The news that came out of Mexico’s BPM Festival yesterday is terrifying to say the least. For those unaware of what happened, a shooting at Playa Del Carmen’s Blue Parrot nightclub resulted in the death of four people and hospitalisation of 12 more.
People we personally know were at the event when it happened, and thankfully they were not injured.
However, one attendee, who was in the venue when this horrifying act of terror went down has penned an in-depth account of what happened from his point of view, and it is both insane and deeply saddening.
Read the full account below, and see the original post here:
Okay so here comes a wild story about how I danced past bullets. Strap yourselves in cause it’s a doozy. I’m going to start of with a bit of exposition to set the scene and mood for those who have to picture what it is that went on last night and then I will go into my first hand account of what happened. But first let me start by saying my heart goes out to all those who lost someone last night to this catastrophe!
So last night was the final night of BPM and the festival was holding two parties to close out. One was at this jungle venue outside of the city where the majority of festival goers were and the other was being thrown in the downtown area at Blue Parrot nightclub by the outstanding event promoters named Elrow. Elrow is known for throwing these elaborate and immersive themed events, completely transforming a venue through decoration to a particular theme, and tonight’s them was “Psychedelic Trip” – I encourage you to youtube search their parties because it’s important you understand just how immersive these parties are because it goes a long way into explaining the confusion of the night. So back to the night at hand – the venue was set to fit a couple hundred but Blue Parrot had evidently oversold the event because it was PACKED, and what’s worse this club had the entrance and sole exit adjacent to each other, resulting in the club being a trap.
There were five shooters, all cartel members who approached the club in leather jackets despite the heat and tried to get in but security said not without a pat down (note: this is unusual as the only thing the security had ever checked for all week was if you brought in outside food or drink in your bags, they did not even look for drugs or touch your person) to which the five cartel members refused and left. Preliminary reports now from the state attorney general say that the promoters of the event did not pay the full amount requested by the cartel to function that night and they came to collect whilst other reports say that they were of a rival faction who got heated about not getting the invite. The 5 gunmen soon returned with .223 and 9 millimeter weapons and opened fire on security as they tried to access the club. The three security who lost their lives last night are heroes who put themselves on the line to protect the patrons inside, one of them is named Joe. Thank you Joe. Of the 5 gunmen to attack the club two breached through the exit door at around 2:30am during the peak of a fantatsic set by Sidney Charles b2b with Sante….
This is where my story starts and in order to do it justice I’m going to be radically honest:
So I’m dancing my motherfucking ass off, as I stated the set being played is absolutely bananas and emotions and good vibes are running high inside the club. Considering the theme is Psychedelic Trip on that particular night I decided to indulge and did take LSD for the event and was near peak when the following occurred. I am facing the stage with my back to the entrance which is about 4-5 metres behind me at my 4 o’clock and the exit adjacent at 6 o’clock. I hope you took the time to search Elrow because the scale of this event and my state of mind explains my reaction in the next moment. Suddenly above the music I hear these pops behind me that sound like firecrackers and smell the unmistakable smell of gunpowder in the air, I have never heard nor smelt a fired gun before so I had no inkling to even assume a gun. I turn to see a guy dressed in his sunday best, real VIP like with a fedora and black shades just swinging his shoulder indiscrimantely at the crowd and in my direction and these bright lights exploding from his hand. I am still dancing. I still think this is part of the show. I am still dancing. I am 8ft away from this guy staring him in the eyes and I am still standing and fucking dancing. Not only that I am laughing thinking in my head “Holy Shit, Elrow really took the expereince real far this time!” Behind the guy nearest me is another shadow which also has muzzle flashes extending from his silhouette.This all happens within the space of 10-15 seconds in which I hear 10-12 pops. The guys then run out the exit. The music only starts to slow to a stop once the shooters are already gone.
