Scoping the online catalogue of photos on the BPM website — of buxom bikini babes by a pool, bare-chested lads in sunhats stomping under palm trees — it’s hard to believe that what we are looking at is a ten-day-long New Year’s Eve party.
But, when DJmag finds that the event’s conception came about over “a bucket of beer and lots of tequila” on a beach in the achingly beautiful location of Playa del Carmen, it starts to make a whole lot more sense.
“The first year we saw approximately 5,000 people throughout the seven days,” explains Phil Pulitano, director and co-creator of BPM Festival. “Of those, we’d say 1,000 were travellers mainly from Canada, which is where all the directors are originally from.”
The brainchild of Canadian-born Pulitano and Craig Pettigrew, following the aforementioned piss-up under the stars, BPM Mexico started out, from day one, as a week-long party showcasing 40 or so underground house and techno DJs in 2008. These days, it’s stretched out as a 10-day-long, 24-hours-a-day dance event, featuring 120 artists — this year including Dubfire, Davide Squillace, Richie Hawtin, Loco Dice, Steve Lawler, Jamie Jones, Deniz Kurtel and Guy Gerber — who all deploy a devastating dose of beats over a sun-licked location dotted with wood-weave shacks, lush tropical plantation and sand-dusted beachside bars as part of a series of parties in various venues across the resort throughout the first part of January.
“Located in the Mayan Riviera, I personally think this is the most beautiful place in Mexico,” says Alessandra Axelsson, director of operations and finance for BPM Festival, who should know considering he grew up in Mexico. “The beaches are pristine white sands and the ocean waters are a crisp clear blue colour, where you can walk for miles in the shallow waters.”
As well as the stretches of white sandy beaches, the local town is a spread of winding cobblestone lanes lined with tasty restaurants and authentic cafes with tables out in the streets. So, in between dancing your tits off to thumping tech beats, you can actually feel like you are on holiday.
But, with Danny Tenaglia kicking off proceedings with a party on New Year’s Eve, at a festival that — after doubling each year since starting five years ago — is expected to attract 50,000 beat-obsessed ravers from all over the world over its duration, who’s gonna wanna rest?
The BPM Festival Phase One Artist Line-Up: Art Department, Behrouz, Boris, Carlo Lio, Cedric Gervais, Damian Lazarus, Dan Ghenacia, Daniel Dubb, Danny Howells, Danny Tenaglia, Davide Squillace,Deniz Kurtel, Dirty South, DJ Sneak, Droog, Dubfire, Dyed Soundorom, Gaiser live, Guti live, Guy Gerber, Heidi, James Teej, Jamie Jones, Lee Burridge, Lee Foss, Leon, Loco Dice, Luca Bacchetti, Marco Carola, Martin Buttrich, Matthias Tanzmann, Marko Nastic, Nic Fanciulli, Nick Curly, Pleasurekraft, Richie Hawtin, Saeed Younan, Sean Miller, Simon Baker, Soul Clap, Stacy Pullen, Steve Angello, Steve Lawler, Tanner Ross, Thugfucker, tINI, Wolf + Lamb...
Phase Two Artist Line-Up (NEW ADDITIONS): Adam K, Addy, Afrilounge, Ambivalent, Andrew Grant, Antonio Piacquadio, Bioniq, Black Light Smoke, Craig Pettigrew, Crazy Larry, D-Paack, D. Ramirez, Damian Uzabiaga, Danny Daze, Danny Torrence, Damian Romero, Dave Powers, Dead Seal,Digitalique, DJ Draggon, DJ Lukas, Donovan, Endo, Fary, Frank & Tony, Fredo Cortez, Funkagenda, German Wagener, Gregorythme (live), Halo, Hoj, Jeff Gold, Joee Cons, Jojo Flores, John Digweed, Jonny Cruz, The Junkies, Julien Loreto, Kate Simko, Kenyon Clidero, Lauren Lane, Lee Jones, Louie Fresco, Manzone & Strong, Mar-c, Mark Henning, Mark Knight, Matthew Dekay, Max Jacobson, Metrika, Michelangelo, The Midnight Perverts, MightyKat, Mobius Strum, Mr. C, Miguel Puente, Miketrix, Mike Khoury, Mike Montano, Muan, My Favorite Robot, Naveen G, Neno, Nik Nik, Niko Glenn, Nina Kraviz, Nitin, Nymra + Sofisticated, Omar Labastida, Paskal & Vesselinov, Peter Bailey, Pillow Talk, Puente + Rosch, Richie Santana, Richy Ahmed, Robert James, Rodrigo Madrid, Robbie Akbal, Ross Evana, Russ Yallop, Sebo K, Serge Devant, Shdwplay (live), Shaun Reeves, Steve Aries, Tara Brooks, Tato, Three, Tini Tun, Uppercut, XO-Chic and more to be announced!
