The BPM (Bartenders, Promoters, Musicians) Festival started in 2008 as a post-New Year’s gathering of industry professionals. It is now a global gathering of over 70,000 DJs, producers, industry professionals, and partygoers, and features over 400 DJs and more than 80 events.
Originally, The BPM Festival was held in Mexico but the festival was relocated to Europe, where there are many undiscovered locations, “gems,” perfect for The BPM Festival events. An equally logical change considering it is easier to book a famous DJ from Ibiza/Mykonos at the height of the closing of the summer season.
This year, The BPM Festival was held in Portugal for the second time. Upon arrival in Portimao, where the majority of the festival stages were located, we were absolutely surprised by the lack of advertising on the streets. While driving to the main beach stage- Blanco Beach, we did not see any billboards or flyers suggesting that we were about to enter one of the biggest EDM festivals. Instead, elderly couples flanked the promenade, techno beats had not yet been heard, and electronic music lovers were yet to be seen.
The BPM Festival itself consists of both day and night programs. During the day, DJs play at beach clubs NoSoloAgua and Blanco Beach and don’t stop until midnight. At midnight, party people are moved to different nightclubs (Mixx, Oceans Club, and Katedral) with the biggest event of the night held in the Congress building (Centro de Congressos do Arade). The last party ends at 8 am, but if you are feeling like winning a Party Ironman status- there is an option not to sleep at all!
The NoSoloAgua beach club stage was hinting to the original roots of the festival. The stage was decorated with beautiful white dream catchers, some white nets, and generally exuded the exotic design of Tulum, Mexico. Legendary house music put us in the mood for dancing within about 2 minutes of arrival. People were positive, friendly, and wearing almost nothing – just bikinis and sunglasses. The weather was unusually hot for the end of September in Portugal at around 32℃ (90℉). It was quite difficult to stay out for long under those piercing sunrays unless you are a true EDM lover; but there was plenty of shade at the nearby restaurants and cabanas.
The second stage, Blanco Beach, was located about 3 minutes away. The music was slightly more techno, but the exotic style of the decorations hinting at Tulum remained present. The DJ played in a huge tepee with different white tents spread around the main stage. The entrance to Blanco Beach was a bit surprising, as you had to pass through the fast food joint before arriving at the main stage. Perhaps someone just has to eat a juicy burger and some fries while Richie Hawtin is killing stage.
The BPM Festival starts on Thursday and continues until the early hours on Monday! You would be surprised how many people were dancing until 8 am and then hitting day stages again at midday. The first day, we prepared our outfits very carefully – color-coordinated, sparkly makeup, and killer boots (lots of compliments were received!). In the following days, the outfits were not so important anymore because the music took over. The lineup was amazing: Richy Ahmed, Marco Corola, Nic Fanciulli, Apollonia, Serge Devant, Hugo Bianco, Leon, Seth Troxler, and many others. After the many days and nights, our legs hummed, but we did not give up – we were too excited for the last night’s program, an undoubted festival mast. The last night had the most top names, a huge congress building, and thousands of happy EDM lovers dancing at 6 am to The Martinez Brothers tunes. Breathtaking! Andrea Oliva left us no other option but to keep dancing- that was how great the music was!
Everywhere we went we noticed extremely clean washrooms (quite unusual for raves and festivals) and even some comfortable sofas in the chill out VIP area. Although we must admit, even if you are going to the festival with VIP tickets, our advice would be to go mix and dance with the crowd to fully enjoy the amazing beats of EDM music. The lighting and sound systems were on point. Also, The BPM Festival crowd is a friendly, interesting, and dynamic crowd. We met so many amazing individuals, with whom we will keep in touch.
Overall, The BPM Festival was professionally organized. There were no troubles on the dance floor, it was not overcrowded, it was easy to get to the toilets or buy drinks, and let’s not forget about those juicy burgers! The only downside -the distances between day and night stages – but that was easily solved with Uber (very affordable!). If you are looking for a medium-sized, friendly, grown-up, fun, and chill festival- you should visit The BPM Festival in Portugal in 2019! We are definitely coming back! Good Vibes Only!
By FestPop Staff Writer: Jekaterina & Jekaterina