BERLIN – The founder of the Love Parade electronic dance party, which was huge during the 1990s in Berlin, has applied to UNESCO to have techno music classified as an intangible cultural heritage.
Matthias Roeingh, aka Dr. Motte, presented an initiative to relaunch the iconic street party that by the year 2000 registered over one million attendees.
Subsequent years saw a steady decline until the techno-parade was called off after a tragic event in 2010 killed 21 ravers and injured over 600 others in a crowd crush.
Dr. Motte now seeks to raise donations through the Rave the Planet organization.
The platform has also applied to have techno music recognized as intangible cultural heritage, a denomination that Dr. Motte thinks would safeguard the original street party he created.
The DJ and creator of Love Parade, aged 59, believes that his campaign can also support the thriving techno scene in Berlin’s clubs which have long been at the mercy of the so-called Club Death, at the hands of property developers, even though nightlife and fringe culture have long been a central part of the capital’s identity.
Several of the city’s legendary clubs have been forced into closure and many others struggle to keep doors open and music blasting out of their speakers.
Real estate speculation and a shift in trends put pressure on a clubbing scene that despite all odds continues to be one of Berlin’s sought after cultural events that draw in droves of tourists and locals alike.
Born in 1989, the first edition of Love Parade saw barely 150 revelers join Dr. Motte’s party which was conceived as a political demonstration in the form of a party.
Ravers on that historic day dancing down the Kurfürstendamm Avenue behind a van with techno pumping out its speakers.
A seed was planted and the party soon became a mecca for electronic music lovers the world over.
Between 1999 and 2001 over one million attendees flocked to the street party.
From then on numbers began to dwindle.
Administrative issues about the event’s organization emerged, including the distribution of expenses for the collection of garbage generated.
The party moved to other cities in Germany, although without Dr. Motte as organizer and soul of the party.
The final blow to the party was the tragedy that occurred in 2010, in Duisburg.
This former mining basin of the Ruhr, in the west of the country, welcomed the Love Parade as a recipe to relaunch internationally.
The initiative resulted in catastrophe when panic broke out among the crowd of attendees.
Thousands of young people were trapped in the only tunnel of access to the enclosure, which was insufficient for the number of people at the party, some 600,000 people.
Twenty-one young people of various nationalities died.
The number of wounded stood at 650.
In 2017, a trial was launched against 10 people allegedly responsible for the tragedy – six employees of the Duisburg council and four employees of the organizing company.
The trial had a gargantuan format, with more than 3,000 witnesses.
It ended with the acquittal of seven of the defendants and economic sanctions for the rest.