The BPM Festival 2012 Day Events
30th December: Niko Glenn / Antonio Piacquadio / Julien Loreto / Miketrix @ Kool Beach Club
31st December: Mike Montano / Neno / German Wagener @ Kool Beach Club
1st January: Michelangelo / The Midnight Perverts / Digitalique @ Kool Beach Club
1st January: Digital Delight Label Showcase: Puente + Rosch / Wildkats / Damian Uzabiaga @ Canibal Royal
2nd January: Lauren Lane / Tini Tun / Mar-C / Nik Nik @ Kool Beach Club
2nd January: Akbal Music Label Showcase: special guest Sebo K + Afrilounge / Robbie / Muan / Fredo Cortez / Mobius Strum / Max Jacobson / Dave Powers @ Canibal Royal
3rd January: John Digweed / Craig Pettigrew / Paskal & Vesselinov / Jeff Gold @ Kool Beach Club
3rd January: Life and Death vs Scissor & Thread Label Showcase: Thugfucker / Pillow Talk / Frank & Tony / Black Light Smoke @ Mamita's Beach Club
4th January: Daniel Dubb / Endo + special guests TBA via BPM Twitter @thebpmfestival and Facebook @ Kool Beach Club hosted by Bal en Blanc
4th January: Cityfox Label Showcase: Gregorythme (live) / Lee Jones / Mark Henning + Listed artists @ Mamita's Beach Club hosted by Listed Productions
5th January: ***BPM 5 YEAR ANNIVERSARY EVENT*** Therapy Line-up TBA @ Blue Parrot Beach Club
5th January: ***BPM 5 YEAR ANNIVERSARY EVENT*** My Favorite Robot Label Showcase: special guest Shaun Reeves + James Teej / My Favorite Robot / Metrika / Donovan / Jonny Cruz @ Canibal Royal
6th January: Saved Label Showcase: Nic Fanciulli / Matthias Tanzmann / Stacey Pullen / Ross Evana @ Kool Beach Club
6th January: No.19 Music Label Showcase: Art Department / Nitin / Deniz Kurtel / Tanner Ross / Dead Seal / Louie Fresco / Miguel Puente @ Canibal Royal
6th January: Give It to Me Old School: Addy @ Blue Parrot Beach Club
7th January: Toolroom Knights: Mark Knight / Adam K / D. Ramirez / Nik Nik @ Kool Beach
7th January: All Day I Dream: Lee Burridge + special guest Matthew Dekay @ Mamita's Club
7th January: Therapy Line-up TBA @ Blue Parrot Beach Club
8th January: Hed Kandi: Steve Aries / Nik Nik / Kenyon Clidero @ Kool Beach
8th January: Hot Creations vs Crosstown Rebels: Richy Ahmed / Robert James / Russ Yallop / Danny Daze + more! @ Mamita's Beach Club
The BPM Festival 2012 Night Events
30th December: Danny Howells / Sean Miller / Omar Labastida @ Blue Parrot Beach Club
30th December: Air London presents A Night in the Air: Simon Baker / Kate Simko / Nitin / Bioniq @ TBA
31st December: ***NYE 2012*** Circo Loco & The BPM Festival present Danny Tenaglia / Luca Bacchetti / Andrew Grant @ Blue Parrot Beach Club
1st January: Cecille Label Showcase: Nick Curly / DJ Sneak / Neno @ Blue Parrot Beach Club
1st January: Superfreq: Mr. C / Three / XO-Chic / Damian Romero @ La Santanera
2nd January: Viva Music Label Showcase: Steve Lawler / Lee Burridge / Leon @ Blue Parrot Beach Club
2nd January: Heidi presents the Jackathon vs Varsity All Stars: Heidi / Crazy Larry / Mike Khoury / Naveen G / Mar-c @ La Santanera
3rd January: Sci+Tec Label Showcase: Dubfire / Davide Squillace / Carlo Lio / Shadwplay (live) / The Junkies @ Blue Parrot Beach Club
3rd January: Clandestine Agency Showcase: Guy Gerber / Nina Kraviz / Tato / Fary @ La Santanera
4th January: Movement + BPM present Minus showcase: Richie Hawtin / Gaiser (live) / Ambivalent @ Blue Parrot Beach Club
4th January: Dirty South / Serge Devant / Joee Cons @ Pink Elephant
4th January: Culprit Label Showcase: Lee Foss / Droog / Dan Ghenacia / Nymra & Sofisticated / Mightykat @ La Santanera
5th January: ***BPM 5 YEAR ANNIVERSARY EVENT*** Desolat label showcase: Loco Dice / Martin Buttrich (live) / tINI / Guti (live) @ Blue Parrot Beach Club
5th January: ***BPM 5 YEAR ANNIVERSARY EVENT*** Cedric Gervais / Funkagenda / Manzone and Strong @ Pink Elephant
5th January: ***BPM 5 YEAR ANNIVERSARY EVENT*** Soul Clap / Wolf + Lamb @ La Santanera
6th January: Stereo MTL presents Marco Carola all night @ Blue Parrot Beach Club
6th January: Boris / Richie Santana / Peter Bailey / Danny Torrence @ Pink Elephant
6th January: Jojo Flores / Halo @ La Santanera
7th January: Steve Angello / Uppercut @ Blue Parrot Beach Club hosted by Glow DC
7th January: Rebel Cave: Damian Lazarus / Jamie Jones / Art Department @ Alux Cave
7th January: Younan Music Label Showcase: Saeed Younan / Pleasurekraft / Addy / Tara Brooks @ La Santanera
8th January: BPM Closing Party: Behrouz / Marko Nastic @ Blue Parrot Beach Club