Let’s “Goa” to India! by Marc O’Bryan

The smallest state in India, Goa has become a huge dance and music scene that has gained increasing popularity over the years. With the increased integration of cultures through globalization, India’s culture has become progressively more influenced by the West. One example of this influence can be seen through the changes in India’s music scene. In the 1960s, the small state of Goa started making a name for itself with its internationally famous rave parties. This party scene was initiated by hippies gathering on the beaches of Goa, most notably Anjuna, and partying until the sun came up. Since then, tourists and party thrill seekers from around the world flock to Goa to experience some of the best electronic music dance parties in the world. Since the late 1980s, the music scene in Goa has become increasingly influenced by European inspired electro-trance music. This infusion of European style electronic techno with Indian trance created what is now known as “Goa trance.”

What’s really interesting about “Goa trance” is its spiritualistic aspect, which makes the primary goal of the music to encourage a collective transcendence among the audience. The environment of these beach rave parties supports this “out of body” experience with body painting, fire dancers, and illuminated psychedelic images of supernatural creatures and religious figures. Goa trance music has become so popular that “Goa parties” are now being held in locations around the world. It’s amazing how European music initially influenced Indian trance, which then formed into its own style of music, and is now influencing the music of cultures all over the world. The fluorescent paint traditionally used at Goa parties is now a mainstream part of almost any rave scene. I think one way India has really influenced electronic and trance music is by infusing a sense of spiritualism in the music. If you watch any video about today’s biggest EDM music festivals (Tommorowland, EDC, Sensations), you will notice that a big theme is some sort of spiritualistic experience.

While Goa trance parties may not offer much insight into the business culture of India, they will open your mind and expose you to an evolving spiritualistic music scene that is spreading across the globe.

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