It’s been 2 weeks since we came back from Portugal and we’re still buzzing from BPM’s first edition in Europe. The festival’s maiden edition on the continent took place in Portimão, a touristic seaside town. The main season for beach-goers is over which provides the perfect backdrop for BPM.
We arrive on Thursday and set out to explore its daytime beach parties. The three main venues hosting daytime events are Blanco Beach, Cloque and NoSoloÁgua. We decide to head to the latter. The event on for the first day of BPM is the showcase hosted by the crew from Warung Beach Club in Brazil. As we get in, duo Dash Dot is making their mark on the dancefloor and steadily pulls in the crowd to the dance floor until its packed at 4 in the afternoon.
It is truly a beach club, as the dance ‘floor’ literally runs off into the North Atlantic where as most beach clubs are walled off to some extent. As the sun slowly sets, the day finishes off with Amsterdam favourite Patrice Baumel and a closing set by none other than Agoria. The vibe was so good we forgot to use sun screen. Ouch. As we walk home, we find that by night Portimão becomes relaxed and quiet and it feels very safe to just walk back to our apartment, instead of paying for a cab. Everything is relatively close to each other as well.
The next day (Friday) takes us to the beach club next door to NoSoloÁgua, namely Blanco Beach. Lee Burridge, Bedouin and the All Day I Dream crew deliver with Lee’s concept of dreamy music and lavish decorations. Next door Jamie Jones and the Paradise crew are breaking down the house. It is too packed, as the line even overextends the actual length of the club. We take an Uber to BPM’s main venue.
Centro Congressos Arade is, like the name implies, originally built as a congress center. It is quite interesting to see the scene in Portugal develop over the past years. To give you an idea, there is a large number of law enforcement present at all events, however they appear friendly and seem more concerned with ensuring the safety of such a large body of people rather than being there just to intimidate. Rewind two or three years back, and an event like BPM would not have been possible in Portugal.
The day after we’re back at Centro Congressos Arade. Ya’ah Muul, BPM’s main event, is hosted by yours truly this year. The line-up delivers with names like Hot Since 82, Steve Lawler, Josh Wink and an amazing closing session by Dubfire.
On Sunday we rest. We go out late in the afternoon to stroll along one of Portimão’s many beaches, and they’re absolutely stunning. The surroundings here play a big part in the success of the festival. It’s like a city but its not.
All in all, BPM Portugal delivered a well and truly good first edition. We’re looking forward to more editions to come, and as people start to get to know the festival, to see it become more musically diverse as well.
Obrigado BPM. Tivemos um grande momento.
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Featured Image: Duarte Morais for TheBPMFestival.com