Photo by Fest300
A Memoir of my Mexico adventures at BPM Festival..
By Megan Sutherland
Sitting at the Cancun airport terminal with the smell of stale bug spray in the air and the tingle of a fresh sunburn, one would think I’m itching to hop on that 747 and jet back to Los Angeles.
The itch however, is purely from the asshole mosquitos that made a buffet of my bikini clad body during those humid 10 days in paradise. Rather than yearning for my cloud of a bed, I’m actually mourning the end of perhaps one of the best trips of my 30 year-old life. (And trust me, I’ve been on some weird vacations.)
Playa Del Carmen, located on the Mayan Riviera, just South of Cancun was host to the 8th annual BPM Festival. Originally this was held simply for industry folk, and after nearly a decade in existence it’s grown into an electronic music destination worldwide. This area of the country has the mystery and beauty of a tropical island getaway, combined with the fire and pulse of a larger metropolitan city. The location couldn’t have been more dreamy…
Our crew ran deep, and the chance we would manage to muster up some mischief on this journey was about as slim as the Michelin man. (meaning not slim at all and the fun forecast was already looking sunny from the jump!) JOY. We started off the week in a girlfriend’s villa with a snazzy rooftop hot tub overlooking the shore of Playacar. The treck in our shady run down rental car wasn’t ideal, but the top notch lineup playing the festival with breathtaking backdrops made it totally do-able.
MAKING SHAPES was the first event our harem of Angelinos made an appearance at. Pillowtalk and Soul Clap tore down the house and later this event was even voted by Beatport as one of the best parties at BPM! Another worthy mention- Eric Duncan played their "favorite set of festival." Not surprised in the least. Get it Shapes!
Next on the festie menu was the legendary, yet elusive, Innervisions party. The #1 DJ in the world at the moment - Dixon - played one of the most epic sets of the whole trip as the sun rose over the Blue Venado venue. It literally took about an hour to treck and bushwack my freckled face thru the jungle to reach the dance floor. (Next time we’ll remember to bring our machetes I guess.) Marching back from Innervisions I caught a glimpse of goofball-DJ Seth Troxler in what appeared to be a poncho, riding on top of a taxi which was pretty classic.
We spent the following afternoon having a dance party on the roof of the villa, after our plans to be nautical by nature were sadly foiled. Our six person dance party was too potent for the neighbors, even during BPM season, and we received a noise complaint. Ooops.
That didn’t stop us, and we moved the Friday night festivities to Fusion to catch the tale end of the “Touch of Class Records” party. Signal Flow, Navid Izadi and Tone of Arc crushed it. It was refreshing to take a little techno timeout and hear the use of live instruments and vocals integrated into the mix. Co-founder of Touch of Class, Mikey Tello even proposed to his girlfriend on the mic and brought a tear to the crowds dilated eyes. What a special treat to witness! Friday night we decided to make a pit stop at the Mixmag No.19 Social Experiment party where we got down to the sounds of Deniz Kurtel and my faves, Art Department. That was our last fiasco in Playa and we took off in our dodgy whip to get tribal in Tulum!
Candlelit restaurants and bars lined up the main beach road. My favorite was a chic mezcal bar called Gitano (which translates to “gypsy” which I totally dug). They even had a giant mirror ball in the center of the tropical forest setting and resident DJ playing disco jams to bring all my 70’s Studio 54 fantasies to life. The smoky taste of aged tequila and love for new and old company burned an everlasting memory into my heart. Our new casa of coconut-laden Caribbean beaches and skies that must be CGI (since they seemed too pretty to be real) was a breath of fresh air.
We bonded with our new flatmates over ceviche meals, spliffs and laughs until it was time to venture off to the Pink Mammoth shindig for Rob Garza of Thievery Corporation. Our last stop on the party train was to support the SF familia and hit up the legendary Sunset Sound System party. Godfathers of the infamous Sunset series, Solar and Galen kept the funky force strong with caliente cuts per usual. Headliner Gerd Janson also had our legs limp by the end of the dance-infused evening at Papaya Playa.
From rainbow sightings, ocean swims, visiting larger than life Mayan ruins, mouth watering cuisine and a never ending rotation of divine artists, this was truly an unforgettable time that I’ll forever cherish. We came, we saw, we boogied ...
Thank you to all the precious souls, talented musicians and gracious locals who made this crazy gringo girls time far more than worthwhile. Also hats off to Galen Oakes and Art Gimbel from FEST300 for capturing a majority of these mystical moments on camera. Besos!
Photos above in article (except cover) by Eva Kane, Caitlin Cassidy and Hannah Hughes
Photos below in slider (including cover) by Fest300 (Art Gimbel & Galen Oakes)