Loveparade -- which claims to be the biggest dance music event in the world -- is waltzing off from Berlin after 18 years in the city.
Event organisers claim local authorities were unwilling to pick up the tab for rubbish disposal and were also keen to cut the size of the Loveparade procession considerably to save costs. The Berlin authorities declined to comment on reasons for the split.
Last year more than 1.2 million visitors attended the event, which claims to have attracted 9.8 million visitors since it began in 1989.
For the next five years the techno parade will be held in the Ruhr Area of Germany between Cologne and Düsseldorf, kicking off in Essen on August 25 this year, and moving to Dortmund (2008), Bochum (2009), Duisburg (2010) and Gelsenkirchen (2011).
Hanns-Ludwig Brauser, CEO of the region’s marketing company Metropole Ruhr, explained: "The world-famous Loveparade is a priceless gain for the image of the Ruhr Area that we would never be able to achieve with normal advertising."
He estimates that the region will be able to earn revenues of 120 million euros ($160 million) a year from the event.
Rainer Schaller, CEO of festival organizers Loveparade GmbH, put the costs of the Loveparade at 3 million euros ($4 million) per annum. The main sponsor will be the German fitness chain McFit, of which Schaller is also the owner.