Slowly the lights come on and that is when I realize everyone around me is ducking and no one but me is laughing and slowly recognition starts to set in, very slowly though. I duck down, and then get back up a bit. Everyone’s face around me registers shock and confusion and I see this badly hurt woman who was shoved or pulled down staring dazed at me. I crawl over to help her up as the music slowly creeps back on and swells before fading out just as quickly as the djs (who had a poor vantage point) realize something is actually wrong and people aren’t crouching to jump up in shared euphoria. I’m still crawling to help this woman when a police officer comes through the entrance with his pistol drawn and passes in front of me crouched low eyes piercing the crowd. That’s when I notice that to the left of this woman (my right) is a man bleeding from his… something. I look over towards the exit where the shooters left and see what looks like limp body of a security guard and his partner looking wild eyed. I would later come to learn upon revisiting the scene the next day that the shooters had accessed through the exit door and shot the doorman in the head first before spraying the raised VIP area right next to door, these were the first cracks that made me turn around to find myself in the path of fire. So now having seen this blood, the cop and these bodies I just gave up on the chivalrous notion to help this lady up and just peaced right out the club, I must have been one of the first 8 people to make it out. I ran crouched up the block passed 9 police officers in 3×3 grid formation right outside the club against the walls on the left side of the street. That’s when I see a little mexican guy in a sweatshirt with a pistol by his side in my path, clearly not a cop. He just flicks his wrist at his side in a gesture to keep it moving, this is not your fight. I’m like “Damn right nigga!” and that’s when I just booked it up the street, covered two blocks back to my hotel in the fastest time I must have ever run, when I looked back no one from the club had made it as far as I had by that time. To get there I had to run past about 7 other clubs where patrons looked at me in growing confusion.
Now at this point I’m processing the images in my mind and I’m still trying to discern if that was real or not. I know that I’m safe and out of the line of fire. As I’m standing by the entrance of my hotel, which is one the same street as the nightclub, the rest of the pandemonium starts to creep and then slowly flood towards me. People around me in restaurants are asking what happened and I tell them gunshots at Blue Parrot, I don’t know more. After about 3 minutes I start to creep back a block to see what’s the word and eventually someone walking past me says “4 murdered at Blue Parrot. I’m like “Fuuuuuuck” and step back into my hotel lobby where I find a guy and two women clearly from the venue huddled by the elevator, the guy trying valiantly to reassure the girls he is with and keep calm for the three of them. I approach them to share and learn from each other’s stories, that’s when one of the girls asks me if this is my hotel and if so can she have some socks, it’d calm her down. I’m like fuck it, yes you may if it helps you process. So I bring the three strangers up to my room and we talk. Turns out the were directly in front of the shooter when it happened and the guy pulled the two girls to the ground as soon as he heard the pops, because he’s not a fucking idiot. He saved those girls lives, and whats more it turns out he was shot. He believes he has a bullet in his ass but thankfully later we learned the bullet just grazed him, but it seemed to hurt like a motherfucker in his state of shock. One of the girls was standing away from us sharing stories and was on the phone telling her loved one she was safe and was having a hard time. I walked over and just hugged her and breathed with her until she stopped holding me tight and felt comfortable enough to let me go and just be, that was the first human moment I’d had until then. Eventually after a while they left and thanked me and I returned to my room with my roommate (who had been at the other party in the jungle which got shut down) and realized I was still tripping and had to kill time and not go into shock or a bad trip. Surprisingly I managed that part just fine and spent the night pulling together bits of information about the events to get the clearest picture possible that I could.
In the morning I went back to the scene at the club and saw the results of the pandemonium I had avoided by leaving first. The blood in the small pathway that was the sole exit of the club as people stampeded out of there. The blood on the padlocked gates at the back of the club that looked out onto the ocean, locked to keep people from accessing the club from the beach which ended up being scaled by people doing whatever they could to get out in the panic. Meeting people from VIP who were not only shot at but saw their friend get shot in the head, dead. It has been RAW. I still haven’t slept. I will welcome sleep like an old friend when it eventually comes.
P.S. I wrote this story whilst playing the Essential Mix by Sante and Sidney Charles because fuck those murderers, they will not influence my relationship with the music that I love, with the scene that I love and with this beautiful festival which is still the best complete experience I have ever lived for a 2nd year. I am very sad for BPM and the promoters despite knowing full well the logistics of Blue Parrot invited trouble. If the festival happened again next year I currently believe I’d return, the Riviera has a magic that is unique. Time will tell if the brand will be tainted for ever more though.
What a night, I stared a shooter in his stunner shades and danced passed his bullets. Tell me I don’t live an interesting life, I fucking dare you!
BPM Festival has also made a public statement concerning the vents that went down, writing:
“It is with great sadness to share that police have confirmed reports of a lone shooter outside the Blue Parrot nightclub in Playa Del Carmen earlier today, which resulted in four fatalities and 12 injured. The violence began on 12th street in front of the club and three members of the BPM security team were among those whose lives were lost while trying to protect patrons inside the venue.
“The BPM Festival has been working closely with the local authorities (Seguridad Publica / Policia Turistica) throughout the festival to ensure public safety and security for all visitors.
“We are overcome with grief over this senseless act of violence and we are cooperating fully with local law enforcement and government officials as they continue their investigation. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the victims and their families and all those affected by these tragic events.”
Our thoughts are with everyone who work at/attended BPM Festival, those who were injured, and the friends and family of those who we have lost.