BPM Festival ends at Blue Parrot Club with shooting at closing party

BPM shooting Playa Del Carmen Blue Parrot
The Blue Parrot Club in disaray after a night of volilence in Playa Del Carmen.

Shooting at BPM in Playa Del Carmen

Here is an update as of January 25th 2017 as to the BPM shooting incident at the Blue Parrot Club in Playa Del Carmen. We discus what has happened and what has happened since.

What happened the night of January 16th at the Closing Party of the BPM Festival

At the closing party of the ten day long BPM Festival at the Blue Parrot Nightclub on 12th Street there was a shooting that killed five people at the scene, one person died later at the hospital raising the death count to 6. The incident injured about a fifteen people.

The shooting took place around 2:30am local time when a dispute erupted at the Blue Parrot nightclub. One of those fatally injured was a Canadian citizen and worked as BPM Festival staff. It should be noted that the BPM Festival is a Canadian organization.

The names of those killed have not been released yet. The nationalities of the victims has been released. The fatalities included two Mexicans, one Canadian, one Italian and one American. It should be noted that the 4 of the 5 people killed worked for the BPM event. The one person that is reportedly not someone that worked at the BPM Music festival was the an American woman.

It should be noted that this was not a mass killing like some media initially reported. This incident started as a dispute and in no way was aimed at tourists.

What was it like inside of the Blue Parrot Club

The area on 12th Street is often full of pedestrians visiting all the clubs and bars and this street is closed to traffic at night. The Blue Parrot was also full of people for the closing event of the BPM Festival. In the panic that ensued, some of the injuries were caused by people running away from the incident and not from gunfire.

What happened in the days following the shooting in Playa Del Carmen

The immediate reaction was shock among residents of Playa Del Carmen and festival goers. After the initial shock, people came together to denounce the violence.  Some people marched and other laid flowers at the scene along with lite candles.

Below is a photo taken January 18th outside of the Blue Parrot Club in Playa Del Carmen. People have left notes and flowers in memory of the tragedy.

BPM shooting Playa Del Carmen Blue Parrot
Flowers and comments left in memory in front of the Blue Parrot Club on 12th Street.

The investigation started from the police department. Even though you can read the official statement from the BPM Organization below, it was the host of the event where it happened and only one side of the story. The investigation continues. No suspect was caught and it was said he left the club and had an awaiting car to get away.

BPM shooting Playa Del Carmen Blue Parrot
Investigators arrive at the Blue Parrot Club on 12th Street.


BPM shooting Playa Del Carmen Blue Parrot
Investigators arrive at the Blue Parrot Club the scene of the shooting.

The city officials denounced the violence as well and met to say that future events would be scrutinized if they would be allowed to continue in the city. It was said that the BPM Festival would not be allowed to return the following year.

In talking to people all over the Yucatan Peninsula, people were shocked. This was a good things because it shows that this type of thing is not a normality. Even regular gun violence is extremely low in this part of Mexico.

The city has much recovered and calmed down since. The club are of Playa Del Carmen (12th Street) is quieter with less guest going to it. But we think that tourist have a short memory and each week new people arrive with the desire to go out and enjoy themselves by the sea.

The Official Statement of the BPM Festival and Blue Parrot Statement

It should be noted that this event is still being investigated and eyewitness accounts and the statement from the Blue Parrot Club vary from some of the details below.

Official BPM Festival statement updated:


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 five fatalities and fifteen 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.

The BPM Festival Family

 Blue Parrot Club Statement

The Blue Parrot Club posted this on their Facebook Page January 18th, 2017:

Blue Parrot would like to address the unfortunate incident that happened in the early morning of Monday January 16th 2017.

The reason we have waited to make a statement was to be as informed as possible and to have as much of that facts before addressing this senseless act of violence. We have many false and inaccurate reports and did not want to add to the speculation.

The priority of Blue Parrot year round is the security and safety of our customers. We took all precautions to ensure everyone’s safety and during The BPM Festival we have substantially more security plus a highly professional and international team of door staff.

On Sunday night, Monday early morning, two armed men forced themselves through an exit door and shot one of our international and one of our Blue Parrot security guards as they tried to stop them from entering. At which point they entered and opened fire, resulting in the loss of two more lives.

We send our condolences to all involved and pray for the families of those that lost those closest to them. We are deeply saddened and we hope the city of Playa del Carmen will take a hard look at itself and come together to fight the evils in this town that we sometimes ignore. Blaming music festivals and nightlife is not a solution to issues that have repeated themselves in this country and the world.

