The Berlin Love Parade is one of the greatest street parties ever! We loved it and hope it will be back soon to the capital city.
The Love Parade may have peaked in the late naughties, but it came of age in 1999 when the largest crowed ever, about 1.5 million people, celebrated the freedom of love and dance music. Up until 2006, Berlin's Love Parade was the place to be. But a clash over who pays for the giant security bill pretty much threw cold water on the hot times. There have been attempts to move the parade to other German cities, all with minimal success. Meantime, we'll keep our eyes on the prize and let you know what's up.
About the Love Parade
Back when it was booming, the Berlin Love Parade grew from an expression of solidarity and freedom after the fall of the Berlin Wall into a giant dance music phenomenon. The Love Parade was the elixer of the early post-Communist era. Perhaps it will be again.
The sheer size of the parade itself meant it was somewhat loosely organised at best, but once it got going in the mid-afternoon, it was an unstoppable force, crossing the city then melting into a seemingly infinite number of afterparties in clubs, flats and everywhere two people can get together.
One of the most common expressions of the parade is the hedonistic clothing, brought on by the youth-loving and tolerant crowd of straight and gay participants. Often, dancers sported bright, glowing colors, including on furry leg-warmers and faux-feather boas - mixed with leather and S&M styles. Half the fun was seeing how far people would push it outside of their ordinary daily lives.
Of course, one big party creates one big mess, and in some cases crime. But the Love Parade was pretty much good on the latter, with relatively few incidents reported. But the security and cleanup costs eventually became too much for organisers and officials, resulting in cancellation of the past 3-4 events.
Berlin after 1989 was an amazing experience. Anybody who was there remembers it vividly and will tell tales of the energy and excitement of the two worlds - West and East - colliding like surf at the beach. But that was 20 years ago and much has changed. The sort of rawness, especially of East Berlin, has given way to a first-class city. Business mingles easily with pleasure and electronic music has evolved into countless forms. From amazing shopping to clubs and pubs, Berlin is still the place to be.
If you're planning a visit, our partners can help you arrange your hotel and tours. If you're on the cheap, check out Berlin Hostels, and be sure to read up on the sights and things to do in the city. See you here!
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