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Culture

Berlin to Feel the Love Once Again as Parade Returns

Concerns that the Germans would experience a massive depression after the World Cup ends on July 9 have been allayed thanks to news that the world famous Love Parade will be back this year after a two-year absence.

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Drivers in Berlin can expect some heavy congestion this July

Anyone fearing the crash after partying for a month with soccer fever will be able to channel what's left of their energy into the high-octane techno event which, until 2004, brought Berlin to a whistle blowing crawl of gyrating bodies and banging beats every year since it began in 1989.

The 2006 event, expected to attract around 1 million techno fans and World Cup refugees will take place on July 15, just six days after the final game of the championships.

"We believe the Love Parade is alive," Dr. Motte, the pseudonym of Love Parade founder and organizer Matthias Röingh, told reporters at a news conference to announce the festival's revival after a two-year hiatus. "It's a fitting conclusion to the World Cup."

Dr. Motte

Dr. Motte alias Matthias Röingh brings the Love

The Love Parade will live again in the city that gave birth to it thanks to a cash injection from Rainer Schaller, owner of McFit, Germany's largest fitness studio chain and the Parade's key corporate sponsor. In recent years the Parade was moved to Austria, Switzerland, Britain, Israel, South Africa, Mexico and San Francisco.

"The Love Parade is a German export hit. This brand has achieved cult status and is known worldwide. That this mega event should not take place in its homeland just because of financial problems was unacceptable for me," said Schaller.

From a street party of hundreds to a parade of over a million

Love Parade 1999

Almost 1.5 million ravers turned up for the Parade's high point in 1999

Beginning life as a street party for around 200 people in West Berlin in 1989, the party became a parade after the fall of the Berlin Wall. After Germany became one again, the parade expanded rapidly and became a symbol for Berlin's hip and revitalized image during the heady, euphoric days of the 1990s. At its height, the parade attracted 1.5 million ravers.

However, the event began to slip into financial trouble at the turn of the century after it lost its status as a demonstration in 2001 and was on the point of virtual collapse two years ago. Paying costs for services which it previously enjoyed for free, such as blocking off roads, relocating bus stops and cleaning up the massive amounts of rubbish left behind by party-goers, left the Parade hemorrhaging cash.

But now Rainer Schaller's shot in the Love Parade arm will revive its flagging financial fortunes and get the show on the road once more.

Cash injection the only shot in the arm organizers support

Love Parade in Berlin, Raverin

From dusk 'till dawn...'till dusk again...

However, an economic "upper" is the only additive the organizers are likely to advocate. "I think the Love Parade should be saying we think drugs are uncool," Dr Motte told the press conference, adding that booths will be set up at the festival to educate the revelers about the negative effects of drugs. Ravers at the Parade often rely on stimulants to keep them dancing for days without interruption.

Dr. Motte also said the festival's organizers were discussing the security situation with German police and other authorities to assure that the party is as safe and orderly as possible.

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