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The BPM Festival Prepares for 2016's Underground Dance Marathon

We spoke with BPM directors about how to get the most out of Mexico's classiest rager, and check out our newest showcase announcement.
December 18, 2015, 10:55pm
Photo credit: Nathan Navarro/

While the rest of the world eases into every new year with resolutions and good intentions, the dance world heads down to Mexico for BPM, where the world's finest house and techno rumbles through the clubs and beaches of Playa Del Carmen on the Mexican Riviera for in early January for ten days straight. With the likes of Richie Hawtin and Paul Kalkbrenner, Solomun and Tale of Us, and pretty much the rest of the dance music underground in between already announced, it's setting up to be an incredible way to kick of 2016.


As you might imagine, BPM is one of the most famous exercises of endurance in all of electronic music. To get the most out of it requires the expertise of a seasoned party pro. Well, we've got three of them. Festival organizers Alessandra Axelsson, Phil Pulitano, and Craig Pettigrew stopped by to drop a little wisdom about what gives BPM its very particular iconic character, with its sunrise beach sessions and techno adventures in the jungle

Photo credit: Nathan Navarro for

Since its first season in 2008—and with approximately 60,000 people traveling to the Mexican Shores for the festival each year—the BPM Festival has lead the way in widening North America's palette for dance music. "BPM has always prided itself on maintaining its underground roots from the beginning," says Pettigrew. "But we've seen a shift in the underground sound becoming more popular as fans' musical tastes mature and grow."

That the programming at BPM stays true to house and techno despite hosting over 50 showcases allows the the festival to dive deep into particular niches. That's why all 300+ of the DJs involved come ready to represent their sound in the pantheon of underground sounds, from house to techno, minimal to peak time. "BPM can feel like the whole Ibiza season in a 10-day window, as many of the artists that are in Ibiza all summer are here," says Phil Pulitano.

This diversity of the music is matched by the clientele. "An incredible fact of BPM is the diversity of people that attend," says Axelsson. "Last year we had people attend from over 45 countries, ranging in ages from 22 to 50," says Axelsson. "But when coming here to Playa Del Carmen, everyone looks for a great vacation, including amazing music, dancing under the sun and stars with their feet in the sand, and definitely getting in the ocean at some point. Being that we are 10 days, there is no rush to get through it so quickly. It's not a race; it's a marathon"

Photo credit: Anthony Djuren for

If the mere presence of Visionquest, Skreamizm, Maeve Rave, Diynamic, and Nicole Moudaber, and Dubfire isn't enough to get you sweaty with excitement, The BPM Festival team is spicing things up in 2016. "We have added a few new venues of every size and vibe to keep things fresh and to offer a new ambiance for our fans," says Pettigrew, although the final showcase list is yet to be announced.

THUMP will be right there with you in the sand as we're hosting a number of showcases throughout The BPM Festival. In addition to our already announced fiestas with Hotflush, Black Butter, and Apollonia, we're proud to announce Visionquest at Salsanera on January 13 and tINI and the Gang at Canibal Royal on January 16. Check out the flyers below.

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