Louder, Crazier, Love Parade. The return will not be far off from the original. But what led to its cancellation?

It’s 1989, a warm summer day on the Ku’damm. Techno music is playing so loud, the ground is shaking. The beat travels through your body and you become one with the rhythm of dance. All around you, people are happy and careless, letting the music take them away to a world full of peace, love and joy.

Eine kreischende Menschenmenge hüpft vor der Bühne auf und ab
Loveparade / CC-BY-SA 3.0 Eine Menschenmenge springt begeistert vor der Bühne auf und ab

The very Beginning

On 1st of July, 1989 the first Loveparade was held on the Kurfürstendamm. It was started by the Berlin underground at the initiative of Matthias Roeingh, also called DJ Motte. It was conceived as political demonstration for peace and an international understanding through love and music, so the motto was fittingly called “Friede, Freude, Eierkuchen”. Till 1996 the parade was held on the Ku’damm, but by then more than 750,000 people were participating, so the parade was moved to the Straße des 17. Juni. In 1997 about a million people had participated and after that the parade became international. All around the world, in South America, North America and in numerous places in Europe, people were celebrating love, our differences and techno music. The Loveparade hit a record high in 2008 with around 1.6 Million participants in Dortmund. In the early 2000s the attendance was lower and with it followed with some funding problems, causing the parade to be cancelled from 2004 on. Even though the event was intended as non-commercialized, the advertising space increased in 2006, making DJ Motte dissociate himself from the parade.

Incidents Leading to the End

It would be hard not talking about the Loveparade without mentioning the disaster that happened in Duisburg. On the 24th of July 2010, 21 people were killed and 651 were injured through a crowd crush, which means people in huge crowds are pressed so closely against each other they are unable to move and possibly can be suffocated while standing. At that day 1.4 million people were gathered on an industrial zone and were entering a 200-meter-long tunnel, heading toward a former freight station where part of the festival was taking place.

In the mid-afternoon, heavy congestion formed at the end of the tunnel – the underground passage was too small to allow such an immense crowd to pass. As the minutes went by, the human density rose dangerously. The festivalgoers soon could barely move their arms or even hands. At the core of the crowd, some no longer had enough room to breathe. Around 5 p.m. the first victims began to suffocate. After that, the Loveparade was officially cancelled in respect to the victims.

Hinter einer Menschenmenge leuchtet die Aufschrift "Loveparade 2006" auf einem Display
Denis Apel / CC-BY-SA 2.0 Germany Eine Aufnahme von der Loveparade 2006

The Revival of the Loveparade

Now there has been talk of reviving the legendary event. The original founder, DJ Motte, and his team want to collect donations for the non-profit organization Rave the Planet, calling it Fundraving. Their motives for reviving the Loveparade is the dying of the Berlin club scene at the moment, which is causing a lot of outrage by people, especially since Berlin is home to the techno scene. Whether the new Loveparade can live up to the glory of the old one or rather lives in the shadow of the disaster in Duisburg, is left to be seen, but one thing is for sure, we could all definitely need more love and music celebrated in our life.

Coverbild: Arne Müseler / www.arne-mueseler.com / CC-BY-SA 3.0

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