Love Parade ‘can’t save techno’
By BBC News – Friday, 12 July, 2002
Copyright: BBC News
Up to one million people are expected in Berlin for its massive annual techno party, the Love Parade on Saturday.
Some 40 trucks laden with dancers, loudspeakers and some of electronic music’s best-known DJs will parade down the wide boulevard that bisects Berlin’s Tiergarten park.
But as the parade gets under way, one of the city’s most legendary techno clubs says it is being priced out of the city.
The legendary Tresor club, one of the last remaining venues specialising in techno music, has now been given until the end of the year before it is demolished to make way for a six-storey office and apartment block.
The plight of the clubs has led to the formation of the Club Commission, a lobby group with around 50 members which is trying to raise the profile of clubbing in the eyes of the authorities.
Commission administrator Olaf Kretschmar said: “The club scene is a part of Berlin. It is not just about discos – it’s a whole culture.”
The Love Parade began 13 years ago, as 150 people dancing up West Berlin’s main shopping street behind a solitary float.
The event grew to the point where 1.5 million partied in the streets in 1999, though recent years have shown a decline.
Now the techno clubs claim that their whole musical culture is under attack from developers changing the face of the German capital.
“We need rooms that can speak, that have charisma, that had a previous life,” said Tresor’s business manager, Regina Baer.
“A room that is just made of steel and concrete creates a really distinctive sound, which inspires the DJs and the musicians.”
Tresor and many other clubs struck temporary leasing deals with the authorities at the time of German reunification.
They moved into derelict warehouses and industrial buildings that stood abandoned in the no-man’s-land that had divided east from west.
“The biggest problem for us is that there is nowhere suitable for us to go to,” added Ms Baer.
The Love Parade itself faces other problems.
Last year numbers were down after confusion over whether the rave would be allowed to go ahead.
This year there have been worries about a possible terror attack, according to the mass-circulation daily Bild – though police have said they have no real evidence of any danger.
There were also protests about the noise levels of the parade – though a city court ruled this year’s event should go on.