"Goa Announces Ban On "Dance Bars""
30 August 2013
News has recently emerged that Goa, like many other states across the country, has announced a "ban on dance bars." Once a raver's paradise, known worldwide for peace, music and drugs, Goa has progressively tightened laws on its legendary outdoor parties over the years - more recently even on nightclubs and late-night cafes.
“Dance bars will not be allowed in Goa,” Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar announced last Thursday. “There has been a lot of image-beating for the state due to the existence of drugs and prostitution on the beaches. We will clean it up.” Goa, still a popular holiday destination, draws 2.3 million foreign visitors a year, yet its reputation as a hippy-paradise has suffered since tragic high-profile cases such as the rape and murder of British teenager Scarlett Keeling.
Parrikar's office has since initiated various safeguards for foreign tourists, even ordering police to remain present on beaches until midnight. Until very recently, they were known to withdraw just after sunset.
Anyone who has been to Goa recently would have noticed how "Silent Discos" are slowly becoming the norm, as party organisers try to avoid police raids. Even on NYE, a huge date for the Goan music calendar, club owners in the northern strip of the state claim that they are beginning to solely host such 'silent' parties to spare their events from being shut down after 10pm (under the Noise Pollution Act).
It's no secret that the "Goan scene" will never again be "like it was". Party organisers and left-over hippies will still occasionally dance the night away in secluded forests and forgotten beaches, a flare of an almost ancient culture - no matter how hard the government clamps down.