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At a GOA RAVE PARTY: No drugs and no loud music

Last updated on: December 16, 2011 11:05 IST

At a GOA RAVE PARTY: No drugs and no loud music

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"It is another world here, where hundreds of people dance but there is no audible music," says a shack owner at the famous Anjuna beach.

For anyone looking from far, things may be a bit weird and funny but they are not, he adds.

Goa's acid parties, which trace their origin in the 60s hippie culture, coupled with doping are undergoing a generational change since the last couple of years.

The usual ear deafening loud music has evaporated into silence, lessening the risk of getting caught by the police.

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Photographs: Paulo Whitaker/Reuters
Tags: , Anjuna

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The 'silent' parties with music played in headphones, connected to a DJ system through Wi-Fi, are slowly becoming a huge trend to avoid police raids. The reveller gets to enjoy three different bands, depending on his choice of music, allowing him to shift from one to another.

The trend setters for this new-generation partying are two clubs -- one in the extreme north and another in the extreme south of the state.

The club owners claim that they have many times hosted such 'silent' parties to spare their events from being shut down after 10 pm under the Noise Pollution Act.

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Photographs: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters
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Also, they claim to conduct such parties without any narcotics.

"Rave parties are not new for this part of Goa. But they are getting silent now. The organisers prefer mute parties to avoid any trouble," said a shack owner from Anjuna, refusing to be identified.

These parties, which generally begin from October and go on till New Year, have now drifted a bit. They start in mid-December and continue till May, he said.

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Photographs: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters
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The shoddy and secluded places in the coastline are home to these silent parties.

"Actually, there is pin-drop silence and you can just see people dancing," said another shack owner on the beach, which gained notoriety after British teenager Scarlet Keeling was found dead here three years ago.

The girl had died due to an overdose of drug cocktail.

"These parties are usually advertised through internet and fliers, which are circulated among a handful of people, especially tourists and foreigners," he said, adding that the event is publicised in advance to get more crowd.

But there are a few which are advertised by word of mouth and also on a short notice to avoid the police, he added.

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Photographs: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters
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According to him, the silent parties have been happening since the last couple of years. The hills around Anjuna and Vagator area and far off places like Ashwem in north and

Palolem in south host such events.

State Director General of Police Aditya Arya says that his team is not aware of such a trend.

"But if that is happening, people should inform the police. We will crack down on them," he said, adding that the police cannot go on a wild goose chase.

If parties happen without drugs and with silent music, then the police will not stop them, he clarified.

Arya said that the state Anti-Narcotic Cell sleuths remain alert round the clock, especially in the tourist season, to curb these parties.

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Photographs: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters

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The trend of 'silent' parties began in Goa some time in 2006. Neptune Point, a club at Palolem in North Goa, still holds mute parties every Saturday. The owners of this place say that they don't allow drugs there.

"It is pure music and dancing," said Suraj Ballikar, manager of the place.

The club has 350 headphones, which are given to the revelers on charges of Rs 500 per head. The party continues till the early hours of morning.

Ballikar says these parties have become a regular feature.

"This year we don't have much crowd. The season itself is down," he said.

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Photographs: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters

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The Neptune Point parties, which were once only popular among foreigners, now attract the domestic crowd too.

"It is really funny when you get off your head phone and see the crowd dancing in silence," says James Silveira, a partygoer.

"At times, two persons listen to two different bands and dance exactly opposite to each other," he chuckles.

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Photographs: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters

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