We are very saddened to hear of the tragic loss of life over the weekend at the love parade, out hearts go out to the friends and families of those who lost their lives and all the others who were injured. How could this hell on earth have happened at what when I attended many years ago in Berlin could only be described as a techno fans idea of heaven?
Almost a million Love Parade attendees wound their way from the rail station in the summer heat and into a death trap. The industrial west German town of Duisburg has rarely seen such a grand spectacle or such a tragedy
Germany and the dance music world has been shocked by the events that ended in the deaths of 19 or more, and 340 injured. It was “the party from hell”, one local policeman said. Another attendee Kevin Krausgartner, a 21-year-old who was among those bottlenecked in the tunnel, described the scene to Welt “There were 25 people lying in a heap. I screamed – people could no longer get any air. I saw dead people, and one person was sitting there looking extremely pale. I wanted to give him some water, but the ambulance medic told me there was no point as he was already dead.”
Prosecutors have opened an investigation into the cause of the tragedy, but one thing is already clear for some unknown reason the normally calm festival at some point in the afternoon turned into a crazed and deadly stampede. The festival had received authorisation for 250,000 attendees b this number was vastly oversubscribed with approximately 1.4 million attending according to a Spiegel magazine report. When Berlin staged the Love Parade in the 1990s, the large crowds could spill over into the nearby Tiergarten park. But the Duisburg site is surrounded by high fencing keeping the dance fans trapped and squeezed in like sardines. “There have been serious management blunders,” said Dr Motte, the Berlin DJ and founder of the Love Parade.
The main problem appears to have been that the festival goers had to pass through a single long railway tunnel to enter the main festival compound. Hundreds of thousands ended up solidly packed into the virtually unventilated tunnel and many were stuck for several hours. Then at the tunnel entrance, some atendeeds tried to scramble up an escarpment. Some of whom tumbled backwards off ladders and into the crowd. This appears to have been on of the main triggers for a mass panic.
Many people were already fainting because of dehydration, and they too were lying on the ground as the crowd surged forwards and backwards. Doctors reported many punctured lungs and damaged livers and kidneys among the dead and injured.
In the aftermath Rainer Schaller on of the Loveparades’ organisers, announced that this would be the last Love Parade. The Love Parade, has been a highlight of the German dance calendar since 1989, and is the world’s largest techno party.
Big Edit: A further statement made by German techno legend Chris Leibing…
Chris Liebing on Love Parade 2010
5 days after the tragic events at the Love Parade in Duisburg / Germany, I would like to share my thoughts in a more detailed statement. First of all I want to again express my sincere compassion for all the relatives and friends of the victims, as well as for the injured and traumatized who will have hard times to recover from what they experienced. I am still shocked about what I have seen and heard so far.
The Love Parade has been developing throughout the 90s, parallel to what I would call the “Techno Movement”. More precisely speaking, the Love Parade has been an expression of this movement. It has been a movement beyond any profit or image seeking ideas, which developed completely self-sufficient out of the underground. It was all about celebrating, dancing and having fun together.
Over the years, the numbers of attendants have been rising, and so have the financial needs. The costs were rising (city cleaning, etc.) and so has the profit (for the community and the others involved), and suddenly there was a certain “image” attached, which brands could use to increase their value.
Looking back, it is actually a logical consequence and maybe also easy to recognize, that an event like this would eventually fall into the hands of people who see “celebrating, dancing and having fun together” not as the main reason to host a Love Parade. This would actually still be tolerable, as long as human life would not be endangered, but what happened here is beyond anything one would have ever imagined.
It is absolutely appalling and shocking that the responsible organizers of the Love Parade and the city council in Duisburg have misused the “Techno Movement” with those fatal results. In their striving for image and profit, they have disregarded all measures of control and security and put people who really just wanted to celebrate, dance and have fun together in a situation in which 21 innocent persons had to die and countless have been injured and traumatized.
I hope that it will be possible to entirely clear up what has happened and that the guilty persons will be held responsible and punished as soon as possible.
But even this will not lessen the caused pain.
The least we owe to those who have died and those who got injured, is that we make sure that something like this won´t happen again in the future. New laws and rules won´t really help. We have seen that we can´t even trust those who should make sure that those rules are getting observed.
To really change something, we have to start with ourselves. We as DJs, we have to be even more sure about the “Who” we are playing for and the “Where” we are playing at – only like this, the fans can get a better orientation of where it is worth going and where it is save to celebrate. Basically everybody can change a lot with his or her behaviour in this world. The more alert we go through life, the more conscious we can make choices between good and bad products, services, events or other things. Like this we minimize the scope of action for cold-blooded profiteers.
In memory of the victims of the Love Parade in Duisburg 2010,