The Death of Dance?

Click on Love Parade to read about the event's triumphant return, or read on for a full history...

The biggest dance event in the world peaked in 1999, when an estimated one and a half million ravers flocked onto the streets of Berlin for one almighty celebration of love and hedonism. It was a fitting end to a decade which saw dance music explode from the underground and dominate airwaves and dancefloors alike for ten heady years. As the millenium ushered in a new era however the Love Parade, and dance music itself, began to decline in popularity. In 2002 and 2003 a mere 750,000 turned up for the event and sponsors began to get cold feet. When two major backers pulled out, organisers were forced to cancel the 2004 and 2005 Parades. Only time would tell whether the Berlin Love Parade was a spent force - a dinosaur of a past age; or a sleeping knight, ready to awake when the world needs him most!

The Love Parade began life as something of a political movement way back in the summer of '89, and four months before the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was organised on the initiative of Matthias Roeingh, aka "Dr. Motte", a DJ of the Berlin underground scene who wanted to use the international language of music as a medium for spreading peace and love, and promoting world unity. In his words: "Music knows no boundaries or nationalities." Some have argued that that these philanthropic sentiments were always secondary to the primary purpose of throwing a massive drug-fuelled, techno orgy.

Whatever the original motives, the Love Parade grew exponentially from its humble beginnings in 1989 - with one truck and 150 people - into the world's biggest dance festival. It became an event that completely took over Berlin for one day of every summer, right up until 2003. In fact by 1996 the event had already grown so big that organisers moved it from the Ku'damm (Kurf?rstendamm) shopping avenue in Charlottenburg to the Tiegarten Park, where the expansive Strasse Des 17. Juni could better accommodate the masses.

The Love Parade usually started about 2pm, going on to the evening and then splitting into innumerable afterparties at night as the whole city was transformed into a vast club. At its peak the Parade featured fifty gigantic trucks where up to 250 DJs would blast out house and techno to the expectant revellers. Two common tactics for enjoying the day were to either walk beside a certain truck that you liked the sound of, or to stay still and soak up the different vibes of each van and its followers. The liberal, hedonistic crowd soon became famous for their inventive dress sense, exhibitionistic - and often kinky - tendencies, and for their 'back-in-the-day' rave costumes, which would include furry leg-warmers, glow-sticks and of course plenty of whistles. The festival's original cries for love and tolerance were rarely impeached and incidences of crime were always surprisingly low for such a big event.

Despite it's enormous success in the '90s, in the mid-noughties the Love Parade was in serious danger of submerging completely. Originally billed as a political demonstration, the German state had been legally responsible for policing and clearing up after the event. However in 2001, after years of legal wrangling, the courts ruled that the Parade had become a commercial event and was responsible for paying for itself. At first organisers rose to the challenge and sponsors were found, but its declining popularity and perceived significance meant that, since 2004, the required capital could not be raised. There were many that thought the Love Parade would never raise its magnanimous head in Berlin again...

Thank the Gods above though, these pessimistic forecasts were banished in 2006 when the Love Parade made a surprise - and triumpant comeback. The organisers found new sponsorship and a staggering 1,200,000 people took to the capital's streets to celebrate the event's return. It seems that there is hope yet for peace, love and hedonism on Planet Earth!

Finally, if you can't make it to Berlin for the 2007 Love Parade, then just remember that the legacy of the Love Parade now stretches out to a number of amazing cities around the world: Santiago, Acapulco, San Francisco and Tel-Aviv were amongst hosts for parties in 2005 and 2006!

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kri100fer from Poland Reply Mar 28th, 2013

Najlepsza impreza plenerowa muzyki technicznej na Świecie, byłem tam w latach 1998/99/01, i nie przeżyłem nic piękniejszego !!!

