Eat your last taco and say “adios” to the beautiful beaches and people of Playa Del Carmen. The BPM Festival 2016 is over, but it left us with fond memories to start the New Year. This year’s festival featured over 375 artists at 8 official venues with a multitude of pop-up parties, and brought well over 60,000 festival goers from around the world to the serene location of Playa Del Carmen. With an over-abundance of amazing line-ups and conflicting set times, sadly some hard decisions and sacrifices had to be made to survive this marathon party.
Albeit as hard as it was to decide, here are the top ten parties that made The BPM Festival 2016 memorable in our book.
Kraftek at Wah Wah Beach Club
Line-up: Pleasurekraft, Butch, Carlo Lio, Re.You
Pleasurekraft, Butch, and Re.You along with Toronto native, Carlo Lio kicked off the opening weekend proper at this year’s newly added venue, Wah Wah Beach Bar. Being able to bask in the glory of banging sets from these tech-house gods while shuffling the sand between your toes on beach-front property was an anomaly to the standard techno ambience found throughout Playa Del Carmen.
All Day I Dream at Martina Beach Club
Line-up: Lee Burridge, Oona Dahl, Gorje Hewek & Izhevski, Seth Schwarz & Be Svendsen (live)
Yes, what a dream to dance to the groovy sounds of Oona Dahl and Gorje Hewek & Izhevski initiating vibes of paradise under brightly colored floral garlands. The oasis-like space of The BPM Festival conceived Martina Beach Club made for the perfect backdrop to the ADID party. Then there was Be Svendsen and Seth Schwarz (on the violin) swooning the crowd with their euphoric live performance. Lee Burridge polished the day off as the sun set over the warm Caribbean Sea in true Lee Bu fashion.
Music On at Blue Parrot
Marco Carola, Paco Osuna, and Leon
All you techno heads know this was an epic party upon looking at the line-up. Despite the rain, there was a packed house at Blue Parrot, which boasts large indoor and outdoor spaces. Leon set the tone well for techno giant Paco Osuna to jump on and take the party up to the next level. When Marco Carola commenced his set the crowd went bananas and the party went into overdrive all the way until closing. Unforgettable, and it was Carola in his usual form at BPM 2016.
Techno and Tacos Pop-Up Party at El Fogon
Line-up: Richie Hawtin b2b Dubfire
Techno heavy weights, Richie Hawtin and Dubfire were at it again this year with their infamous Techno and Tacos event at the taco institution of The BPM Festival, El Fogon. The restaurant, barely fitting 50 people, hosted a massive party which spilled on the streets and shut down the entire block to all traffic. Everyone and anyone came by to revel in the smell of tacos and the sound of techno – a true staple event of The BPM Festival.
Last Night on Earth at Martina Beach Club
Line-up: Kate Simko, Dubspeeka, &Me, Nicole Moudaber, and Sasha
Each artist brought their own flavor of sounds to this day event, and it made for an epicurean 5 course meal for the ears. Undeniably, Sasha brought everyone to tears with his opening track’s haunting synths and mystical beats transitioning into energetic high hats and dark bass tones. Watch the party in its entirety here if you’re really trying to relive the Playa vibe.
Diynamic Showcase at The Jungle
Line-up: Solomun, Thyladomid, H.O.S.H., Kollektiv Turstrasse
The Jungle, promising a festival within a festival, was all that we hoped for and more. With its Cirque du Soleil-esque performances from night walkers on stilts to fire dancers, food, teepee lounge areas, and a stage that puts most festivals to shame, The BPM Festival went all out with their newest Jungle concept venue. Having the Diynamic showcase amongst the organic backdrop was well played and made for a magical experience. Festival goers were efficiently shuttled in and out from downtown Playa Del Carmen to hear the mystical sounds of headliner Solomun alongside his pals from the Diynamic record label. A torrential downpour towards the end was not enough keep us from being on cloud nine. Listen to the magic here.
The BPM Festival Presents Danny Tenaglia at Blue Parrot
Line-up: Danny Tenaglia, Chris Liebing, and Simon Baker
Simon Baker evoked the crowd with his opening set, followed by Chris Liebing with an explosive set consisting of his signature brand of techno. After days of partying and the exhaustion sets in, Danny Tenaglia refreshes the party and crowd with his opening track and ceremonial appreciation on the mic. Danny Tenaglia’s unique style of mixing and track selection breathes new life into the party and gives me reason to go on well into the wee hours of the morning. Bravo, Danny, bravo. Listen to the legend here.
Octopus Recordings at La Santanera
Line-up: Sian, Pleasurekraft, Oliver Huntemann, Julian Jeweil (live), Justin James, Barbuto, Weska, and Boryana
Eight prime artists, one space, one party for the books. It was both Pleasurekraft and Julian Jeweil’s second show, and both put on stunning performances, with Jeweil playing live both times. Oliver Huntemann crushed the crowd with proper German techno, and Sian upped the ante with his intense techno set in signature Octopus style. Put simply – the Octopus Recordings party was unbelievable.
Life and Death at The Jungle
Line-up: Konstantin, Mind Against, Nina Kraviz, Tale of Us, Baikal vs the Drifter, Barnt, Job Jobse, DJ Tennis, Thugfucker
We headed back into The Jungle for another promising party and were blown away again. This time there were two stages housing the extensive line-up. Each stage provided a different environment for one to enjoy. Stand out sets came from Tale of Us, DJ Tennis and Thugfucker. Unfortunately, the only hitch was Nina Kraviz’ lack luster, mostly acid house set. However, DJ Tennis played a legendary set on the second stage in an intimate palapa hut in the middle of Nina’s catastrophe. Thugfucker and Tale of Us closed down the party on, lamentably, separate stages. Another successful party at The Jungle.