Love Parade is the biggest meeting of Techno in the world. The tradition began 10 years ago with a several hundred ravers and has enlarged to a million and a half people. That's right: 1.5 million people. Held in downtown Berlin, the parade offers dozens of floats, each with its own "sound system". The floats walk up and down a long street (Unter Den Linden), going through Brandenburger Tor, a gate that used to divide East and West Berlin. Love Parade is an immense celebration of techno, the re-unification of Berlin, and all things wacky, tacky, and wild.
Assume taking a train at 6 am on a Saturday. It's filled with ravers and as it snakes towards Berlin, each time, each station is more densely replete with kids sporting “Run Lola Run” hair and Buffalo boots. Assume arriving in Berlin to discover the station screaming with the sound of hundreds of whistles, which were being sold by vendors outside. In contrast with American whistlers who go for rhythm (tweet-tweet!), German whistlers go for a long maintained shrill.
Now, assume being stuck in a big line outside a party. You can feel the music in the distance and everyone is agitated, so you know you're somewhere good, but you can't see past the back of the person in front of you. Now, visualize that the line you're stuck in is 1.5 million people long, and that you're in that line for 9 Hours. Visualize that it's hot and sunny. Now maybe everyone in that line has a secret, like a secret language perhaps, like German. Imagine the sound thousands of whistles going on and on, screaming in a never-ending tweet.
Conceive 6 miles of ravers, clubbers, acid casualties, and boring people dressed up as freaks-for-a-day. Visualize all these people brought together to enjoy the music they wish. Feel the energy. Ideate the smell of urine in the Tier Garten, the park that surrounds Unter Den Linden.
A million and half techno fans as a group in a day is something you just don't observe in America. If you look up “awe-striking” in the dictionary, you should observe a picture of Love Parade. It's something every American dancer should live just to see and feel that many people brought together for one party.
When: Jul 2009 (annual)