In 2016 my final year at University I decided to do my dissertation ( Research paper ) on a topic I felt really passionate about, I titled my paper ‘ The valuable experiences dance music events have on its attendees ‘ It was something I felt comfortable with and certainly something I believed needed researching as the ‘Dance scene’ predominately changed my life as an individual character due to my social surroundings I found myself in.
My research was fantastic and my conclusions were everything I anticipated, I was graded with a high first at 86% purely because the basis for the research was phenomenal, and because I’m obviously great at researching & writing (only joking)
There were three main themes collected throughout my research:
& Togetherness with Social Relationships.
I guess the purpose of my excitement and passion behind this post is because my attendance at BPM Festival gave me the most overwhelming sense of the three themes I found in my research, I literally lived out what I was so curious to know and I feel as though I’ve really achieved something.
I kept a mental diary of every single day I had here; or shall I say what I remembered of it, so I think it’s best to provide you with a diary style post – Mostly images seeing as everyone of them speaks a thousand words even if none of the words mean anything to you.
This holiday at a time when I really needed it, my head wasn’t in the right place and my vision was messy, I couldn’t focus. Feeling the way I do now BPM was the best last-minute decision I’ve ever made.
I would like to personally thank every person I was with at BPM, for looking after me and loving me unconditionally . A massive thank you to Harlie for never letting me have a down day, you really are my soul mate & bestfriend.
I got a new lease of energy & a genuine happy heart.
Tuesday 12th September
Arrival time; 10:00 Am – A few days before the festival to chill out, tan up and get our bearings. We went straight to our hotel/hostel type of accommodation approximately an hour away from FARO airport into Portimao. We stayed in Hotel Globo (See Linked) which was situated around some really old traditional homes & buildings, it had however a really lovely ‘Rustic vintage’ look – extremely Instagramable.
Our place was standard and practical but most importantly safe and clean, it had everything 2 girls needed to lay their head and get ready, Breakfast was also included. We only booked on here for three days (although we only slept there once)
We dropped everything and got down to our nearest beach as soon as possible to take in the moment of our last minute decision to be where we were at that specific moment. We went to Praia De Rocha which was a short taxi ride away from our apartment or a nice 25 minute stroll… It was a beautiful stretch of sand and views, it was probably one of the widest stretched beach I’ve seen.
Later in the day a few of our nearest and dearest friends arrived on the island so we arranged to meet with them for dinner and drinks. We went to a lovely little tapas down by the harbour called ‘ Tapa Latina’ it has a relaxing atmosphere with good vibes from the locals, between the 5 of us we must have ordered everything possible to try – it was certainly worth every dish. The price was ridiculously cheap for what we got, it worked out to be 20 Euros per person (IF THAT) drinks included – I would absolutely recommend this as I wished we had visited more than just the once.
Wednesday 13th September
I feel extremely privileged to be able to go to another country and meet up with other friends especially ones I know from all over the country to experience things like music festivals.
Me and Harlie headed to the beach, 2 became 5 then 10 and then some…Friends, Music, Alcohol Sea and sunshine, These are the days I live for. It was simply a day of relaxation and socializing.
Later in the day we continued to see other friends that arrived on the island and catch up before the madness started.
Thursday 14th September
Thursday was the start of it all, how much better could it get waking up to a view like this?
In all fairness the first day events and line ups weren’t THAT great, there was nothing we were too fussed about going to as it was just a general warm up and a way of getting everyone together for the first festival party so we used this as another day to relax and mould into our surroundings, after we collected our wristbands for the festival we checked in with another group of friends at their amazing villa…my absolute dream holiday home.
My boy mates were stopping with a group of girls, I didn’t know them at this point but let’s just say I was meant to meet every single one of them at that moment in time, me being me all nervous but still strolling around the pool topless I just instantly hit it off with them.
Later in the evening we we decided to head home & get ready for the first dance of the festival and in that time we drunk an impressive amount of vodka before we even got anywhere..
The only 2 events that took an interest to us this particular evening were :
Warung- Hosted by Ibiza Voice ; to see the likes of Guti – Venue : NoSoloAgua followed by the next venue ‘Centro De Congresso Do Arade’ where Jack Master, Eats everything, Chris Liebing & more DJs played their part.
I will speak more about the actual venues and the event itself at the end just to give an overall review as the purpose of this post is to show off how unbelievable my holiday was and how over satisfied it made me feel.
(Outfit : Dress – Asos, Boots – New Look, Bag – Zara)
Friday 15th September
P a r a d i s e – D a y
Unfortunately I don’t have any images from this day, I don’t know how or why but all I know is I was having far too much fun and I was wearing my favourite black dress from Zara if that’s of any relevance.
The line up for Paradise was spot on : Jamie Jones B2B Loco Dice, Patrick Topping, Richy Ahmed, Ida Imburg, Jaspa James & Seb Zito. This was again held at ‘NoSoloAgua’ (I think we came here everyday)
We continued to party at the after party at ‘Oceans Club’ for Subb-AN and it was increible, the energy in the room, the music ,sound system and the big get together was literally everything, I couldn’t have planned for a better evening, at least I thought so, unaware of the after after party to follow
Saturday 16th September
So, this was After the after party from the previous night/morning – I ended up at another mates Villa which was also unreal. It started off steady and well but ended in the most glorious messiest way possible. I have never ever laughed so much nor felt so amazing about the current situation I was in at that time. Me myself & a good bunch of friends see through the day with the sun shining, music playing, drinks flowing and the jokes in full swing. I could never explain what went on this day but I’m glad it will forever be in my memory box.