Blue Parrot will stay closed until authorities finish all investigations and we hope to welcome you soon again to dance happily under the stars.

We are grieving with the 5 who lost their lives and the numerous who have been injured. This will affect this town and everyone involved for a very long time. Our hearts and prayers are with everyone in these tough times.

The morning after the BPM shooting

It was almost a normal morning in Playa Del Carmen where people went to 5th Avenue to jog and just one block away people were getting ready to scuba dive. Most people had not heard about the events of the night before.

BPM shooting Playa Del Carmen Blue Parrot

There were only a few blank faced individuals that were leaving for the bus station that had knowledge of the shocking event that took place overnight.

At the crime scene on 12th Street

The end of 12th Street in Playa Del Carmen was cordoned off. This is the main street in Playa Del Carmen that is lined with clubs and bars. The BPM Festival was held at several of these clubs during the 2017 event. At the end of the street on the right is the Blue Parrot Club where it is reported that the shooting started.

BPM shooting Playa Del Carmen Blue Parrot
The end of 12th Street cordoned off by Police.

Inside of the Blue Parrot after the BPM closing party shooting

This morning police combed the Blue Parrot Club awhile the sun rose over the beach and crime scene.

Inside the club you could see random shoes left behind and overturned sofas along with ice buckets and glasses that were supposed to be for a festive night.

BPM shooting Playa Del Carmen Blue Parrot
Inside of the Blue Parrot after the BPM closing party shooting.


BPM shooting Playa Del Carmen Blue Parrot
The Blue Parrot Club in disaray after a night of violence in Playa Del Carmen.


BPM shooting Playa Del Carmen Blue Parrot
The BPM banner stung along the fence of the Blue Parrot.

What is the BPM Festival like?

This was the first time we covered the BPM Festival. BPM is a 10 day underground music festival with hundreds of different DJ’s playing at multiple venues every day.

The festival attracts mainly younger people in their mid twenties and early thirties. Many of the parties are all night events.

What is security like at BPM Festival?

As we mentioned we covered the BPM Festival this year and entered many of the venues. At each entrance there is security as well as security people throughout venues. Often the exit and entrance are in the same place and there is only one main entrance and exit. Walls of 10ft plywood are built around outdoor venues as well as metal gated barriers.

For people that buy a 3 day, 7 day or 10 day pass, the bracelet has a computer chip for registration. Other single passes are only a paper wristband.

BPM shooting Playa Del Carmen Blue Parrot
The Blue Parrot Club with metal bars blocking off the beach from the festival.

Should this affect your plans to visit Playa Del Carmen?

The short answer is no but what you do here might change. As we have stated for years, Playa Del Carmen is a safe place to visit compared with many international destinations. In our article on Dangers and Safety in Playa Del Carmen we mention that most of the incidents of crime can be eliminated by avoiding late night bar and club areas and by partying responsibly.

There is always a connection between the going out to party and the type of people that it attracts. We can go around the globe to nightclub shootings that happen all too often. This is not a plague of Playa Del Carmen, this is a problem associated with nightclubs.

This shooting will affect the image of the city and it is sad when so many oppose such senseless violence. Today many locals are dismayed about such an event happening in their town that they love.

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  1. Seth, thanks for this post. It is good to have a local’s perspective of the event, what occured, activities continuing, and to have information for people who are concerned for their safety. It is very sad that this has occurred in Playa, but this is not the everyday Playa and I hope people will take that into consideration.

  2. its time to leave playa BPM.. we dont want you here ever again,, Take your shitty music, and shitty people, and leave!!!!! WE “PLAYA” dont want you here..

  3. Very sad, first visited player del carmen last year and are revisiting this year, beautiful country with beautiful people. Thoughts and prayers to all effected.

    • It’s not their fault. It’s the fucking cartels fault. BMP is a wonderful music festival. I have lived in Playa for 24 years and it isnt the first incident on 12 th street. Kicking out BMP don’t solve this problem.

      • FALSE. It’s been brewing for years. Disrespect to the area, drugs, rapes, trash, and now murder. Get the BPM and its kind out of Playa NOW. It’s LONG overdue.

  4. So unfortunate that this terrible incident occurred in beautiful Playa! We will arrive next Sunday and this incident has not deterred us at all. Like the article says, just avoid the places where you think that trouble might happen! So looking forward to our visit! Love Playa like a home away from home!

