PHOTOS & WORDS BY: BRITTANY, NO FOMO
When there are ten days of back-to-back acts with 400 talented artists on the roster, it can appear to be a bit overwhelming. For the vast festival that it is, hosting parties at ten venues and secret after hours on playa and at cenotes, The BPM Festival is surprisingly organized and simple to navigate. The festival was scheduled into day and night parties with daily set time updates with most venues just a walk away from one another. Having goals to hit up four parties a day, ended up being a breeze, (minus our legs becoming extremely sore from dancing after just day two). The crowds were more vibe-y vs club-y. The venues were impressive from setup to sound. It was an epicly long music hopping adventure. Due to the endless options, no one had the same experience at BPM Festival. So after aiming to see it all, we put together a list of the top ten sets that really shouldn’t have been missed. Hope it doesn’t cause too much FOMO.
CREW LOVE PARTY @ Canibal Royal
You could feel the love on the playa as good vibes and funky house brought the crowd and Crew artists together. Navid Izadi kicked off the party with genuine charisma and a mix of soul, funk, and hip hop tracks. Eli “Elyte” Goldstein from Soul Clap acted as MC for the event and announced a tribute to David Bowie as Navid spinned “Under Pressure” while instructing the crowd to get low. The fiesta continued with three uplifting live acts: No Regular Play’s Paulus on the trumpet and vocals alongside DeBruyn creating the rhythms got everyone swaying on the sand; Funky, jam grooves on the keys and guitar were performed by guests Laid Back, as they broke up the lineup with a tropical sound, singing and playing live instruments on the side stage, including their track “White Horse”; We boogied with the three guys of Pillowtalk who played originals with keys and strings. The sun set with the feel-good funk house beats by duo’s Wolf + Lamb and Soul Clap, finishing the showcase with a burst of energy that had the entire packed Canibal Royal audience having the time of their lives. It was clearly felt among us all that, “Crew Love is True Love”.
Marco Carola @ Martina Beach
Italian producer / DJ, Marco Carola, has been making his mark in techno since the ’90s, so it was no surprise to see Martina Beach packed with a loyal fan base who eagerly waited to start their day with his set. With five critically acclaimed albums under his belt, including his most recent Play It Loud, and a ton of released compilation mixes, Marco’s performance interlaced a multitude of sounds that our ears thanked him for as we danced barefoot on the sand. Over the course of BPM, from day parties to packed night fiestas, Marco Carola performed one of the most talked about sets at Blue Parrot, live recording here:
MUSIC IS 4 LOVERS @ Wah Wah
It was the time for the official day parties to turn into early night fiestas, as Marco Faraone got behind the decks. The Italian producer/DJ played his uptempo house music to an intimate, dancing crowd. D’Julz shared the stage mixing in an eclectic variety of sounds and lyrics into tech-house tracks. We’re keeping an ear out for the French producer/DJ’s upcoming 2016 re-release and re-edit of 90’s House classic from Master C&J, featuring Liz Torres, ‘Don’t Let Love Pass You By‘.
Miss Kittin @ Blue Parrot
The word backstage was that Miss Kittin was under the weather, but nothing seemed to stop the badass chick from getting behind the turntables and singing over her beats to perform to a crowded Blue Parrot. Making a name for herself for singing live and creating tracks with long-time production partner The Hacker, Miss Kittin impressed with her disco-influenced tracks.
ELROW PARTY @ Wah Wah
This party was one for the books. Elrow brought their Spain-born, circus style events to Playa del Carmen to treat the crowd to a one of a kind experience. Artists from the Barcelona Elrow family performed with Elrow friend, Paco Osuna, headlining the day party that extended into late night. They brought sand from the playa into the venue and completely transformed Wah Wah into a carnival with meticulously thought out psychedelic decor. To really get a flavor of the night, see our exclusive photos and full story here!
LISTED PARTY @ La SantaneraPhoto: aLIVE Coverage for TheBPMFestival.com
Highlight of the night? Surprise acts Atish, Nico Stojan, with Holmar Filipsson from Thugfucker, played a rotational back-to-back set on the decks on the open top level of La Santanera. Wind swept through the crowd, cooling us off as we danced non-stop into early morning. Even if your legs are killing you from days of dancing, you can’t leave now with three of your favorite DJs on the decks!
Bob Moses @ Martina Beach
Nothing compared to the tropical, carefree, beautiful vibe the duo, Bob Moses, created at Martina Beach. As their popularity grew with shows in NYC and sets at Burning Man, the duo has been a must-see act since the initial BPM lineup announcement. Sun rays danced between the decor and crowd, creating an euphoric atmosphere. As soon as the rhythm built up for a hit track “Talk“, the crowd went wild. Everyone sang along to the smoothing vocals performed live by Tom Howie, and the audience danced along to the beat-making Jimmy Vallance who put all his energy into the music. It was evident that the duo behind Bob Moses has fun when they perform, as they smiled and grooved to “Far From The Tree” and “All I Want” just as hard as the crowd. Uplifting beats cascaded over the audience out into the ocean – the most ideal setting for the heartwarming back-to-back tracks that have put Bob Moses on the electronic music map.
Apollonia @ Canibal Royal
Without a plan, yet fully prepared to perform a tropical set, these three best friends took us on a funky, groovy, reviving house session on the playa at Canibal Royal. Seamlessly playing records back-to-back, Apollonia performed with their signature style and had everyone riding a feel-good vibe. Their set sounded perfectly accustomed to the beach setting vs. when we saw them last in a New York venue for Time Warp, showcasing how the in-the-moment DJing technique works wonders for the trio.
YA’AH MUUL II PARTY @ The Jungle w/ The Martinez Brothers & Maxxi Soundsystem
We ventured off the Playa del Carmen avenidas into The Jungle for an exquisite all-night adventure among the beautiful natural habitats of the Mayan Riviera. We found ourselves in a festival within the larger BPM festival at a multi-stage, food truck and vendor filled outdoor venue that could have easily amused us for days and nights on end. Into the early hours of the morning, The Martinez Brothers, shook the main stage with heavy house beats and a posse of friends. Across the way, Maxxi Soundsystem played the Culprit Stage, as BPM full bodysuit covered bodies mingled with the crowd and caused a stir of heavy dance breakouts. Lights streamed over the venue flashing from all directions and created patterns on the trees, reminding us that we really just went to the playa, town, and now a jungle all in one night.
THIS IS THE END – Lauren Lane @ Martina Beach
Lauren Lane Photos: aLIVE Coverage for TheBPMFestival.com
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end… including this marathon of amazing global tech and house music. It seemed fitting to end our run with BPM-pro, LA DJ/producer Lauren Lane’s set on the beautiful grounds of Martina Beach. Her uplifting charisma is matched perfectly with her tracks, as she curated a set fitting for the positivity and playfulness of the playa. As she played multiple parties at BPM, this finale seemed to be filled with heartfelt energy, as Lauren gave all she had left back to the crowd at Playa. We danced to her classic mixed with minimal house, which built up excitement for her new EP ‘Diary of a Madwoman‘ to come out January 29th on Edible, the label from Eats Everything and Nick Harris. Luckily, our trip ended with a chat with Lauren Lane, which put the cherry on top of our trip. (Exclusive interview coming soon!)
Only at BPM Festival can you find yourself dancing on the playa, exploring a three-level club, and bouncing around in a jungle all in one day. Feeling the FOMO? Mark your calendars to dance with us at BPM’s 10th anniversary. It’s never too early to start planning a music adventure.