in-between. Regardless of which camp you’re in, everyone does share the common love for a great party, and every January many of us gather together in the sunny beach town of Playa del Carmen, Mexico for The BPM Festival. Though it may seem as if we’re mentioning “corporatization” as an unfavorable extension of the world that we know and love, our conclusion is that it doesn’t have to be. The BPM Festival is a perfect illustration of mindful growth, and careful direction of the way the influences of corporatization are felt on the dance floor.

 

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Evolution excitingly ensures diversity, variation and subsequent adaptation. The slow and entrenched will die out, as the agile and adaptable will survive and flourish. These principles work no differently in the electronic music world. Main stage artists who were compensated unfathomable amounts two years ago are long gone, and events that seemed revolutionary at the time of their inception have faded. As Techno Tourists, we have had the privilege of experiencing some of the world’s most fascinating events, but will only continuously return to those that tickle our neurons in just the right way. BPM gives us this particular satisfaction, for 10 straight days, every single year. In the past, we have explored the incredible parties of BPM (1) (2) (3), the pristine location and the remarkable festival experience. This year’s edition of BPM brought Techno Tourist’s experience to the next level, as they exhibited their propensity to dominate the festival kingdom.

 

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aLIVE Coverage for TheBPMFestival.com

 

Mamita’s, a popular BPM venue, was not on the menu for 2016. Martina and WahWah were more than adequate replacements, and a change of scenery from previous years was both refreshing and reviving. Our usual favorite venues Canibal Royal, La Santanera and Blue Parrot maintained their status as such, and the Apollonia party on the Thompson hotel rooftop was nothing short of ridiculous.

 

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aLIVE Coverage for TheBPMFestival.com

 

Shortly after the 10 days of debauchery began, buzz began to spread throughout Playa of the annual, unique treat, which BPM had prepared. This year, it was The Jungle. A short 250-peso cab ride (if you had an honest cab driver) from the town center, this expansive complex hosted a massive “typical” festival tent, with preposterous lighting/visuals and absolutely absurd sound. Excellent selection of food trucks, check. Side stage with mainstage vibe, check. Highly organized cab system for safe return voyage to the center of Playa, check. The Jungle was full of party animals, and party they did.

 

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aLIVE Coverage for TheBPMFestival.com

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Why mention corporatization earlier? We will rarely, if ever, mention a non-TT partner by name, but BPM and their sponsors deserve a shout-out. The Jungle exhibited a prime example of corporatization done right, as each alcohol sponsor provided a unique lounge for partiers to relax when taking intermittent breaks from wild dancing and general revelry. Rather than generating the blatant, in your face adverting spam that festivalgoers are used to, each brand created an enticing oasis you couldn’t even stop yourself from desiring to explore.

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aLIVE Coverage for TheBPMFestival.com

 

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In our hearts, BPM is and always will be the most prominent underground festival globally. As any event grows though, it is understandable that they must take on larger corporate sponsors in order to sustain that growth. Kudos to The BPM Festival for doing this artfully, in a way that could tingle tastes across the spectrum, while remaining in its essence, one magical journey for all.

We look forward to next year’s BPM, when we celebrate the festival’s 10th anniversary.

For apartments, hotels and villas, e-mail us: info@thetechnotourist.net

#tripwithus

 

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aLIVE Coverage for TheBPMFestival.com

 

Late December 2015 – As our annual flight of party-goers yet again glided in for a landing at Cancun International Airport, we could already sense that the 2016 edition of The BPM Festival was going to be different and exciting. Gazing out of the window and over the tarmac to the airport control tower, we […]

Read More