Playa Del Carmen’s mayor has canceled all future electronic festivals after the shooting at BPM Festival, including the upcoming Arena Festival.
This past Monday, January 16th around 3 AM a Gunman opened fire at the Blue Parrot during BPM Closing party in Playa Del Carmen. Reports point to four people, including two security workers, were shot dead, and another women died in the stampede to leave the club.
In a press conference following the incidentes, Mayor Cristina Torres Gómez has said these kind of events are no longer welcome in Playa Del Carmen, meaning this would be the last BPM festival hosted at this location. She added the upcoming Arena Festival, which was schedule to happen, would not be allowed to go forward. Mayor Gómez said “We want this type of events to go” … “We won’t allow one more”.
Various major publications have speculated that the violence had a link between drug cartels and festival organizers. Playa Del Carmen is a wealthy region of Mexico with high tourism demand and nightlife, making this demanding local drug market. One promoter from the area has told Reuters “armed men who claimed to be part of a drug cartel turned up recently at one of his parties, demanding access to sell drugs.” He went on to explain that various narco groups are in conflict over region control, he says that all large electronic events run the same risk.
A local blog post a photo today of a message spray-painted on a blanket and hung in Playa Del Carmen, which allegedly has one drug cartel claiming responsibility for the violence. It reads:
“This is a demonstration that we are here, and it was because you didn’t get in line, Phillip [from] BPM”—Phillip Pulitano is the Canadian co-founder of the festival. “This is the beginning, and we’re going to start cutting off heads of [rival drug cartels].”
The veracity of the images and their connection to the altercation has not been confirmed by major news sources, we will keep up to date on the matter.