Nic from United States Reply Jul 31st, 2010

agreed with jack.! jst got wayyy to rowdyy and the organization was messed up

Jack from United Kingdom Reply Jul 26th, 2010

"Death of Dance?", "Dance of Death?", Maybe it's just simply... "To Die For!"

lisa butler from Ireland Reply Jul 25th, 2010

my heart gos out to everybody who lost there lives .and to everybody who whitnessed the tragedy..and friends and families of the victoms! what a terrible way to lose a loved one..at an event supposed to be about the love a music and friends and fun! xxxxx R.I.P

Noreen Sweeney from Ireland Reply Jul 24th, 2010

RIP to all those who lost their lives and I hope the injured recover soon...and the organizers consider all aspects of safety next time, what a senseless loss of life!

dini from Canada Reply Jul 1st, 2010

I was in Berlin for the 1994 Love Parade. Actually, my ex and I just happened across it, on our way through Eastern Europe. I was so excited by it, that I wanted to visit Berlin on the way back. Berlin was fun during the Love Parade, but not such an exciting place after. The Linden trees though, are beautiful.

siobhan from Australia Reply May 24th, 2010

it is awsome so many sexy wemen

lizzy from United States Reply Apr 10th, 2010

OMG!!!!! i want to go soo bad, i saw the love parade first on a movie called "chacing liberty"..... and now i cant wait till ill turn 18 to go, im sooo excited!!!!!!!

Patricia from United States Reply Mar 3rd, 2010

this is great its not every day you can find something great to write about with a report but really is there that much nakedness to the parade?

Nya from United States Reply Mar 2nd, 2010

i want 2 go but im stuck @home nd board. im sexy so let me go but nooo i cant it luks soooo fun

Nya from United States Reply Mar 2nd, 2010

i want 2 go but im stuck @home nd board. im sexy so let me go but nooo i cant it luks soooo fun

shauna from United States Reply Oct 5th, 2009

Love the Parade whoop babey

Nick Niceman from United States Reply Sep 29th, 2009

Hope it will continue!!! I like MUCH!

yky2003 from China Reply Sep 27th, 2009

very nice

Jacqueline Quinn from Australia Reply Mar 22nd, 2009

hopefully the parade will neva die and hopefuly one day i'll get ove to Berlin to witness this cool festival

HANNAH LETHLEAN from Australia Reply Mar 16th, 2009

plenty of girls. sounds like my type of festival ;)

Daedube from Colombia Reply Dec 20th, 2008

Hello everybody, from Colombia, i went there in 2001 then fall in love with dance music, and now this year 2008 i went back to dortmund, I love berlin as it does for dortmund, hope loveparade never dies, this plur society, or this ppl dancing around for love peace, come on this is the best parade of the wolrd and electronic music guides all to this good porpouse, thx Germany!!!!

Shelby from United States Reply Dec 12th, 2008

Omg! im doing a report on this too! in my German class! my friend calls it the estacy-fest...lol...

Arissa from United States Reply Nov 11th, 2008

i am Doing a report on this

simon from Australia Reply Nov 11th, 2008

Guys every time I look at this site it reminds me of absolute unity and..........Love!!!It pains me that as yet I havnt been however most of my best memories have been of nights Ive been to in oz that your top ranking dj'S have played. Carl cox??? CHAMPION!!!fuken champion of our industry, FERRY CORSTEN??? 2 good doesnt deserve to be called a dj along with Carl cox he is an absolute "GOD" to each and every one of us!. I cant w8 to see the extravaganza that is LOVE PARADE and i cant congratul8 the organisres etc on there FANTASTIC work!In these times of financial meltdown,terorism,and hardship the ONE thing the only thing that unites the human spirit for love and unity is DANCE MUSIC!!!! keep up the gr8 work of promoting the parade and I hope its something my kids get to see when they are my age!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FUGen gr8 one guys.

simon from Australia Reply Nov 11th, 2008

Guys every time I look at this site it reminds me of absolute unity and..........Love!!!It pains me that as yet I havnt been however most of my best memories have been of nights Ive been to in oz that your top ranking dj'S have played. Carl cox??? CHAMPION!!!fuken champion of our industry, FERRY CORSTEN??? 2 good doesnt deserve to be called a dj along with Carl cox he is an absolute "GOD" to each and every one of us!. I cant w8 to see the extravaganza that is LOVE PARADE and i cant congratul8 the organisres etc on there FANTASTIC work!In these times of financial meltdown,terorism,and hardship the ONE thing the only thing that unites the human spirit for love and unity is DANCE MUSIC!!!! keep up the gr8 work of promoting the parade and I hope its something my kids get to see when they are my age!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FUGen gr8 one guys.

stevenmikeel nor from United States Reply Nov 10th, 2008

the love parade s probably the sexist parade in the world. dont lie you no its true

stevenmikeel nor from United States Reply Nov 10th, 2008

the love parade s probably the sexist parade in the world. dont lie you no its true

Patrick Gerald Kennedy from United States Reply Nov 6th, 2008

There is actually going to be the B-Parade, which is like the Love Parade light! That takes place in July 2009. I am going to go because I miss the Berlin Love Parade and the two outside of Berlin have sucked! Too many people for too small a town and it rained! So let me know if you plan to go and maybe we can meet up! This will be my 5th time I think!

