Pubdate: Sun, 09 Jul 2000
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Copyright: 2000 San Jose Mercury News
Contact:  750 Ridder Park Drive, San Jose, CA 95190
Fax: (408) 271-3792


Dancers From All Over Cram Berlin Streets For World's Biggest Street Party, 
Love Parade

BERLIN -- More than 1 million people danced to the booming beat of techno 
music Saturday at the annual Love Parade, turning central Berlin into a sea 
of sweaty bodies, shaggy pink outfits and shrill whistles.

High-spirited youths from across Europe and beyond jammed the route through 
the Tiergarten park for the world's biggest techno rave street party, 
uniting behind its theme of music as a peaceful, globe-spanning force.

``It's cool, it's outrageous and everyone is having a good time,'' said 
Andrew Lin, a 21-year-old from New Jersey who dropped in on the party 
during a European trip.

Organizers said they fell short of their goal of attracting 1.7 million 
people to Berlin. But there was a simultaneous parade for the first time in 
Leeds, England, to underline this year's motto of ``One World, One Love 

Colorful floats and hair

More than 50 truck-drawn floats pumped out pounding beats as traffic ceded 
to a mass of bobbing orange- and green-haired youths, often in the 
skimpiest attire, clustered around the landmark Victory Column on the axis 
leading to the Brandenburg Gate.

``It doesn't matter what country you come from,'' said Dutchman Bern 
Schneidisch, 20. ``We all party.''

With beer and party drugs fueling much of the action, the ``parade for 
respect, tolerance, communication between peoples and love'' also had its 
usual glitches.

Police said they detained more than 100 people -- about a third for selling 
drugs -- mainly ecstasy -- others for buying drugs, theft or vandalism. 
Medics helped some 600 of the ``ravers'' who had collapsed by mid-evening 
- -- though the trend was lower than last year because temperatures barely 
reached 68 degrees.

During the Love Parade, a fire broke out in a subway train, leaving about 
30 passengers suffering from smoke inhalation. The train with 350 people 
aboard had stopped at a station when the smoky blaze broke out, sending 
passengers fleeing into the street. Authorities were investigating.

But the party mood prevailed as many ravers headed off for a long night in 
Berlin's techno clubs after the parade.

Change over years

To help with the aftermath by cutting down on garbage, city officials 
required drink sellers in the party zone to charge a deposit for beverage 
cups for the first time.

That was just one sign that the event has come a long way since its 1989 
debut as a public birthday party for Love Parade founder Matthias Roeingh 
- -- better known as ``DJ Dr. Motte'' -- and 150 friends on western Berlin's 
main shopping boulevard.

Now the parade has corporate sponsors, pumps $125 million into the local 
economy and has copyrighted its name.
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MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart