Neotrance and the Psychedelic Festival

  • Graham St John University of Regina, Canada
Keywords: psytrance, neotrance, psychedelic festival, trance states, religion, new spirituality, liminality, neotribe


This article explores the religio-spiritual characteristics of psytrance (psychedelic trance), attending specifically to the characteristics of what I call neotrance apparent within the contemporary trance event, the countercultural inheritance of the “tribal” psytrance festival, and the dramatizing of participants’ “ultimate concerns” within the festival framework. An exploration of the psychedelic festival offers insights on ecstatic (self-transcendent), performative (self-expressive) and reflexive (conscious alternative) trajectories within psytrance music culture. I address this dynamic with reference to Portugal’s Boom Festival.

Author Biography

Graham St John, University of Regina, Canada
Postdoctoral Research Fellow Interactive Media and Performance,Department of Media Production and Studies 
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