Britney from Australia Reply Oct 21st, 2008

I can't wait till i can go to the love parade!!! it's gonna be fricken awesome!!! only 2 more years :P

Fer from Spain Reply Oct 19th, 2008

hola a todos, alguien va este 2009, yo muchas ganas de asistir y danzar.

watevee from Australia Reply Oct 8th, 2008

why is the love paarade so good like its just a parade nufin fancy!!!!!!!!! i think its boring

joe from United States Reply May 20th, 2008

i want to know more about the lay out and styles of the trucks im stuck in my home town and wating to get the age and finace to tavle to eather sand fransico or berlin

jenna from United Kingdom Reply Apr 9th, 2008

its sat 19th july- ul ave to go for near a week though for all the parties :D canny wait :D

nicki burke from United States Reply Apr 2nd, 2008

Yeah this is a bitchen PArade!!!! When is the next one?!!!

Jenna from United Kingdom Reply Mar 8th, 2008

Realy into my techno music- used to be a dancer- always heard about the love parade and always wanted to go, i told myself this year was the year :D going from the wednesday to the tues and cant wait :D

from United Kingdom Reply Mar 7th, 2008

I think 1.5 mill could be there.Last year in Essen the date was released to late so alot couldnt fly in ...Im partying friday night then heading back monday ..How did you know about the loveparade if you dont mind me asking?

Jena from United Kingdom Reply Feb 27th, 2008

cheers. yes 4 of us headers are flyin from Northern Ireland to London and then on to Dortmund. Do you think they wil get 1.5 million turning up at it? and regarding drink- do you bring your own alcohol????? i plan to party from the wednesday i get there til the tuesday :)

rhurbarb from United Kingdom Reply Feb 25th, 2008

It runs on till 12pm but there will be after parties going into late morning Jenna

rhurbarb from United Kingdom Reply Feb 25th, 2008

It runs on till 12pm but there will be after parties going into late morning Jenna

rhurbarb from United Kingdom Reply Feb 25th, 2008

yes you will love it ..Its a free open festival you just walk in and stagger out....guess your flying with easyjet cause that seems to be the only airline flying from uk

rhurbarb from United Kingdom Reply Feb 25th, 2008

yes you will love it ..Its a free open festival you just walk in and stagger out....guess your flying with easyjet cause that seems to be the only airline flying from uk

Jenna from United Kingdom Reply Feb 24th, 2008

I have booked flights for the love parade this year. Can i ask, I definately dont need a ticket do i? and does it run on all night? I DJ techno and house music- so do you all think i will love the love parade??? what about alcohol, do you bring your own??

alexandra from Colombia Reply Jan 17th, 2008

hey Ben from Australia why do you go to the love parade if you dont even like elektronik music!! it is obvious that you wouldnt like it , i also was there and it was awesome !! best party ever and i hope it can be in berlin again

ben from Australia Reply Jan 10th, 2008

i went last year it it the most boring thing in the world the music was shit and the girls were ugly

Manu from Portugal Reply Dec 1st, 2007

I was at the Love Parade in 2001, and I must tell you: I surrended! I didn't like tecno, and I still don't, but this party is so massive, so increadibly big and beautifull. I miss it very much when I see the pictures and videos... I hope to be back there one day. Long life to the Love Parade!!! Cheers!

Manu from Portugal Reply Dec 1st, 2007

I was at the Love Parade in 2001, and I must tell you: I surrended! I didn't like tecno, and I still don't, but this party is so massive, so increadibly big and beautifull. I miss it very much when I see the pictures and videos... I hope to be back there one day. Long life to the Love Parade!!! Cheers!

