The Love Parade in Berlin is the main event for all friends of Techno / housemusik and summer is the Christmas present. Although the official press release hasn’t been made yet, the travel agencies are already gearing up for this year’s Parade travel and preparations for this year’s Love Parade are under way. They include – as with every year – the objection of the Berlin-Tiergarten District, through which the Parade should go.
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Tiergarten’s Urban Planning Surveyor Porath has submitted his protest to the use of this stretch, because back in 1997, damages reached DM 267,000. This is certainly an outcome to be avoided this year. With respect to this, the following alternative routes are under consideration: Bismarckallee, Karl-Marx-Allee and Frankfurter Allee. Last year a record number of people came. In keeping with the rule of previous years, twice as many are expected this time. Each year since its founding, the number of ravers at Love Parade has doubled.
It all started with a little posse of “technoider” in 1989: 150 remarkably cheerful young people who danced around a clapped out VW bus for “Peace, Love and Pancakes”. The initiator of the Love Parade, the well known Berliner DJ Dr. Motte (aka Matthias Roeingh) said “Peace stands for disarmament, love/happiness stands for better understanding between peoples through music, and pancakes for the fair distribution of food throughout the world. The Love Parade should show how living together could be: tolerant, respectful, full of love and love of peace. After all those are the ideals which are present in all people and that people expect from others.”
The application to demonstrate submitted for the Love Parade 1995 on March 13th contained the statement;
“With this Love Parade we wish to demonstrate for peace in the world. Specifically we demand a cease fire in Bosnien, Tschetschenien und Mexiko” visionary aims. Jurgen Laarmann, one of the organizers of the Love Parade and publisher of Germany’s biggest techno magazine, has played a little calculation game.
“If we assume that the amount of people doubles every year we’ll have the whole of the world’s population on the Love Parade by the year 2010”. A game with numbers and a hope connected to the event by the organizers. Dr. Motte “All cultures of the world have danced since forever. So the Love Parade is in the act of becoming a new and good tradition, to be a symbol for the world.”
A symbol that was not understood by the Berlin authorities for a long time. IN May of 1995 the polizei pr?sidium in Berlin answered the application to demonstrate with a refusal.?”The experience of that year’s event showed that with this Love Parade there was absolutely no collective, politically relevant statement made.”
They were of the opinion that the Love Parade is not a demonstration but a techno-party on the open streets that only makes an impression by its loudness/noise. A slap in the face for the supporters of the Love Parade , initially they had received a positive reaction from the Berlin politicians.
Innen Senator Dieter Heckelman, (who was initially responsible for the refusal) said in answer to a question in the Berlin Senate about the event “The opinion of the Senate for economy and trade is that because of its positive media image the Love Parade creates a very good picture of Berlin as a modern city, open-minded towards the young music scene and happy to receive all the young tourists that the event attracts.”
Ingrid Stahmer, the SPD candidate for Mayor in the October elections expressed herself similarly: “The motto of the Love Parade transmits world wide the political tendencies of the young generation.”
It is a demonstration! “What else?” asked Ralf Regitz, one of the organizers. “We represent a political tendency. The only new thing is that we’re not against something, we’re for something and the way we express ourselves is unusual for some people.”
The huge protest and maybe the elections around the corner helped. Just as the Innen Senator went for a short holiday his deputy, State secretary Kuno B?se decided that the Love Parade is a demonstration. Germany’s biggest demonstration after Mutlangen, Wackersdorf and Startbahn West has become a symbol for a new demo-culture. A new and unusual form of expression-Dancing instead of rioting, and through a “rubbish prevention concept” that the organizers of other large events can only dream of, 330 people will work for six hours as “trash terminators. ”
They will be responsible for trash sortation and avoidance of rubbish production. The Love Parade initiators wish to avoid a similar garbage problem as was created last year on the Ku’damm, one of this years slogans is “Make love not litter”.
Another piece to the puzzle of holding back the litter landslide is the Cigarette firm RJ Reynolds offer to distribute water in returnable plastic beakers free of charge. The oranganizers have also tried to get all the other party promoters to work together in a designated area called the “love info pool” to avoid their flyers and fanzines being thrown out all over the streets.
There the ravers will be able to collect all the available information about the many parties and events following the parade itself. The mountains of rubbish left behind the Love Parade 94 was the most targeted point of criticism. Giving the go-ahead for the parade was made a little easier for Berlin as the state will have to carry very little of the costs. Rubbish costs money!
The cleaning up action would normally have had to be paid for from the tax payers money. The waste desposal companies ALBA and BSR are taking over the job for free, bringing together two firms normally in competition with another showing co-operation, interest and engagement.
The Love Parade brings people from all spheres of life together- a new phenomena in the 90’s, of which one can normally only say, that it is a time of isolation and alienation. And so “Peace on Earth” gains new meaning.
See you there!