  5. Indeed it will be used by the crowd who thinks every corner of the nation of Mexico is a drug infested, cartel controlled swamp. I bet more people were murdered/critically wounded in Chicago over the weekend vs Playa. That doesn’t keep tourists from visiting Wrigley Field, the Navy Pier, the Magnificent Mile, etc.

    Looking forward to coming back to what I’d like to be my second or third home one day.

  6. So sad this has happened. It is not the Playa del Carmen that we know and feel safe in. Our condolences to the families who have suffered from this

  7. This tragedy deeply saddens me. We love Playa Del Carmen and boast to all of our friends how safe it is. Though we know this is an isolated incident (late night club related), we are worried that Playa Del Carmen will be viewed by the rest of the world as unsafe. This is not true at all. We have been coming to Playa Del Carmen several times over the winter, every year for the past 8 years.

  8. After 16 years of coming to Playa del Carmen and 5 years of living here, I have never seen a violent crime. This is definitely not a normal occurance here.

  9. have no idea who did this but would not be surprised to fi;nd out it was someone emulating the u.s.a.
    for decades I have watched while away and while living in mexico how the us is copied (mostly with negative things) and with the violence here of this type I guess I am not surprised.
    as for the cartels I can’t see this being them as they are not that dumb and would not try to harm the tourism in that way.
    I feel for all who are dead and hurt as with any other trajedy but this seems to be par for the course and happening all over the world and more often. playa was and is a wonderful place to visit and to live as I have done both over many years and used to go to the blue parrot when it was first starting up WAAAAY WAY back.

    • This is definately cartels. In the past month cartrly related shootings in Cancun nightclubs. This isnt the first cartel relates incidente in my 24 years living in Playa.

  10. BPM has become a drug infested festival I have bern living here in playa for 10 years and every year it gets more intense due to this freaking party playa is a nice and secure place tu live and visit but this festival and its shity music atracts the worse a huge market for drugs and all the problems this carries with.

  11. My heart goes out to the victims of this ridiculous act of violence. I will be showing my support to the good, hard working people of Playa by continuing with my plans to vacation in Playa this coming March. Please don’t let these mindless thugs scare you away!

  12. This single act doesnt reflect on the city or event itself…so do not show hate or disgust to Playa or the festival. Violence is everywhere…dont go to places where people drink, possibly do drugs, possibly have weapons….I live and have lived in Playa for many years and it is an unbelievably amazing place!! just like elsewhere in the world guns = death…..its the shooter who is to blame. Be mindful…and in this time we all need to send out love to any and everyone involved…..not hate. nothing positive will come if you only spit out hate and nagativity. Prayers for all!!!

  13. Almost thirty years ago, my first night in Playa was spent in one of the old beach palapas after hours of drinking .50 cent beer in the old bar. Makes me an old fart! So sorry to hear about this tragedy.

    • Tom

      Those are some good memories. You can almost find that in El Cuyo now, it is a very peaceful town on the beach or in Xcalak in the south end of Quintana Roo. Unfortunately with growth comes growing pain and issues. Playa is dealing with that now.

    • I agree that it is not the fault of PDC….but there have been deaths, trash, drugs overdoses, and a general disrespect for the town for years. Maybe this will be the final straw that keeps BPM out of Playa.

  14. I have been coming to Playa for years. And I always go to the Blue Parrot. I go during the day and have lunch and lay at the pool. Really great food and service? I do stay quite a few blocks down because they party a little to loud and to long down that side of Playa? I will be back in May. My ? Goes out to everyone there. See you all in May❤

    • Thank you for coming this May. We did like the renovated Blue Parrot and the food was really good. This tragedy shocked many people because this does not happen here. It will be interesting to see how 12th Street recovers after this event.

  15. accurate reporting ! Judgies are all over their theories but many long lives were shortened,,,,BPM is the victim,,,,,when really it was our boys!

  16. Very sad news! I always enjoy myself when visiting Playa. That particular street can get a bit gnarly around closing time. Have fun but be aware of your surroundings. Much Love ❤️

  17. Noone wanted bpm here in the 1st place
    Except the corrupt officials that got paid off
    Its an open drug market with shitty LOUD noise for 10 days
    Good riddance BPM

    • Well we have not had the BPM festival for a few years now. Certain businesses attract and promote different things that have spillover effects.

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