Loveparade :: Germany

What started in Berlin as an alternative parade for 150 peace and techno loving partiers in 1989 has grown exponentially over its 20 plus year history reaching a record 1.6 million revelers in 2008. The Love Parade (actually shortened to the one word moniker “Loveparade”) in Germany is one of the biggest and most adored festivals in Europe. The Cold War had separated east and west for over 40 years and those in the heart of the struggle felt they needed to make a statement of openness and togetherness in the spirit of glasnost. Loveparade was born as a child of both the zeitgeist of the late 1980s and the need of the people of Germany to lift their spirits with love, laughter, and music. The first parade may have been small, but the peace demonstration grew over ten fold by the next year and to well more than 6000 the year after showing that the people of Germany were ready for the justice and reunification they were petitioning for.

Year two saw six trucks serving as musical floats each pumping out techno, house, trance, drum n’ bass, and other local varieties of electronic dance music. Subsequent festivals featured as many as 45 of these floats each bringing a slightly different beat and keeping the thousands upon thousands of celebrants moving and grooving. As walls fell and old enemies became new friends Loveparade eventually lost its status as a demonstration in 2001. Attendees refused to let this dampen their mood and continued to jam out that year in their “Love Republic”.

This free spirited atmosphere has often times led partiers to being a little freer when it comes to dress code; so those with more Puritan sensibilities may want to steer clear of this high energy shin dig. You are guaranteed each and every July to see something scintillating, exciting, sexy, and fun. Unfortunately due to financial troubles, civil engineering issues, and political disputes Loveparade went dark for a few years. Thankfully, the band(s) played on and 2010 will again see the lights and sounds of peace and love in Duisburg, Germany.

Loveparade is always free and open to all ages in an effort to promote tolerance, fairness, and equality among all prospective celebrants. Colorful, loud, boisterous, are just a few of the many adjectives that can be used to describe this summertime staple. Despite the freedom, organizers do set up a few ground rules. Frowned upon are drug use, public drunkenness, littering, and any form of aggressive behavior. If you can follow these few simple guidelines you will be in for the best street party of your life. So relax, stay cool, and enjoy the plethora of entertainment brought to you by the peace loving dance junkies that are the Loveparade.

Fodor's Germany (Full-color Travel Guide)
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Rick Steves' Germany 2012
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