About This Festival
The Everfest team is terribly saddened by the tragedy at BPM. Our thoughts are with the BPM family and we encourage you to support the GoFundMe for one of their long-time team members.
Partiers of The Caribbean
Since its founding in 2008, The BPM Festival has grown and established itself as a music destination festival to rival the summer scene on the Mediterranean island of Ibiza. With the turquoise-blue waters and powdery, white sand beaches of the Caribbean as its backdrop, thousands of international revelers are lured to all-day and all-night parties.
It started as a hospitality industry event bringing together bartenders, promoters and musicians (BPM), but that humble beginning is a far cry from today’s sprawling festival that draws more than 60,000 people (and large ticket sales) from 60 different countries for dancing and soaking up the tropical January sun during a time of year when much of the Northern Hemisphere is cloaked in cold.
BPM Festival’s Idyllic Setting
The setting is Playa del Carmen, or Playa as it is called by residents and regular visitors, which not long ago was a small fishing village on a stunning white sand beach about 35 miles south of Cancun, one of Mexico’s biggest and best-known resort areas.
In the last 10 years, a development boom of a dozen or so large all-inclusive resorts has transformed Playa del Carmen. The bustling, main pedestrian-only drag, La Quinta Avenida (Fifth Avenue), is now lined with bars, clubs and restaurants. Simple and delicious fresh fruit juice and taco stands serve up quick snacks for festivalgoers.
The Modern with the Ancient
Not far are vast areas of mangroves, jungle and the ancient Mayan archeological zone of Tulum, a dramatic complex of more than 60 well-preserved structures and a towering cliff-side temple overlooking the sparkling Caribbean sea. BPM’s setting on the Yucatan Peninsula provides party-goers who want a break from the action plenty of options, including snorkeling, diving, jungle tours, zip line excursions and visits to cenotes, underground caves of freshwater ponds and rivers that are delightfully refreshing escapes for cool dips on hot days.
Beats Per Minute
Electronic music fans are drawn by a roster and schedule of some of the most popular dance music artists and DJs from all over the world, about 250 of whom perform in Playa del Carmen over the 10-day span of the festival. One of the mainstays is the resort area’s largest and oldest club, the beachside Blue Parrot, founded in 1984, a large venue where nightly shows are jam-packed, the scantily-clad crowd completely absorbed in the pumped-up sounds.
Other spots, such as Tabu, Coco Maya and the beach bars Mamita’s and Kool Beach, directly opposite each other, are equally as popular with dancers moving to the pulsating beat spun by an impressive roster—for avid followers of the electronic dance music scene—of renowned Djs who are showcased in the line up for hours at a stretch. Some relatively smaller-scale venues, such as palm tree-lined Fusion Beach Club, offer more intimate dance spots.
The BPM Festival features more than 80 official events, split into day and night shows hosted by record labels and promoters. However, BPM party-goers are also drawn by many unofficial events and parties—some called “pop ups”— that take place outside of the official roster. In 2015, these pop ups included Los Aguachiles with Apollonia and Guy Gerber’s RUMORS in the Cenote. In 2014, BPM hosted Richie Hawtin & Dubfire presents dotUP in association with RBMA. Promoters and music producers take over small restaurants and bars in town and in nearby resorts and beach clubs. Some are little more than a few thatched-roof palapas at less touristy venues near the Tulum Mayan archeological site or in the jungle at spots such as the “eco-chic” Blue Venado resort where festival-goers dance the night away.
Hours later, they rest in a happily tired daze on Playa’s powder white-sand beach under palm trees or a palapa, watching the sun rise over the sparkling Caribbean waters as another day of BPM gets underway.