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From Celebration To Tragedy: Hamas' Murdering of 260 Trance Festival Attendees & Its Musical Roots In Hippie Culture
Wherever 'good' is flourishing, evil will always be one step behind it plotting its demise
With the recent massacre of 260 people at a music festival in the desert near Gaza, I wanted to give background on the type of festival these people were attending before its tragic ending and its musical roots that I've been fascinated with for decades.
The type of music that is primarily played at this type of festival is called "psychedelic trance" or "psy trance" for short. I've been a fan of this style of music since the late 90s, when we used to refer to it as Goa Trance, a name referencing to Goa, India.
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Goa, India's relevance goes all the way back to the hippie movement of the 1960s. Many of the hippies of the West were looking for a tranquil place to escape to and a place that brought you closer to nature and spirituality: Goa became that place for many.
As time progressed, their musical interest in psychedelic rock paved the way for this new, odd, yet exhilarating type of psychedelic sound. With the advancement of electronic instruments, Goa became the place for this musical experimentation that intertwined with hippie culture.
Over time, tourists to Goa would spread the word of their "full moon" parties, which were parties that would start on the beaches of Goa at sunset and end around sunrise. Included in these tourists were Israeli nationals who would be inspired to produce this music themselves.
The survivors of the attack on The Supernova Sukkot Gathering described how the militants attacked them at sunrise, which would have been a peak time for people to be tired from partying all night: this is rooted in the full moon tradition.
To drive it home with Israel's connection to Goa, on the bill for this gathering was legendary Israeli duo "Astral Projection", who had frequently performed in Goa back in the late 90s during its peak popularity.
To understand psychedelic trance is to understand the people who are connected to it. Psychedelic trance is spiritual, pure, & loving. I know the type of people who would attend a festival like this and they're essentially new-age hippies continuing the tradition of togetherness.
These people epitomize the best of humanity as they embrace people from all over the world to come together for a positive and spiritual experience. Even the billing for this event was framed as being a celebration of "friends, love, and infinite freedom".
Their deaths are a pure tragedy no matter what music they were into but there is something horrifically dichotomous about how some of the most peaceful people I've ever known of were targeted for execution.
It just adds an extra layer of evil to this situation as an objectively peaceful movement was specifically selected for slaughter.
I recognize that this type of music isn't for everyone, even for fans of other styles of electronic music: it's definitely niche. However, what I think is important to understand is what this music signified to many of its die-hard fans, like me, and its impact on our lives.
Situations like this always remind me that wherever 'good' is flourishing, evil will always be one step behind it plotting its demise.
May my psychedelic brothers and sisters rest in peace.