Neon bodypaint, string vests and no-frills floor four beats will be back on the streets of Berlin this weekend as legendary techno event Love Parade returns to the German capital after a hiatus of more than 15 years.
Saturday’s outdoor daytime event has a new name – the Rave the Planet Parade – but is organized by some of the same people who organized the first Love Parade on the eve of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
“The original spirit of the Love Parade hasn’t been around since 2003,” founder Matthias Roeingh, aka Dr Motte, told electronic music magazine Resident Advisor. “Now is the time to reactivate this spirit and make it available to everyone. »
The Love Parade under its former name was halted in 2010, when 21 people were suffocated and 652 others were injured in a crowd disaster in the western city of Duisburg, where the event had moved after selling its rights to denomination to the owner of a chain. of fitness studios in 2005.
The new non-profit parade will leave at 2 p.m. and travel 7 km through the German capital, from the Kurfürstendamm boulevard in the west to the Großer Stern roundabout in Tiergarten, where a final rally will take place.
Originally scheduled for 2021 but rescheduled due to the pandemic, the event was funded by small donations, with which donors could purchase mini raver figurines which were added to a parade of models on display in central Berlin, and live-streamed “fundraver” DJ sets.
Organizers said the parade had been recorded as a demonstration with 25,000 participants – a far cry from the 1.5 million that marched through Berlin at the peak of the Love Parade in 1999, but also a bigger chant than the 150 ravers at the inaugural event.
Around 150 electronic artists will perform on floats representing Berlin, Sweden, Belgium, Estonia, Poland, Ukraine and the Netherlands, among others. A UK float will be brought to life by Save Our Scene, a campaign founded to keep the UK’s independent electronic music scene alive during the Covid-19 crisis.
If the original motto of Love Parade, Peace, joy and pancakes (“Peace, Joy, Pancakes”) was gleefully nihilistic, Rave the Planet Parade comes in a bit more serious form.
Organizers told the Guardian they had kept in touch with friends and families of the Duisburg crash victims and had decided not to hold a memorial event after consulting with them.
Instead, political demands will echo in German and English over the loudspeaker every hour, some seriously, some more ironic.
They include calls for an end to the decades-old Good Friday ‘dancing ban’, an unconditional basic income for artists and cultural workers, and recognition of Berlin’s techno culture in as intangible cultural heritage in the UNESCO inventory.
For Sunday, it is planned to recruit volunteers to retrace the steps of the ravers and pick up the trash. Confetti, organizers warn, is pretty but not biodegradable.
The techno parade returns to Berlin about four months after the city’s nightclubs reopened in early March, following nearly two years of lockdowns and strict hygiene rules.
During the clubland shutdown, many young Berliners have found makeshift parties in the city’s public parks an acceptable alternative and seem to have developed a taste for open-air clubs: Berlin senate debates ban alcohol in the parks to put the brakes on the party going on.