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The BPM and Primavera Festivals - Party in Paradise (Pt. 1)


With this years installment of WMC now wrapped up it’s time to shift focus onto some of the other premier festivals taking place around the globe. Over the New Year and first week of 2012 we were in Playa Del Carmen for the BPM festival which is quickly becoming a top destination for festival go-ers all over the world. It’s easy to see why BPM is a top destination when you combine amazing music, a gorgeous tropical location and absolutely wonderful people. BPM has become so popular there is now a smaller sister festival called Primavera taking place in just a couple of weeks - the first week of April (5-8). We spoke with the pioneers and directors of the BPM/Primavera festivals (Craig Pettigrew, Phillip Pulitano, Ralf Madi, Benoit Lamy, Vito Tomasicchio, Alessandra Axelsson and Nitin Kalyanto) to find out more about it’s origins, BPM’s on going mission and what to expect when you visit Playa Del Carmen.

How did BPM first get started and how was Playa Del Carmen chosen as the location?

Phil: One day in 2007 Craig and I (old friends) were here in Playa del Carmen on vacation sitting on the beach with some other friends enjoying the sun, sand and ocean and some Don Julio Reposado Tequila and cervezas…. As we were sitting on the beach chatting about a variety of things we started talking about our mutual love of electronic music, the scene in Toronto/Canada, and what it would take to produce an amazing music festival, and hence BPM was born!

What does Playa Del Carmen offer that makes BPM special?

Alessandra: Playa del Carmen is one of the most picturesque cities in Central America, it’s big enough to be called a city, yet very much has the feeling of a quaint small town. I often hear it compared to many exotic islands of Europe as there is a very European feeling here. It’s a place where you can truly find everything and anything you are looking for: relaxing on the beach, enjoying the vast array of cultural culinary delights found all throughout the town, adventures in the historic Mayan Ruins or jungles, ATV rides, scuba diving, shopping in the many cute boutiques, perusing a street-side art exhibit, or just enjoying a margarita. Nightlife runs from the traditional to the new, from the legendary fire show @ the oldest beach club in Playa - The Blue Parrot, to dancing the night away to some of the worlds best electronic music artists @ The BPM Festival in the early days of January. Like I said, it’s a place you truly can find anything and everything you are looking for.

This was the biggest year for BPM in terms of attendance. How do you feel the festival will benefit from the continuing growth?

Craig: We have a specific audience that knows exactly what they’re looking for - a unique experience among EDM Festivals. It’s also an interesting group of people, so the more of this audience that attends from across the world can only make the festival better.

The festival was started in 2008, how do you feel BPM has evolved over its 5-year history?

Vito: I’d have to say the organic growth of the festival from a networking event to something tens of thousands of people attend. It’s all from the response of our guests: the recommendations of people who attend, and DJs’ word-of-mouth experiences… That’s what has given us a steady growth. The festival targets the right people, and every year growing at a pace that justify the line up. When I see BPM bring over 200 DJs and multiple events per day now at 5 years, I think we are on our way to something special. I thank all our loyal patrons and DJs for getting us here.

People are already talking about the next BPM festival, what can you tell us about the upcoming BPM (2012-2013)?

Craig: I can say they should expect a bigger line up and more cutting-edge acts. And a couple of special treats of course.

We had a wonderful experience at the festival this year, how do you work with local authorities in Playa Del Carmen to ensure that it will continue to be a safe destination with all of the unfortunate turmoil in Mexico?

Phil: We have built a good working relationship with the government here in Playa del Carmen, we always ensure that we apply and pay for the necessary permits, plus extras like added street police presence, “Seguridad Publico,” additional taxis and taxi services, extra cleaning and maintenance of public areas, it’s all to take care of the people. That in addition to the security BPM hires, as well as the venues themselves. We strive to ensure everyone who attends the BPM feels safe from the moment they enter our event to the moment they return home.

What is the biggest challenge in managing and coordinating a growing festival that takes place over such a long period of time (over 10 days)?

Craig: The lack of rest is definitely the biggest challenge because all of our staff work such crazy hours for those 10 days and they just burn out. I would say our management team really has done a great job with that and they seem to only get it better every year.

What are your goals for BPM in the future?

Phil: BPM’s main goals for the future are to continue to grow the caliber and quality of the event here in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and continue with our expansion plans to produce the festival in other countries in the world. Coming soon / next will be our launch of The BPM Festival Europe.

BPM has been so successful there is now a second festival ‘Primavera’ during the third week in April – What is Primavera and how does it differ from BPM?

Benoit: Primavera is essentially a “mini-BPM” originally introduced as more of a Mexican national-inspired event: the Semana Santa holiday here in Mexico is the biggest holiday season of the year. It’s also Easter holiday around the rest of world, so for people looking for a weekend getaway, it’s the perfect holiday option.

This year Primavera will be held April 5-8 in Playa Del Carmen.

For those who don’t know, what kind of music and vibe can be expected at Primavera?

Nitin: This year’s line up at Primavera has some of our favorites mixed with a few new acts. Victor Calderone is back with his signature up front techno sound. The No.19 label will be in attendance again with a showcase featuring Art Department, No Regular Play and myself. A very special live show from Francis Harris aka Adultnapper. He recently dropped his new album on his label Scissor & Thread, and I have to say it has been in high rotation for me. Definitely an evening not to be missed is BPM favorite Lee Burridge, back again with his All Day I Dream party closing the weekend off. And we are pleased to have Tiefschwarz making their BPM/Primavera/Playa del Carmen debut. Overall I would say we have a great line-up with many, many more artists to be announced with some nice diversity over the 4 days. Definitely the music is representative of the more cutting edge sounds in dance music. The vibe at Primavera can be summed up by saying; it’s where paradise meets amazing dance music!

For someone that’s never been to BPM or Primavera how would you best describe it?

Ralf: I would describe BPM as intimate and magical. There is no other festival like it in the world - location, scenery, and overall vibe.

We at festivalZOO completely agree with Ralf and we recommend everyone attend one of these amazing festivals! Click HERE for part 2 of our interview where everyone shares their most memorable moment over the past 5 years.

Related posts:

  1. The BPM Festival Brings You Inaugural PRIMAVERA FESTIVAL - Playa del Carmen, Mexico, April 21-24, 2011
  2. BPM Primavera Festival 2012, Playa Del Carmen Lineup Released!
  3. BPM VIP Packages now on Sale
  4. FestivalZoo picks for daytime parties at BPM 2012!
  5. Featured Festival BPM Festival 2012 Playa Del Carmen Guide

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