For decades, the biggest influence on India’s party culture has been its smallest state, Goa. Where people from all parts of the world, all walks of life, come together to celebrate what we all share in common — a love of music and movement. And this season is going to be no different . So get out your comfiest pair of dancing shoes, because once you start partying in Goa, there’s no telling when you’ll stop. The options are endless, just follow your mood and your groove, and you’ll find a place that ticks all your boxes. Here are some of the time-tested hits and current crowd favourites to get you started.
For decades people from around the world have been making their way up the Vagator hill, to this neon psychedelic home of trance and electronic music. And this tradition is as alive today, as the day it first began. You can catch some of the best international DJs at the weekly Sunday events, or their famed Christmas and New Year parties that bring out every one from old-school hippies to urban travellers.
Of the many full moon parties in the good old days, most occurred at the original beach shacks of Goa, Curlies and Shiva Valley. At the latter, every Tuesday, the chai mamas begin to set up their stalls on the beach, and the music gets progressively louder and tripper. On a good day, don’t be surprised if you’re there from sunset to sunrise. Mind-bending visual illuminations, world-renowned musical acts and a timely and a bhurji to keep you going — what more could you want! You can also simply visit these shacks on non-party days, to catch a chilled out sunset or evening drinks.
Vagator is at the heart of North Goa’s party culture, with epic venues like Chronicle and 9 Bar residing here. The former is a recent addition, opening in 2013, that has quickly become one of the local and tourist favourites. Designed in 5 levels, it has a dedicated restaurant, bar and dance floor, so you have more than enough space to stomp those feet or give the m a much needed break. With the rocky cliffs to one side and the rhythmic ocean to the other, you’ll see why this is a favourite the moment you get there.
9 Bar, on the other hand, is one of Goa’s legendary party venue s that opened way back in 1976. Originally an outdoor party space, they have recently created a fully sound-proof indoor nightclub, so that the party can legit continue past Goa’s noise-curfew. By opening up to other genres of music beyond psytrance, 9 Bar has managed to always stay relevant to party culture. And when you aren’t dancing away to top trance, techno and other beats, you can chill out by the sea and enjoy their homemade style pizzas!
Every Saturday, Goa gathers at the Saturday Night Market in Arpora to eat, drink, shop and just generally celebrate. Nowhere else could you listen to music and find that perfect outfit for the next day and eat amazing local food. Through its winding lanes you can walk and find almost anything imaginable. But after all that looking around, the best thing you can do is head towards the Central Stage and catch the performance of the night — could be anything from Indian classical to rock to chill out. Oh, and their special beer, liquor and wine bars are located right on hand so you don’t have to go very far to get a drink!
Every so often, Teso Waterfront, a luxurious resort located in the quiet lanes of Siolim village, turns into a full-on party destination complete with laser shows and top DJs. It also hosts Goa’s weekly Soma Project techno and house party that has brought some of the world’s biggest names to take stage. This beautiful sunset spot, overlooking the Chapora River, is also ideal for more intimate live music acts, and regularly features acts like Prem Joshua, for that perfect sunset jam before the night begins.
Of course, this is just a tiny slice of the Goa party pie — places we know, places we frequent, places people seem to love. There’s all of South Goa too, plus a whole lot more in case we haven’t quite mentioned your kind of party here. And we’d be happy to include some of your favourites we’ve missed in forthcoming posts. Till then, if you want to know more about any of these spots, or others in general, you can always visit www.whatsupgoa.com