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Night life in Goa down with Election Fever

After the highs of all-night Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties, the Election Model Code of Conduct has thrown a spanner in the works of the nightlife industry in Goa. Why? Due to the prohibition of alcohol sales post 11 pm.

With all establishments refusing to sell alcohol after 10.45 pm, owners and party goers alike have been moping around with forlorn faces. Their expressions are likely to worsen until elections in Goa are done and dusted with.

The Election Commission announced that elections in Goa will be held on February 04, 2017. The Goa Government Administration issued an order stating “All the liquor shops, bars, restaurants, pubs, food joints, shacks should be closed every day by 11 pm from January 6 to February 2.”

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“If any of these establishments are found to be open beyond 11 pm, its licence will be cancelled and the owner would face action under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (disobeying an order of a public servant).” adds the order.

Though aggrieved by it, most club and pub owners say that they are used to the drawback, knowing full well that business drops by 20% to 50% during the period.

Anticipating the Code and its ripple effect, Panjim-based Café Mojos dropped all artists for the month of January. Since January 6, there has been a drop in revenue of around 20% to 25%, informed Café Mojos’ Chief Officer.

Down The Road Pub has also seen a downturn in revenue, with the owner stating that income has dropped by as much as 50%.

Renowned names like SinQ, Tito’s, Café Mambos, Cape Town Café, Cavala and Cohiba have also taken a beating. Shacks and restaurants are hit as well.

It’s not just establishments that are down with election fever, tourists and locals are too!

“I came home to Goa to enjoy the New Year for a month before I return to work abroad. Less than a week into 2017, instead of struggling to find my bed at 6 am, I am snug under my blanket by midnight. It’s a complete waste of a holiday for me. I feel like I have aged in the last four days,” says Kenneth Paulo, an expat.

“LPK closed! Tito’s closed! Cohiba closed! What’s the point of coming to Goa if I cannot party? Hotels should put up statutory warnings next time. This is a complete waste of a holiday,” laments Kolkata-based Kaushani Sen.

“I’m happy everything closes at 11 pm nowadays because I can catch up on my much-needed beauty sleep after partying since Christmas. However, I am not happy on the weekends as I have to sit at home,” states Venita Gomes, a party lover.

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6 thoughts on “Night life in Goa down with Election Fever”

  1. We are planning to visit Goa around 26th January 2017. However, due to effects of model code of conduct being in force, we are worried that our nightlife experience would get impacted.

    Would postponing our plan till 10th February 2017 make things any better?

    1. Postponing your plans would definitely be the best idea if you plan on partying till 5 am. Currently everything shuts at 11 pm. And the same will carry on till February 5 as elections are on February 4.
      Suggest you don’t come after March begins as results will be announced in early March.
      However, Goa is a lovely place as well if you’re willing to skip the nightlife. Happy holidays and let us know what you think about Goa!

  2. This is sad. We have already booked the tickets for hotel and flights for FEB 3 and we are thinking of cancelling them. How’s the crowd nowadays? Are the beaches and shacks looking deserted because of this election? We are not into late night partying but still we want other tourists around us. As the restriction is till FEB 2, don’t you think everything should be back to normal from the next day (FEB 3)? Your suggestions would be really appreciated. Thanks

    1. Elections in Goa are on February 4. Election model code of conduct ends on February 2, but February 3 and 4 will be dry days, where no alcohol is served. Things will be back to normal only from February 5 onwards. That said, Goa is a lovely place, 365 days a year. Irrespective of any situation the beaches are never empty. There are crowds on most famous beaches in the State.
      If you are not coming to Goa for alcohol and parties, then I suggest you do not cancel your tickets. Goa still has plenty on offer, elections or not.

      1. We have postponed our Goa trip 15th Feb 2017. As elections are over now, has the situation improved regarding nightlife restrictions? This would really be great help as nightlife is one of our main priorities.

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