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Sunday, 22 July, 2001, 17:53 GMT 18:53 UK
Berlin Love Parade's messy future
Berlin Love Parade
The event is said to be the world's biggest dance party
Organisers of Berlin's Love Parade are attempting to clean up the mess left by Saturday's huge dance music event - both in terms of financial losses and rubbish-strewn streets.

More than 800,000 ravers gathered in the city for this year's annual techno street party.

Aftermath of the Berlin Love Parade
Parade organisers have to pay the clean-up bill
But the event lost DM 1.5 million (467,000) after sponsors pulled out amid confusion over whether it would take place, organisers have said.

The losses are compounded by the DM 1m (311,500) clean-up bill that organisers must pay for the first time.

Those behind the event have said they must now reach a deal with city authorities so the parade, which first took place in 1989, can go ahead in the future.

City officials have said they will continue to support the all-day dance party, which pumps millions of marks into the city's coffers.

Damage fears

Mayor Klaus Wowereit told local television: "It's an important event that should stay in Berlin."

The confusion over this year's event arose when some groups tried to block the free festival from taking place because they feared revellers would damage the capital's central Tiergarten park.

Ravers
Ravers have been coming to the parade since 1989
A row ensued as environmentalists stopped the event from taking place on its usual date, the second Saturday in July.

But organisers managed to settle on a later date after weeks of discussion with the Berlin authorities.

Germany's highest court also ruled that the event could not be classed as a political demonstration - meaning organisers must pay for the clean-up, instead of the city's taxpayers.

The event did go ahead - but with lower attendance figures than last year.

'Techno-wagons'

Police put the final figure of revellers at 800,000 - down on last year's attendance of 1.3 million.

But the event is still believed to be the world's biggest dance music party.

Ravers and floats
Some 50 "techno-wagons" rolled along the route
The festival saw DJs on 50 "techno-wagons" serve up techno music along the route of the parade, which went down the city's central June 17th Avenue from the Brandenburg Gate to the Victory Monument.

Police made 180 arrests on the boulevard bisecting the Tiergarten park, mainly for theft and drugs offences.

Almost 4,000 people were treated by medical personnel, with 466 taken to hospital.

Police presence

Most were suffering from exhaustion and circulation problems, with about 10% of the ailments due to drugs or alcohol.

Some 2,000 police, 900 first-aid workers and five ministers were out on the streets along with the party-goers.

To add to the parade's troubles, some star DJs such as Sven Vath and Marusha did not take part because they say it has become a commercial event rather than a celebration.

A similar event in the UK, the Newcastle Love Parade, had also been due to take place this weekend but was cancelled at a week's notice over safety fears and unresolved transport issues.

See also:

11 Jul 99 | Europe
Berlin gets loved up
22 Jul 01 | Music
Berlin Love Parade in pictures
11 Jul 99 | Europe
In pictures: A city in love
21 Jul 01 | Music
Berlin ravers party on
04 Apr 01 | Music
No love for Berlin parade
13 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Zurich throbs to techno beat
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