Around 500,000 dance music fans on Saturday (July 15) attended Berlin’s “Love Parade” street party, which returned after a two-year hiatus.
The 11-hour event was revived this year under the motto “The Love is Back,” after a shortfall in sponsorship forced its cancellation in 2004 and 2005.
Rainer Schaller, owner of the fitness-studio chain McFit, invested €2 million ($2.5 million) to bring the parade back and organized another 1€1 million ($1.2 million) from sponsors.
“The love parade has grown up”, says Schaller. “Techno is no longer the only music played during the parade, but also house, trance, progressive, elektropop and even live music. The sounds are softer and the beats slower.”
Launched in 1989 under the motto “peace and fun,” the original parade gathered only 150 participants on main Berlin street Kurfurstendamm. In the years to follow, it grew to be one of Europe’s biggest free outdoor music events. In its heyday in the 1990s, the annual dance music carnival attracted up to 1.5 million ravers.
A decision by local government in 2001 to strip the event of its status as a “political demonstration” meant that the city would no longer cover the clean-up costs.