I never really wanted to post anything sad or depressing on my blog but the news from the Love Parade on Saturday did affect me quite badly, and I’m sure many others, so I do feel compelled to say a few words.
I am very lucky in that I have only experienced death close to me when my grandad died when I was 12, and he was ill for some years so I was expecting it.
Having been to the Love Parade when it was in Berlin in 2006, and had one of the best days of my life there, I kind of feel connected to the people who suffered from the tragedy, not only because I went there, but also because they are the same kind of people as I am, people who share the same love of house/techno music, people who believe in the same kind of values that the music espouses, people who I may well have shared a dancefloor with somewhere across Europe. It is just like dance music’s Hillsborough moment to me.
It doesn’t really make a lot of sense, though having experienced how out of control one’s movements can become in a crowd of 1.2 million at Berlin where people were pushing in opposite directions at the same time and it really did become very squashed for short periods of time, but luckily that was all in an open space so the crowd was never squashed for more than a short period of time as it was flexible – tunnels and walls are not flexible.
As I mentioned earlier the Berlin Love Parade was one of the best days out I have ever had in my life; 1.2 million people all dancing and enjoying music from 40 different floats, and also a few stands, people and DJs from all over the world, representing so many different forms of dance music – I met and talked to people from countries all over the world that I had never before, and saw so many erm, interesting sights like the man dressed in just post-it notes – it was such a happy occasion filled with the most amazing people, any of whom could easily have been a friend, and for that day 1.2 million people were. Even the German version of our chavs.
And the random American tourists who had come to see where Hitler had paraded his troups 60-70 years ago before going on a murderous rampage, who were totally bemusic by 1.2 million happy people from all over the world, dancing away to everything from Tiesto, to Detroit Techno, Drum’n’bass, house and nose-bleed Gabba.
What started as a celebration between a few techno fans driving cars around the city of Berlin to celebrate the demise of the Berlin Wall which had kept not only a city and country divided but a whole continent; and became a huge behemoth of a celebration has now had a very sad demise.
What is even sadder but totally understandable is that the organisers clearly feel unable to run this again as the tragedy will totally go against everything they believe in. Personally I would love now to see lots of smaller Love Parades the same day in cities across Europe, as a mark of respect but I cannot see it happening. Sadly I think many city authorities and organisers of events will think twice now before organising any music events without tickets.