It’s pitch dark. A laser beam zips across the stage as the heady beat of trance music begins thumping through giant speakers.
A backdrop of LED lights blinks to the tune of the electronic track. In seconds, hands are flying up in the air, partygoers hooting at the sight of the DJ.
“What a party,” Vivek Motasha, 25, shouts over the music into his brother Varun’s ear. The Motashas aren’t at a club in Mumbai or Delhi. They’re in Club El Paraiso in Ibiza, a Spanish island in the Mediterranean Sea.
Ibiza is famous for its beaches and its natural beauty — but the brothers have made the 10-hour trip exclusively for the DJs and nightclubs in what is currently the party capital of the world.
A year ago, Vivek, Varun, 27, and Varun’s wife Hemal, 26, began saving up for their ultimate holiday, with just one thought in mind — finding a place where they could just party.
“It had to be Ibiza,” says Vivek. “We were willing to take roundabout flights and live in economy hotels, as long as we could party in Ibiza,” he adds.
Over the past year, this kind of ‘party tourism’ has caught on rapidly in India, with yuppies travelling across continents to party capitals such as Ibiza, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Prague in the Czech Republic and Queenstown in New Zealand, building their itineraries around DJ trails and popular clubs, and even sleeping all day so that they can party till the wee hours.
Travel agents are responding with special party packages built around everything from Oktoberfest in Munich to Full Moon Parties in Thailand and world-famous clubs such as Amnesia, Pasha and Bora Bora in Ibiza.
At Cox & Kings, 15% of all short-trip customers [trips lasting less than a week] are now party tourists, says Karan Anand, head (Relationships). At Strawberi Holidays, the customised vacations arm of Kesari Travels, 40% of customers are looking for party tours.
Earlier this year, Indian even got its first party tour agency, launched by former business executive Akhilesh Latkhotia, 27, and former finance executive Chirag Khandelwala, 27, to cater to party tourists who want to cut costs by travelling in groups. Called Trips Gone Crazy (TGC), it offers packages built around the nightlife of destinations, with bars trails and club-hopping built into the itinerary and entry fees and passes included in the package.
TGC has conducted two tours so far, with an total of 25 people signing up. The first group of seven travelled to Barcelona and Ibiza in August.
“My husband and I signed up because we are planning to start a family and we realised that, once we had kids, we would not be able to do such a tour for a really long time,” says fitness instructor Meera Doshi, 28.
Their four-day itinerary was built around a DJ trail, with the group attending each night a party where a world-famous DJs was playing.
At Rs 1.75 lakh a head, it didn’t come cheap. But the Doshis say it was well worth it.