ABSTRACT

Ibiza island (Spanish Mediterranean), summer 1998 – We left Café del Mar in the busy touristy town of Sant Antoni, and drove north toward a secluded lighthouse where a ‘Goa trance party’ was scheduled to happen. ‘Goa trance’ is a potent subgenre of electronic dance music developed by Western neo-hippies (‘freaks’) on the beaches of Goa state (India) in the early 1990s. My companions that night were four UK and US expatriates who resided in Ibiza or visited the island regularly: two yoga teachers, a jewelry trader and a journalist, women in their thirties and forties, wearing light hippie, gypsy-like clothes and a crystal dot on the forehead. An Italian party promoter had told us about the event. The police busted his own party a week before, ‘because of the vested interests of big business: club and bar owners.’ In Ibiza, Goa and elsewhere, trance parties are usually illegal, being secretively announced through word-of-mouth across the alternative populace that, at various levels and degrees, embraces free open-air ‘tribal parties’ in secluded, natural settings.