Alexandra from Montenegro Reply Nov 12th, 2007

I love Love Parade, and i think that I'm not old to dance, drink, and get crazy in 38!!!!

arash from United States Reply Nov 1st, 2007

hi ,i am from iran. i love all people in world, i like to go to berlin for love parade i saw it from vox tv i love freedom.i dislike ahmadinejad my people like all bye

Zen from United States Reply Oct 19th, 2007

I really want to go to th Berlin Love Parade! Maybe next year!

andrew from United States Reply Sep 11th, 2007

aahhh yeah!!! Das great!! IDONEUS!!!

justin s from United States Reply Sep 5th, 2007

I think the loveparade is the only place where anyone can go to express their love for music and each other...its AWSOME

Mil from United States Reply Aug 15th, 2007

The Love Parade is a Magical event that noone in this world should miss! It represents Love, Unity, Happiness, and Humanity in the best shape and form ever in the world. YOU HAVE TO GO TO AT LEAST ONE IN GERMANY THE BIRTH PLACE!!

VERTYGO from Romania Reply Jul 22nd, 2007

My rating of this page is poor because of some of this peoples brokened this magical atmosphere.I read all the comments smoking meenwhile some good sh*t,and i laughed many times on their opinions.i don't want to comment others but it seems to me that i have to deal with some of you people who don't have anything else to do just to critisize.Srry first for my bad english,but i'm a mad raver from romania,who was borned for electronic music,and desperately need some good material every single day(believe me i know you are many like me)But think about it,i'm busting my ass for further informations,not to mention financiary money and organisations of our small group who represent us from our poor country on the bigest electronic dance street parade worldwide,and then some of u came with questions & doubts.NOOO this year the loveparade will go on.the exact date is on 25 august 2007,in a big cultural town named ESSEN,near DORTMUND.If u don't believe me guys & chicks verify me on the official site of the LP.U will find many other details(that just in the case if u are really really interested of this party,not just make bad comments & critics).Just think about it this is the first time for me to make my dream come true and make it reality.Shame on those who went to LP once or twice as i read it and still judging this party.The message still remained L.O.V.E.& PEACE,understanding between this variety of nations unified under the flag of happinesss,joy fun,instead of violence and other bad behaviour.Finally what more i can say soem of u folks really disappoint me(for me people u are not real loveparade fans,shame on u.)Anyway ALL YOU PEOPLE u are welcomed on this mass party with warmness.Musicaly speaking u will sure find you're style.In ESSEN i think this will be the first time when will be dancing under the sunshine of techno,hard house,clubbin',progressive,minimal,electro,d & b,trance u.v.a.i will waiting for u people patiently like i'm waiting for this mega event(1 month remained).If some of u need a talk,just send me e-mails and u will receive a qucik response from me as soon as possible.For those who work hard,this is a great opportunity to relax & chill,and to forget all your problems.Until then love rullz & peace for all my soundloverz!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tany from Russia Reply Jul 20th, 2007

The love parade in Berlin is the gratest show that I ever saw.

rebk from Venezuela Reply Jul 7th, 2007

OMG.. this year the love parade was in my beatufiful magic diverse latin american country of VENEZUELA.. the 25 of june.. and i was beautiful beside some oraganitations issues that made the event finised earyer than expected =( 6pm(it supossed 2 star 8am/finish 8pm) still it was so magic and beautil so much music and people.. really wath venezuela needed !!! =D yeeeiii viva el amor y la paz electronica ;) ^^

bonkerz from Australia Reply May 13th, 2007

I went to the Love Parade last year and I have to admit I think about it everyday. What a show Berlin the city put on for us. Thank you Berliners!

Lilboyblue from United States Reply May 8th, 2007

O-man...christ on a bike the love parade is so amazing...picture it as a party in the stars and that everyone is invited. went to the 2003 parade and the 2006 parade! AAAAmaziung!

Patrick Gerald Kennedy from United States Reply May 4th, 2007

I am still waiting to see when and where the Berlin Love Parade is being held? Does anyone know? I need a place to dance and party outside and go wild with a lot of people. We just can't do it in Los Angeles. Please email me and let me know. I arrive in Europe july 2nd. Thanks Patgenken@yahoo.com

Daedube from Colombia Reply May 1st, 2007

the Loveparade is the greatest party in the world, is something magical that all the people should live and understand, the magic of electronic music, the spirit of it and how it shows the world how it should be. love never dies, as loveparade is going to be alwyas in our hearts as berlin is for all the people that go there.

Adrian from United Kingdom Reply Mar 27th, 2007

There in the 90's wot a pukka time!!!

50 p from United States Reply Mar 13th, 2007

ma live is sex+love+girl

dmitry from Latvia Reply Mar 8th, 2007

Love parade is the best way to have a relax!I LOVE that kind of relaxation!!!!