BPM: Every Techno Tourist’s January Sanctuary

The BPM Festival 2015, in Playa del Carmen, Mexico went down as the largest, most complex, and most innovative festival in BPM’s history. The Techno Tourist was thrilled to celebrate our 4th birthday, while ringing in 2015 with an overwhelming number of much-loved, like-minded individuals. BPM attendees want nothing less than to bless a new year with a christening of hard-danced sweat and ice-cold cocktails. This type of abundance inevitably culminates with heavenly dips into the waves of the rainbow-kissed Caribbean. …Okay, and not to mention also culminating in the savoring of fresh organic tacos, cenote diving, visits to the Mayan ruins, and more!

Flashing back to late summer 2014, the interwebs were abuzz with discussion of the “pushed back” BPM dates. In all fairness, BPM has changed the dates several times since the festival’s first appearance, so Mexico-loving PDC veterans hadn’t raised an eyebrow at the shift. As firsthand observers to the rise of BPM, we trust the reasoning of its organizers, and were anticipating that the shift would further cull the musically educated. In the end, the final dates didn’t deter a soul, with 60,000 sun-bronzed clubbers dancing up, down, and all over the town for a period of 10 days and counting. During earlier dates in the year (Playa’s New Years), the festivities play host to a large number of normies, which as we all know, are best avoided at all costs. These average Joes seep into hotels and apartments and jack up prices while oftentimes complaining about just the kind of music-drenched debauchery that clubbers are paying to enjoy in the first place. They’re also not very after-hours friendly. The new dates seemed strategically placed to perfectly avoid any clashing of intention, and the strategy paid off.

With such an influx of people and the most impressive line-up to date, Playa del Carmen was better braced than ever to accept its guests with open arms, great weather, excellent local food and ye local brew (or five) from our new favorite bar, Club De La Cerveza. Our #1 take-away from the event this year was growth. The essence of this growth is not represented only in the festival’s sheer size, but also in the city’s growing capability to facilitate revelry of all degrees in smooth conjunction with BPM’s electronic ethos.


(Photo Credit: Doug Van Sant)

It’s been our privilege to attend the BPM Festival every year for over half a decade. During this time, both Playa del Carmen and Tulum have made massive transformations from underground best-kept-secrets to annual, must-go or fomo destinations for clubbers of the serious kind, planning to take their trip to the next level. And although none of us were clubbing back when Amnesia (Ibiza) was just a farmhouse, we cannot help but notice the parallels between the development of the clubbing industry on the White Island and in the Rivera Maya.

This year, BPM re-introduced one of our favorite venues, Canibal Royal, which played host to a fuego Apollonia set. Additionally, this year ushered in some upgrades to the clubbing infrastructure with massive renovations of Blue Parrot, La Santanera and Mamitas Beach Club (where Listed delivered an unforgettable party). Not only were these three venues completely re-built from the ground up, but all of the BPM venues had pleasing improvements most notable between 10 and 30.000 Hz. Nowhere was this more clearly amplified than during the ‘Smoke N’ Mirrors’ party where Maxxi Soundsystem downright abused the resident Funktion One sound system until it was crying (tears of joy) inside.


(Photo Credit: Nathan Navarro)


(Photo Credit: Jeff “Turbo” Corrigan)

Blue Parrot was first on our list of upgraded venues to explore. The club had undergone a few smaller renovations since our first visit in 2010, when the DJ booth was still under the (now removed) bubble. Upgrades made in the subsequent years acted more like band-aids, sufficient to cope with the clubs growing attendance, but not a perfect long-term solution. The complete renovation in 2015 was clearly designed as a “big room” setup, while still managing to include the boutique feel of the beach section in the back of the venue.


(Photo Credit: Doug Van Sant)


(Photo Credit: Jeff “Turbo” Corrigan)

La Santanera has been moved a few blocks from its previous location, and the new location was used as a BPM venue for the first time this year. Still keeping its multi-level theme intact, the venue now occupies the top three floors of a building on 10th street. In the unlikely event customers begin to feel down on themselves for any sins they may have committed, Jesus provides a (roughly 20 foot tall) reminder when moving between floors, or to the bathroom, that…“You are forgiven”.


(Photo Credit: Jeff “Turbo” Corrigan)

Mamita’s has always played host to the larger BPM events, and this year was no exception. A total renovation left the venue almost unrecognizable from previous years, but much more appealing to those who were looking to enjoy a traditional festival atmosphere. As the saying goes, sometimes a photo says a thousand words.


(Photo Credit: Doug Van Sant)

BPM keeps things fresh for veterans with creative events that innovate outside of their normal festival line-up. The pop-up parties and special venues maintain the unique charm of being organized, but not too organized, leaving just the right amount of space for novel experiences to transpire. Most importantly, BPM opens the doors for everyone to have these unique and unforgettable adventures (rather than being invite-only); and for this, we commend them. The festival has managed to switch up the backdrop for each pop-up or unique party throughout the years, always creating new experiences. Although the Alux Cave and Club Bang are no longer part of the rotation, festivalgoers were presented with three excellent options in 2015: Las Ranitas Tulum, Zhuna’an Ha cenote and of course, a taco stand party.

Over the years, we have not only had the privilege of seeing BPM grow, but also enjoyed growing with them. This year was TT’s most successful to date, as we drew our largest and most diverse customer base yet. As the town of Playa and the festival have expanded, so has our property inventory and presence in the area. We look forward to seeing you at The BPM Festival 2016!