We all stupidly pushed limits and almost ruined the evenings events. After we left the boys villa we went back to get ready and forced ourselves to eat the remains of the fridge – I had a dry cheese toastie… if you know you’ll know the struggles of tucking into a decent meal after you’ve been out shaking a leg… BUT we still made it…we made it out out eventually.
We headed back to the Congresso Club – Hosted by Deep House Amsterdam ; Neverdogs, Nathan Barato, Joey Daniel, Hot Since 82, Dubfire & then some.
The music this evening was really hit and miss but just like most of the festival the atmosphere made up for the music – NOT saying there was anything wrong with it, it was just not what I liked or what I was used to
A few hours into this evening my body was screaming at me for a break, I needed to get home and get a HALF normal sleep so I could re-energize for the last day of the festival.
Sunday 17th September
Fresh & ready for the final dance, I was super excited but I was super gutted that it was in fact the last day of the festival. All of the days were moulded into one & it just seemed to pass by quicker than anything.
Most genuine happiest smile you’ll ever see
Top (bra) – H&M, Skirt – Missguided, Boots – New Look ft Our Danny Boy
BPM Presents : This is the end – AGAIN at ‘NoSoloAgua’ purely to see Appolonia & Seth Troxler – The likes of Ritchie Hawtin were also playing but he certainly killed off the dance with his morbid lazer quest music, luckily Seth Troxler was there to rectify the finale – it ended perfectly, happy faces everywhere!!
Of course it wasn’t the last ‘last’ dance, we continued onto Congresso once again for the last time. Everyone got together for this part and it was something else – moments like these make you really feel overwhelmed and thankful for the good energy people bring around you, I can’t help but wonder how other people experienced their time there as 85% of my enjoyment was down to being with the people I was with
Anyway…It was only a matter of time we would get the one and only ‘pin drop’ with the next after after party location
Monday 18th September
So here it is another villa another party, we can’t stop and we certainly never Regardless feeling like a scruffy 2/10 I did not care, it felt good but girl got hungrrrrry – I see the light at the end of the festival and so did my stomach.
Tuesday 19th September
After a well needed Chinese, sleep and some down time for the body we were able to get ourselves together and contribute to a massive food shop for a BBQ.
We were slumped all day before anything actually got done, vibrations were still high in the villa and there was so much positivity and love I wish there were words for it.
We all scrubbed up and got and cooking for this rather large BBQ we had going on… Massive ratings to those who done the actual seasoning and cooking because I just did the chopping and sangria making.
Lets just say it escalated as per usual but again we had an absolute cracker
Despite Harlie being my bestfriend, these girls (and the others) brought so much love and joy to my week, I feel like I’ve known them years but it had just been a few days….
Wednesday 20th September
The day I didn’t want after the week we just had, getting up to pack clean eat and depart from the villa straight to the air port.
The overall review:
There’re a lot of improvements to be made in regards to the festival itself but being the first time over in Portugal you kind of have to give them the benefit of the doubt (but then again being the first time it should’ve been touching perfect) I am not a music snob or an event perfectionist at that it was simply the important obvious things that needed improving.
The venues were OK some were better than others but certainly weren’t great. One time would make me feel like I was in a local bar and the other would make me think I was in an old youth centre or an old deserted shopping centre (in fact it was an exhibition space which of course is very bland). I had a great party either way but in comparison to other festivals and events they could genuinely improve their spaces (Get rid of congresso and make the out door spaces a little bigger and more imaginative) There is so much potential as the festival is fantastic.
PS MORE TOILETS NEEDED FOR THE OUTDOOR EVENTS.
Travel was absolutely horrendous and really dampened the mood after some parties, it was sometimes impossible to flag down a cab, one time we walked nearly 3 hours to get home. Understandably there were busses to and from the other events to the next but a few times we only needed to walk to the next venue so it wasn’t worth paying for, it was just getting out of our villa or back to our villa.
Music had no consistency what so ever, don’t get me wrong I LOVE dance music especially techo but there were times it was dark and morbid and quite literally undancable BUT we still danced and it wasn’t bad enough to ruin my experience.
Refering back to the beginning of this post I mentioned the three themes I found in my dissertation research; togetherness, escapism and Identity. I guess I’m only speaking for myself here so I cant say for all but these events are an absolute dream when it comes to escaping, it doesn’t need to be from bad things its just sometimes reality and you’re able to put yourself in a different position at anytime and for me it was a wonderful escape and release.
Identity wise i’ll always say this is where my comfort lies, I don’t worry about what people think, I Don’t care about how my hair sits or how my make up might look – No one is there to judge everyones there to do there thing and enjoy every moment
Last but certainly not least, Togetherness (My favourite) I met up with my closest friends and felt blessed to spend my time with them but I also met new friends that I haven’t gone a day without talking to them since the festival… Genuine connections are rare, especially female to female but it was almost surreal that I got to meet with these people and just so happen have tonnes of mutual friends – I guess your vibe really does attract your tribe
I hope you’ve enjoyed having a peak at my BPM Festival experience, it’s one to tick of the list and one to cherish forever
x x x