What’s really going on in the cradle of our music scene

1. If you recall the first electronic Goa parties and compare them to what’s going on today, what’s the biggest difference? Even if practically everything has changed, please try to concentrate on one aspect that always strikes you!

The biggest difference to today is that in Goa there are virtually no Goa parties in the old sense anymore. Of course, there are still many events going on today, for example in the Curlies and the Shiva Valley on the beach, at Ramdas in the Nine Bar or in Hilltop, a fenced location with admission. The originals 20 years ago, however, took place in the jungle or the sea. There were Indian chai-ladies, there were the beggars with their sacred cows and the players with their playing cards and tin cups on their big blankets, where mountains of small rupee bills piled up. All were allowed to earn. Today it’s mostly enclosed areas, often indoor, owned by bar or restaurant owners. They make the parties, they make money from it. Unfortunately there are no wild locations anymore.

2. In German, there’s this winking saying: G.O.A. means ‘money without work’. Is that true of today’s Goa? Tell us a bit about typical, especially rich parents or hippies with the latest iPhone? What do the typical Goa people look like today?

I do not know this more or less stupid saying, nor does it apply to today’s Goa. Anyone who wants to earn money there or with “Goa” still has to work hard. Today these people are not dropouts, you could rather call them beginners. The children of rich parents and hippies with iPhones are everywhere in the traveler scene. I do not have typical Goa-people in mind. I think there, as everywhere, diversity of the different personalities is great. You should not lump people together because of the look.

3. From female Travelers we hear again and again that they are treated by men in India very intrusively. What’s your take on this topic? Was there a change in recent years? What do female solo travelers have to be prepared for?

I have been trying to look into the Indian soul for many years. I did not really notice that myself. But one knows that as a traveling woman in the whole world you should not be in the wrong places in the evening scantily clad. In India, you should probably be more careful about this than in Europe. In the evening after sunset women should avoid lonely places and have a male escort on the dark beach. Pretty girls get stared at parties elsewhere too. Unfortunately the problem of rape of women exists worldwide.

4. In addition, one hears again and again, Goa has degenerated for years to a”Mallorca Party” and the whole thing would be “Commerce” from front to back. You’ve been part of the scene for years – so honestly, is Goa still alternative (whatever that means)? To what extent would you describe it as “underground” (again the interesting side-question: what does that mean today anyway)?

There is commerce in all known destinations. Goa is a much visited party and vacation paradise, and as a business person you can become self-employed and make money. Many people there are creative and love what they do. They design clothes, are part of the famous Flea Market, work as DJs or run nice cafes and restaurants with good food. But the time of the underground is over. Goa was underground 20 years ago. Today, psytrance, techno and electronic music, everything that propelled Goa’s development, are widely recognized by all walks of life. There is a huge variety of yoga, meditation, alternative diet and much more about Body & Soul, but that also is nothing unusual any longer. One alternative to Germany, however, is unbeatable: the beautiful weather in the winter months! (-:

5. If you think back to all those years, please tell us about 2,3 highlights and 2,3 low points that you experienced in Goa. Personally, but also with respect to the place as a whole!

A low point was the death of my then best friend Klaus from Berlin, who helped me to realize the first Antaris. He died in a motorcycle accident in Goa. I can only say: Attention to all motorcyclists, it is more dangerous today than ever!

Another low point was the end of the old jungle parties, which were always fresh and exciting. Everyone drove around on motorbikes and searched for the location. “Where’s the party, where is the party?” they wondered at the intersections. You could hear the sound booming somewhere and had to look for the party in the direction from which the bass came. Sometimes we drove around for an hour or two to find the party. The more beautiful the arrival, and everyone was happy. At that time still with chai-ladies, players, beggars. It was great!

Another highlight besides the jungle parties was Olli Wisdom. He brought new music to Goa. I remember two parties, about mid-90s. One was somewhere near Morjim or Ashwem in the palm forest by the sea, the other right next to my former house on Grand Peddem in Bamboo Forest, Anjuna. They were brilliant parties, because a fresh musical wind was blowing. A new atmospheric time was initiated, which then came to an end in the new century in Goa. Just as all beauty passes with time.

Antaris Uwe
Uwe has been a connoisseur of the scene n Goa for many years and is the organizer of the Antaris Project in Stölln/Germany.
In 2018 the 24th ANTARIS will take place and the motto is more current than ever:

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