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The Love Parade

Me and Larry's morning started pretty quietly at a cafe we'd found that served what almost passed as coffee.

24 Apr 2000

Over the past few days Berlin had been filling up, quick. All the backpackers dorms and lockers in the train station were full, and by now groups of people were sleeping in parks, totally kitted up for raving and whatever, and out of nowhere appeared a huge amount of hawkers selling whistles, the dreaded icon on the rave phenomena

Today, there was a steady flow of tall bronzed germanic types walking towards the main street where the parade was to be. Over the next few hours, this turned into a torrent of people, all equipped with drink bottles and whistles. We sat up in out dorm and watched out the 4th floor window for a while. A dj had set over the road and was spinning some cool tunes. No house here... pretty stonkin' techno, when some semi dodgy trance then back to the techno.

Sooner or later we moved on and joined the throngs walking towards the parade. This was mental... crazy assholes having water-shotgun wars up and down the street, tens of thousands of whistles going off in unison, people gurning out on the pavement, ambulances and police vans tearing through the crowd. They needed those loud sirens now...

We turned a corner on to the main road and there is was, about 5kms of road full of people... started walking towards the statue in the middle (i'll look up the names for all these things someday)... this is to road that you see all the troops goosestepping down in black and white war films... they're huge wide things with trees down each side. and right now, packed with hundreds of thousands of people under a blasting hot european sun...

Me and larry make our way down there. Out of the blue appeares Uri, a Japanese-girl-living-in-france who speaks a tiny but of english. She's out with her flash camera and tags along. The three of wend out way through the whistles, party freaks, drug dealers, ambulances and trucks with sound systems, djs and a party goin' on the back of them towards the middle of the parade.

By now people were climbing up the lamp posts, there were dozens of party trucks, and the police had pretty much given up trying to keep and kind of order. It was actually kinda ugly. lotsa drunk freaks everywhere... at one point we were going under a bridge with half a dozen police standing on it and a bunch of the crowd chanting seig heil sieg hail. We were trying to figure out how they meant it - it it was some sick in joke or if they were really hasseling the cops (who were laughing it up).

We moved out of the sun in to the bush at the side of the road and sat down for a bit before following up a dirt track, handing out Fun Poison stickers as we went... finally after well over an hour of dodging whistles and euros we made it to the perimiter of the center... the (i think) victory statue that points towards France all decked out with video walls and surrounded by a sea of people, helicopters, blimps and the Party Trucks circling it.

And that was about it. The trucks would roll on, stop, people would groove out to them, then they'd move along, all nicely coordinated. We watched for a bit, and a bit more, but we were really spectators at this stage... no nned to burn onself out by dinnertime. Tresor was calling this evening, and we left the masses (about a million of them) to their party.


Psi, Monday 6th September 1999.