Berlin’s Love Parade set for 2022 return

Articles, News // Mon 14 Feb 2022 - 09:48am

The Love Parade – a famed celebration of love and techno – is returning to Berlin’s streets in 2022 following a lengthy 12 year hiatus.

The birth of the Love Parade

Founded by Dr Motte, the parade first started in 1989, just after the fall of the berlin wall. It celebrated ‘peace, joy and pancakes’ alongside the newfound freedoms in the united city.

Growing from a small gathering in ‘89 to a whopping 1.5 million attendees, the Love Parade enjoyed an ever-increasing tsunami of popularity. However, there were many disputes between the council and organisers over security and cleanup costs.

Costly commercialism

In 2001 the courts ruled the Love Parade as a commercial event, they no longer deemed it a political demonstration. This meant the council no longer paid for cleanup costs – estimated to be €300,000 to €400,000. From that point onwards, the organisers were responsible for any aftermath, which set the festival up for a rocky and infrequent occurrence.

As attendance skyrocketed, so did opposition from Berlin’s local residents. They were at odds with the organisers and those in the council who supported the festival. However, very few arrests ever occurred and the parade was always considered generally peaceful. Also, it must be noted, that such a massive influx of tourism generated great economic benefits for the city.

Festival founder, Dr Motte, disassociated himself from the event in later years due to its increasing commercialisation.

The true cost…

The original festival ended in 2010 following a tragedy that injured 500 and took the lives 21 attendees, 13 women and 8 men, all aged between 18 to 38. A crush at the entrance of the ill-prepared site tragically cut their lives short.

In the wake of the tragedy in 2010, Dr Motte blamed festival organisers for lacking concern for partygoers.

It is just about making money; the organisers did not show the slightest feeling of responsibility for the people.”

– Dr Motte to Berliner Kurier newspaper

An interim police report revealed a catalogue of crowd management and planning problems. Contrastly, the Berlin Fire Brigade Command publicly criticised the police’s decision to cordon off the main exit/entry ramp. They stated the police’s actions were “very problematic with regard to operational tactics”, adding “for this reason, the Fire Brigade is against it”.

Below shows a documentary about the disaster released a few weeks after its occurrence. It is based on CCTV recordings, explanatory animations, documents, press reports and eyewitness accounts.

Founder Dr Motte retired from the Love Parade soon after the 2010 crush. Rave the Planet – the newly crowned organisers of the festival – aim to reignite the parade’s old spirit in Europe’s techno homeland. Rave the Planet is taking every measure possible to ensure the safety of its attendees. They are working closely with local authorities throughout every stage in the planning process.

No Lone venture…

It is clear that the world is desperate to see the return of celebration to Berlin, a 2021 crowdfunding campaign pulled in over 400 million euros to fund its return. Alongside this, Dr Motte himself has blessed the project. There is no lack of support for bringing the rave back to the streets of the German capital. With suggestions of ease in omicron cases heading towards the summer, 2022 looks set to be a monumental year.

Over to you Berlin…

Words by Charlie Jordan and James Barnes