Thailand’s Full Moon Parties Have Been Taken Over by #YOLO Idiots

It’s an old cliché to bemoan what is compared to what used to be. But as the morning sun rises over the fluoro debris and thousands of empty plastic cups from the night before, it’s hard for me to do much else.  

I’m standing on a crowded Haad Rin beach on Thailand’s idyllic Koh Phangan, home to the original and now infamous Full Moon Party. Hours before, 20,000 bodies writhed together in motion to pulsating house music, fuelled by cheap alcohol and magic mushroom milkshakes. Now, among the rapidly sobering hardcore who continue to dance, a smattering of those bodies dot the beach, their semi-conscious, half-naked torsos slowly roasting in the Thai sun. They lie surrounded by beer bottles, shattered glass, and plastic buckets.

It’s all a bit depressing, but of course there’s nothing particularly original about any of this. The descent of the Full Moon Party from fabled hippy love-in to an 18-30-club-rave-on-sea has been in motion for years. Once arcane events attended by 30 or so loved up psytrancers who, for all their faults, at least seemed to be striving for some kind of spiritual experience, now the Full Moon Parties seem to be yet another hedonistic playpen for actuarial science students whose idea of a spiritual experience is getting a henna tattoo.



Last weekend, I went to the 12th annual “Bats Day in the Fun Park.” Though you would never guess it from the name, it’s a day where hundreds of goths head to Disneyland California for a day of image-subverting fun. (Seriously, who the fuck decided to call it that? What does that mean?)

The main event of the day is a group photo taken outside Cinderella’s castle. This is everyone hustling into position for it. The guy in the purple didn’t look like he was giving up his spot for anybody.

And this is the photo being taken. Say an edgy alternative to “cheeeeese!"—like "bloooooody!”, or maybe “I always identified with Ursula more than Arieeeeeel!”

I couldn’t get far back enough to get a shot of everyone, but this should give you an idea of how many people were there. I’d estimate the number of goths present to be: a shitload.

These aren’t sold on-site, you have to order them online, so here’s a thing I’ve learned: Goths are very organized. 

This girl can have no idea what is going on. Do you think she looks at Donald and Micky and thinks they’ve just dressed up for Disneyland as well?