Reliving the halcyon days of progressive house music. It’s rather difficult to push the boundaries…
It has been a couple of weeks since my friends and I arrived home from BPM festival in Portimao, Portugal. BPM (Which stands for Bartenders, Promoters & Musicians) is a 4-day long music festival which initially started off as an event for industry professionals but has since grown into one of the key festivals in every music lover’s yearly calendar.
After quickly dropping off our belongings at our hotel conveniently located just off Portimao’s main strip, populated by restaurants, bars and nightclubs, we decided to head down to Blanco Beach Club where Jamie Jones’ label and world reknowned party Paradise were throwing an all day & night take over. Our VIP wristbands lets us skip the queue and head straight in where we quickly grabbed some vodka redbull’s from one of the two bars located at either side of the venue. Buying drinks at all of the venues works with a pre-paid wristband system where you top up your wristband with Euros before entering the venue. Some bars seemed slightly understaffed at times but as a whole were run very smoothly. We were lucky enough to catch the beginning of Dyed Soundoroom’s set. The Apollonia DJ was laying down some deep, minimal grooves which accompanied by the blue skies and scenic ocean backdrop set a fantastic start for what would go on to be an incredible 4 days of great music, warm weather, and good vibes. Other DJs on the night included Sonja Moonear, Patrick Topping, Alan Fitzpatrick and of course Jamie Jones to close.
The following day we decided to head down to the beachfront to get some food before heading into the festival. There was a wide selection of restaurants all offering a variety of different food. On average a meal consisting of a Starter, Main Course & a couple of beers will set you back around 25-30 euros per head.
One thing I liked about about BPM was the very diverse international crowd it attracted. The atmosphere on the walk towards the festival was second to none. Everyone seemed to be in a good mood, all bound together by a passion for good music. I made friends with a lot of new people from across the world. I would also like to mention that despite being in a foreign country with no prior knowledge of the local area we always felt safe and the festival staff were more than happy to help with any questions or queries we had.
With multiple venues being involved in the event, we were sometimes spoilt for choice in where to go. One of my personal favourites was Villa Mariazinha , essentially small capacity bar/nightclub just off the main strip with a soundsystem loud enough to blow the head off your shoulders. We caught Ray Mono play a back-to-back set with Macca on Saturday night from 3-4 AM and what an experience that was!
Just across the road, about a 2 minute walk from Villa Mariazinha, is Oceans Club where we headed straight after to see Neverdogs play an incredible high-energy tech house set. Upon entering the club it was obvious that the Italian DJs had a very strong following from back home. The club was packed to the brim with ravers looking to close out their night to the back to back bombs the duo were dropping.
BPM was a superb experience and is definitely amongst the top festivals I attended this year. I am really looking forward to next year’s edition to see what new suprises are added!
Don’t miss The BPM Festival’s newest edition in Tamarindo, Costa Rica this winter from January 15-19, 2020. For more info and tickets click here.