Reflecting on the BPM Festival Tragedy

There once was a time when it seemed like ghost DJs and the invasion of the cool kids were pretty much the worst things that could happen to the electronic music festival scene. As the community has grown so incredibly over the past several years, the influx of people has brought along problems that weren’t once synonymous with dance music. One thing that certainly didn’t used to plague the minds of ravers and festivalgoers was lethal violence. We all just assumed that most everyone followed the unspoken rule of leaving the brawls and beefs to the bars and the streets. Our comfy bubbles have all just burst with the news of the shootings at The BPM Festival in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Get up to date on the story, if you haven’t, here.

Initial speculations have linked the shooting to the drug trade, possibly over a turf dispute. The festival likely attracted neighboring narcotics distributers looking for some quick sales. It isn’t hard to imagine that local cartel weren’t too keen on sharing business. Encroaching on another dealer’s turf, as Walter White once taught us, is Bad news.

In the shadow of this grave event, the community must rise up in love to fight so that nothing like this happens at one of our beloved events again. By taking an honest look into our hearts, some painful truths are exposed by the BPM Festival incident.

The first thing that needs to be said is that one would hope this event is a major wake-up call to people who whine and complain about security. The sole purpose of event security is to protect your life while you are within the limits of the festival. They are not there to screw you. Three of the five confirmed deaths were members of BPM’s security team. Those three guards literally gave their lives to stop the gunman from harming the patrons for whom they had assumed responsibility. Had security not sacrificed their lives, there is no telling what the outcome could have been. Please recognize the sacrifice these incredible people made. Try to be understanding the next time you find yourself wanting to share a few choice words with the guy watching the door at your favorite venue.

This unfortunate incident serves as further proof of the destruction wrought upon humanity as a result of the drug war. Decriminalizing drugs would require them to be regulated and taxed. However, most societies have opted to suppress the masses right to experiment with their own consciousness. Simultaneously, black market trades are thriving, riddled with violence and corruption. In taking away the right to lawfully manufacture and sell clean, pure products in a humane manner; criminals are given free range of the entire market. We all know by now that prohibition does not end use. Then why are we continuing to essentially fund violent criminals by leaving people no choice but to do business with said violent criminals?

Zed Nelson

Most importantly, some would say, is the reminder of how fragile and astoundingly impermanent this beautiful life is. Do the things you want to do, say the things you mean to say, and love as much as you can because there is no certainty; there is no guarantee of a future.

Jon Reis

We must take this black mark upon our community and use it to educate, empower, and of course, to remember to appreciate and care for one another. Only together can we heal. Only together can we prevent these kinds of atrocities from occurring ever again. Do not let this horrible event steal your peace of mind. Do not allow for a moment of fear in your heart. Fear and hate will get us nowhere good. Look out for one another and love fiercely. Stand up for what is in your soul. Be a voice for the people who don’t have the influence that you do. Live in truth, and always strive to be the best you can. If we all do this together, believe me, we do have the power to change the world.

Ashley Eyes

Massachusetts raised, Sun Devil living in Tempe, Arizona. Earning a BS in Sustainability ~ hoping to solve sustainability problems at music festivals.

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