Love Parade 2003: Record Low At Berlin Love Parade – Techno‘s Not Dead! +++ I-DJ ARCHIVE SEPT 03

Ravers in Germany are, by definition, mainstream party people with no musical background whatsoever, whereas being a raver in England is seen as being a mad punter who‘s well into their music and rave culture (sic!). Ravers – the German variety – are the stereotypical attendants of the Berlin Love Parade, the annual highlight for many a German beer gut who does god knows but certainly not rave during the rest of the year. Thus wobbly people dressed in furry skirts, Buffalo boots and fluffy bras dominate the picture. Techno consumers overflow the city and fill it to the brim with child-like euphoria induced by lots of beer. Due to internal arrangements, catering popular tastes rather than exploring the possibilities of the widely varied field that is electronic music, the sound on the floats degraded gradually causing all excluded parties to create the Hate Parade, no called Fuck Parade. The general consensus nowadays is cheap trance which oozes in quavering waves from every truck as they pass by, bubbleblubbwashing the consumers so they react like Pawlow‘s dogs when the party reaches its climax to the DJ sets by populist DJs Westbam and Love Parade guru Dr. Motte at the Grosse Stern underneath the golden shadow of the Siegessäule.

By the time we set off with our Raveline truck, it already had become very obvious that there really were a lot less people than in the years before. But then: the people who danced around our truck were great! Real freaks! Some of them naked, some of them straight from the South American rainforests! Dutch people, zillions of Polish, English and American (right on!) nutters were surrounding us. As there was a lot more space than in previous years, dancing around the truck proved to be much nicer than being on the truck itself. And our line-up really was something to be proud of. Valentino Kanzyani of Recycled Loops-fame and fellow Slovenian Umek, who runs Consumer Recreation, played a harmonious and funky back-to-back set, Missile‘s Tim Taylor did a great job with his Moroder-style trancey Techno, and Mateo Murphy, a DJ from Montreal who co-produces Tiga‘s records, rounded it off nicely before passing over to German Fat Boy Slim Thomas Schumacher. I was delighted. I saw old ladies raving to our sound, families wiggling, seven-year-olds in fetish gear, beer-bellied men jumping up and down and police men shooting people with super soakers. It was a lawless state of happiness. The best Love Parade I had attended so far. Many others disagreed: the level of violence apparently reached new heights and lots of bag snatchers, arse gropers and other pervert spanners operated in the overcrowded areas.

Even though the Love Parade isn‘t overtly popular with the German techno people, being in Berlin during the Love Parade weekend is: countless events of great musical diversion attracted a vast crowd of freaks, techno tourists and part-time ravers alike. Whilst all the big and commercial events were struggling to draw enough people, the Tresor, Germany‘s most famous techno club, was full throughout. A great line-up guaranteed a steady influx of techno fans from around the world: on Thursday, DJ Rush mashed it up in the chamber of death, whilst upstairs, John Acquaviva was supported by Richie Hawtin – playing funky house! Normally quiet and timid in appearance, it was astonishing to see him dancing around drinking champagne! People from Ireland, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Poland, Lithuania, Brazil, South Africa, New Zealand and Estonia gathered in the outdoor chill-out and immersed in music, conversation and laughter.

Towards the end of the weekend, clouds began to open and all the mad freaks who gathered in the Tresor garden (only open on Love Parade Sundays – a traditional event) got soaking wet while they gave all they had to the artful tweaks of Speedy J and The Advent. The puddles exploded in cascades of mud when Chris Liebing schranzed the crowd in his driving loopy manner. When Dimitri Hegemann thanked the euphoric people in his final speech, many realised that the announcement the Tresor would close for good (it wasn’t by the end of this year as he said, yet he foresaw inevitable changes) was for real, and stood quietly. Thankfully, Hegemann isn‘t one to repent – he will come back with a vengeance, with a new idea that will outdo the eleven years of high quality Techno culture he established and nurtured with his club and label.

Text: Katrin Richter for “Around The World”, I-DJ Sept 2003.


Newsletter PlanetFriends CONTACT