February 20, 2006


In 2005, of the 355 parties listed on GoaTrance party websites
for raves across the world, not one listed Goa.

A single rave held in Arambol Christmas week 2005, north of Anjuna, drew
some crowds but nothing like the 20,000 ravers per party the area was
once infamous for. Anjuna's millenium raves attracted over 200,000
western and Israeli ravers and in many ways proved to be the turning
point for this party destination.

Times have simply changed.

The free walk-in open air raves are almost extinct, party bonhomie under
the stars is over. In its place are a proliferation of clubs that still
play trance music, but mix the repertoire to cater to varied taste --
sometimes hip hop, evissa house, fusion, even bale bale and "Bollywood
nights" for the largely urban Indian club hopper, who wanted a bit of
Goa's rave action but are now stuck with its monetised version.

Since it's trendy, no one's complaining. Page 3 celebs, Bollywood,
professionals from New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad make one
long beeline for Goa's clubs.

Almost all of the western budget backpackers that favoured the small
one-room guesthouses, or hung around street 'chai' shops in neighbouring
Chapora and Vagator beach have moved further north and south to quieter

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