India has experienced a kind of resurgence in the Trance Scene over the last few years, with most of the famous artists – Raja Ram/Lucas, Tristan, Ajja, Avalon, Dickster, Laughing Buddha, GMS, Earthling, Astral Projection, Zen Mechanics, Ace Ventura, and so many others, have all done “tours” of India.
Mostly there are 4 main cities we all play: Bombay, Delhi, Bangalore, and Pune. There are occasional parties also in Chennai/Madras, Hyderabad, Calcutta, even a few parties and small festivals up in the Indian Himalayas/Manali area. The crowds at the parties are super-enthusiastic…very strongly into the music, and pumping on the dance floors…
But we of course can’t forget the linchpin, the epicenter, of the Trance scene – GOA ! The whole trance scene started here, and then was taken/spread ‘round the world, when people took it back with them to their home countries, and got the scenes going, globally.
All the artists also come to Goa, to play, and…to PLAY! And stay as long as they can, for weeks to months (Tristan and I are there 5-6 months every year/season, for example)
Speaking of seasons, most tourists are in Goa/India Oct.-May, (and esp December-March) the monsoon rains start in June, and super-hot, so most go away, back to “normal reality”( we call Goa an “Alternate Reality”)…but in these cities, they are used to the monsoons, so the parties continue, and some famous artists are still touring in the off-season.
Now, Goa: the glory days, all thru the ‘80s and ‘90s, of the all night wild parties, are now just memories (amazing ones!)… Around 2000ish, the government/police passed the infamous Noise Disturbance Law, forbidding any music disturbance after 10 pm! Many places do close their outdoor music at 10, but many are able to use the “baksheesh” (pay-offs/bribes) system to play longer, some right through the night till 10 in the morning.
A major change in Goa, and the Goa trance scene, is that suddenly in the last 3 years, young Indian tourists (mostly in their 20s), from all over India, esp. loads of Bombay and Delhi-ites, have descended on Goa (it’s all Indian’s – and all young Indians – number 1 tourist destination for all of India), floods of them, now all in groups on motorbikes all over the place, and at all the trance parties. Unfortunately, many are young boys, who are in groups and get drunk and disturb/surround and dance too close to the “foreign”/Western girls… hmmm… This has changed the vibe of the parties, as for 30 years it was mostly us Westerners, with a few Indians, but now they are at least 1/2 the crowd, sometimes the majority. But fun partying is happening all over the place, despite this change…people are still having a great time, and fun dancing, most every day…
There are parties most days…the most famous is on our beach, Anjuna , at the Shiva Valley beach restaurant, every Tuesday, 4 pm right through till 9-10 a.m.
Lots of people “take something”, everybody is smoking freely, and there is a pretty wild dance and party scene, up in the open-air restaurant, and also on the beach, dancing in the gentle waves of the Indian Ocean…pretty cool…
The other famous party spot is the Hilltop outdoor “club”, every Sunday (but they stop promptly at ten pm), with a fantasy environment, fairy lights strung up, and all the coconut palm trees painted psychedelically, and black-lit, and special deco and light shows/video mapping, etc
The Goa scene (both trance, and generally) continues to be super-magic, especially each of the last few seasons, there is nowhere on the planet like Goa (also nowhere on the planet like India! This is why so many of us go back there every year, nowhere like it).
1000s of like-minded people, who all want to live “off the grid”, out of the system, who desire a free life, an experimental life, a super-fun (and cheap!) life in a gorgeous tropical fairyland full of beaches, parties, an amazing scene, like nowhere else on the planet…all come to this Garden of Earthly Delights.
Shiva rules…OM NAMAH SHIVAYA !
Author: DJ Chicago-1200 MICs