The 8th annual installment of the BPM Festival was its largest yet, with over 380 djs playing over 80 parties. The 10 day event was its biggest yet, with attendance set to smash the approximately 55,000 that attended in 2014. Sporting a who’s who of the underground, the festival certainly satisfied the musical cravings of the scene’s most demanding connoisseurs, growing pains notwithstanding. Venues ranged from the right-on-the-water Canibal Royal, reviewed as the best daytime venue, to the large Blue Parrot in the middle of the action to Blue Venado south of town, and smaller venues such as Tabu and La Santarena. Scenes like the one below from Danny Tenaglia’s party at Blue Parrot are why everyone keeps raving about this event and it grows each year.
(Photo credit: Danilio Lewis)
Our favorite parties of this year’s BPM were:
(Photo credit: Jeff “Turbo” Corrigan)
2) Solomun’s +1 party with Ame at Canibal Royal. The best beachfront daytime venue used for BPM in our opinion. With 2 terraces above the action to look down on the stage area as well as the beautiful clear water, this venue was a winner. Solomun and Ame each played 2 hour sets between 2pm and 6pm… then the real fun started with a scheduled 3 hour back-to-back set. We say ‘scheduled’ as they were still going strong almost 4 hour in when we finally left to get some nourishment!
(Photo Credit: Nathan Navarro)
3) Luciano at Blue Parrot. The Cadenza head never disappoints this writer. Something always special seeing his special tech house blend of music outside ala his Ibiza parties.
(Photo Credit: Nathan Navarro)
4) Saeed Younan and Roger Sanchez at Mamitas. This venue is in the process of being renovated for 2015 into a more upscale beach club. Visually it looked notably improved though for larger crowds such as for Luciano and Circo Loco it appears the new layout may have reduced the occupancy a bit. Back to the music – Saeed Younan played a great 2 hour set of his blend of tech house with a bit of tribal (see set here: http://edmlife.com/edm-life-radio-vol-5-exclusive-mix-saeed-younan-2015-bpm-festival/. After Saeed, Roger Sanchez closed out the night with a house set that was definitely a bit harder than the recent times we’ve seen the S-Man out.
(Photo Credit: Doug Van Sant)
5) Nicole Moudaber at La Santarena. The bushy-haired dj kept the middle floor of La Santerena heaving until the early morning hours with her signature blend of tech house and techno. Memorable moment was Nicole dropping her own remix of Alcatraz’s hit Give Me Luv.
(Photo Credit: Danilo Lewis)
Other notable sets: Garrett B on the terrace at La Santarena. Always nice to see one of our Chicago friends spinning quality tunes.
Also MK dropping some serious house music at Pete Tong’s party at Blue Parrot was another standout moment from the festival with his uplifting house tracks leading to a B2B set with Pete Tong to close out the night.
(photo credit: Nathan Navarro)
As noted at the beginning, the festival did show some growing pains this year. Several parties were sold out if you did not have presale tickets or paid all-access bracelets, leaving fans stuck outside to their dismay. Blue Venado, famous for its sunrise sets, found several parties cut short starting with the Innervisions party ending at 7am and the No. 19 Social Experiment party was cancelled and moved/merged with the last sunday day party at Mamita’s. In addition, at 9am after the Innervisions party, the local police decided to do an impromptu drug search, with every person and car leaving the venue undergoing a thorough search and a few being taken away. Unofficial word was this was related to permit issues for Blue Venado. Also, Blue Parrot which historically has closed at around 8am (give or take a few minutes), closed sharply at 6am for Danny Tenaglia’s party (who voiced his unhappiness with that on the mic at the end) and Marco Carola’s party. Also for the 2nd weekend, some venues seemed stretched to the limit occupancy-wise. We assume the BPM founders will address these items in 2016 making for a better event. Overall, in our view the BPM Festival has established itself as one of the dance music world’s premiere events and one you must visit at least once.
If you want relive some of the best BPM shows, check out this thread: http://edmlife.com/picks-best-2015-bpm-parties-watch-online/