Thursday, 9 January 2014

Ten Years of Jungle Experience Now and Then

Jungle Experience celebrates its 10 Year Anniversary on Jan 14th 2014!

Jungle Experience Koh Phangan in the early days
Jungle Experience Koh Phangan in the early days
From its lowly beginning as a small island psychedelic trance party 10 yrs ago, Jungle Experience has transformed itself - on numerous occasions and through numerous incarnations - over its decade long party history.  The jungle location, the underground music and the DJ booth are ever evolving, along with the party itself - which is known nowadays as one of the major party destinations in Asia.

dancers and dj booth at jungle experience

I remember those first early parties: Phi Chai set up a Jungle Party in a smaller location than the venue used today, with Andy Anahata.  I remember all the Swedes getting excited, helping decorate the new party with fluero string and back drops.  It certainly created a buzz amongst us Koh Phangan regulars. 

Even back then the Full Moon Party had turned massively commercial, so to have a new party location - for only the island residents in the know - was too exciting for words at the time. 

psy trance jungle party koh phangan

Jungle soon became one of our party favourites, and like clockwork, you'd find all the island residents coming out of the woodwork in the early hours to party in the Jungle.  We'd arrive about 3am, knowing the most juicy part of the party would be from 5am - til the finish at 10 or 11am!  Those were the days! 

Such a beautiful location deserves to be partied in at sunrise, but unfortunately most of the bucket monsters nowadays take their leave well before dawn, too drunk to care that they are missing sunrise. 

To us it was always the best part of the party!

tribe of jungle experience dis promoters and party goers

Am I sounding like a bucket snob?  Maybe, but the thing with buckets is that they were always about sharing!  We didn't each hog a bucket to ourselves: we shared the experience.   Nobody was ever so blind drunk they couldn't see or stand! 

We were alive, aware and interactive with this amazing party experience enveloping us in the jungle. 

I remember - when the sun came up - we'd be staring at the thick coconut palm jungle around us in awe, looking up to the sky.  We'd watch the red embers of daylight herald the dawn, as we danced on into the sunlight on the dance floor.

dj booth at jungle experience koh phangan 2013

With a festival atmosphere rivalled by none on the Thai islands, it was Jungle that led Koh Phangan out of the psy trance scene that had dominated for so long.  We were all so used to partying to trance - as there was no other option! 

It was amazing how vibrant the parties became when they embraced the underground movement of tech house, in the last five years or so. 

jungle experience artists and performers

Suddenly everyone had free expressionism on the dance floor, beautiful women were shaking their hips, and an element of sexiness arrived on the islands!  The trance scene was fun in the old days, but we all used to dance like androids.

It's funny now when I get together with my friends, and we try to remember how we used to dance.  When Jungle fire-spinner Natasha said you have to dance like you've got a shit in your pants, I was over psy-trance forever!

fire twirler jungle koh phangan

Then with a new Promotion and DJ team being brought into the Jungle, suddenly psy-trance was becoming a thing of the past; mass culture was suddenly becoming interested in Jungle - with its move away from psy-trance to underground house.

crowd going wild at jungle experience

It wasn't long before Jungle was attracting some major names in the business, and we have been treated to house and techno superstar DJs such as Marco Loco, Marco Bailey and Phil Hartnoll of Orbital to name just a few. 

In Randy Seidman's words, "Jungle is raging"…

As it continues to rage, and will rage again this January Full Moon on both 11th - & the big one on 14th Jan - to celebrate Jungle Experience's 10 year anniversary!

We're in for a show stopper, circus acts and a DJ line up to die for. If you are on Koh Phangan, be sure to make it to Jungle Experience's 10 year anniversary! 

See you in the Jungle!!!