The first time Berlin hosted the Love Parade, in 1989, the Wall was four months from falling. It started out as a small political demonstration organized by Dr Motte, with about 150 guests attending. When the Wall fell, techno music streamed into East Berlin, filling the abandoned warehouses that were transformed, seemingly overnight, into clubs.
By 2000, the parade was the city’s largest tourist draw, bringing more than a million people to the Straße des 17. Juni, in downtown Berlin, every summer to see the biggest names in techno — including the likes of DJ Tiesto, Paul Van Dyk and Armin Van Buuren — perform at the base of the city’s Siegessäule Victory Column.
Recently, the Parade has faced some setbacks. No longer in Berlin, the parade’s 20th anniversary installment in Bochum was cancelled just this year. Critics say the parade — once a symbolic gathering of hardcore techno fans — has become a watered-down excuse to party, full of mediocre music, exposed breasts and poorly dressed weirdos tripping on ecstasy. Next year, the folks in Duisburg take on the task of reviving the parade. We wish them luck.
To read more about Techno in Berlin, pick up Museyon’s guide to Music+Travel Worldwide, where Siobhan O’Leary is your guide to Berlin in all its Techno Color glory.
photo by Fabien LeMarie/Flickr