Arena Festival
Photo: Arena Festival

Playa Del Carmen, QR — When the mayor banned electronic music events like the one that ended tragically at the Blue Parrot, many assumed a huge gay-and-lesbian festival next month was toast.

But the Arena Facebook page and Arena website, as of Thursday morning, have made no such announcement. 

After five people were killed in a shooting and subsequent stampede at the BPM Festival over the weekend, city leaders have opted to ban future electronic music events.

“We want these types of events to go,” Playa Del Carmen mayor Cristina Torres Gómez said at a press conference. “We won’t allow one more.”

“Playense and tourists are now worried that other big festivals like DJ Fest, Corona Sunsets, Corona Elements or even Heineken Winter Beach might be affected in the future,” reports Nadia Morella in The Playa Times, in a story that listed the Arena event as canceled. El Universal in Mexico City has also reported that Arena’s event is canceled. 

“High season is very important in the Riviera Maya because it is the time of the year where Mexicans and residents can make a little bit of money to help them survive the rest of the year, during low season,” writes Morella. “Anybody who is working in tourism can confirm this fact, from people working in restaurants to bars, hotels to stores or tour guides to vacation renters.”

‘No solid and true statements’

The Arena Festival posted a statement of sympathy and solidarity with BPM victims on its Facebook page, but deflected reports of the festival’s demise.

“We are committed with everybody’s safety and we are working hard to guarantee the safety of all the assistants; please, do not let yourselves be led by all information posted on media with no solid and true statements,” the organizers wrote, urging fans to follow them on Facebook for official announcements.

Billed as Mexico’s biggest gay and lesbian dance music festival, Arena comprises 15 deejay-hosted parties from Feb. 1 to Feb. 6 and is expected to be “attracting thousands of attendees from across the globe,” organizers say.