Goa nightlife is centered around one thing: trance music. This isn’t my jam but when in Goa…
We tried out trance parties twice. Our first night in town was apparently Anjuna’s night off; everyone had been out until well after breakfast, apparently Tuesday night is huge, so most of the town seemed to be taking it easy. We would not be deterred. We heard Goa nightlife was all night every night and we were ready to go.
So we united with the one Swedish guy who was willing to try out the only party anyone seemed to know at Hilltop. We got there, we got drinks, we started to get into the quirky I-dance-with-no-one-but-myself movements, and the DJ stopped playing. The cops shut down the party before midnight. We were in shock. Everyone filed out, jumped on their motorbikes, and rode off like one big scooter gang to find another option or just go home.
We tried one more party at Club 9 and were introduced to dark trance. Dark is misleading; this is hyperactive trance. The only way to keep up with what is sort of like the beat is to gyrate like you’re having a seizure. It’s a workout. And it was a scene for sure. We made it till about 3 am before calling it quits.
The walk to get back to Anjuna (we’d ended up in Vagator) was through open unlit fields. A pack of street dogs sprinted past us to gather in a field and howl like coyotes, except for the one that sounded like it was dying. So we made a large arc through the far side of the field to avoid the pack. The cows became our friends; they parted their roadblock for us.
The second night was much more of a success. After a few gimlettes to get the night going, we met up with our beach friends and went to Curlie’s for an on-the-beach trance party. Curlie’s was quite the scene: a Burning Man-esque sculptured light display stretched out over the dance “floor” (sand) from the DJ booth, under which people solo-danced together to the electronic sounds. To the side was a huge hangout area of well-lit tables, and down on the beach were vendors selling all the late night essentials like cigarettes and greasy food.
We danced, we drank, we got glow painted, we took tons of pictures, and I got to spin some light-up poi balls for a bit. By the time it was almost 5 am we had no choice but to stay until the sun rose. At first this seemed like it would be a gradual change, but all of a sudden it was light out and we were left with the dedicated party goers. We had made it at a Goa trance party till dawn. We felt accomplished, like we experienced the night we came for. We walked back along the beach shortly before 8 am in the peaceful early morning light.
No wonder no one does anything during the day. We slept till the afternoon and even then were slow moving. Our last night was the biggest beach party in Goa or something, but we never found out what that meant; it was Kwaz and my last night together, and she had to leave at 3:30 am for a 6 am flight back up to Delhi, so we opted for a bottle of wine at the hostel. That was way more us than another all night techno rave.
I can’t say I really get trance music or the whole scene around it. I suppose we tried it out and it wasn’t too bad, but if I ever go back to Goa I’d like to try out nights on other beaches. We heard Arambol was more drum circles than DJ’s, a little more up my alley.