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BERLIN, Germany (Reuters) — Germany will revive its famous “Love Parade” this summer after a corporate sponsor rescued the techno street party from bankruptcy, the festival's founder and main organizer said on Tuesday.
Dr. Motte, the pseudonym of Love Parade founder and organizer Matthias Roeingh, said he expected around 1 million techno fans to converge on the German capital to gyrate to the beat of electronic music during the weekend of July 15 — six days after the 2006 soccer World Cup ends.
“We believe the Love Parade is alive,” he told reporters at a news conference to announce the festival's revival after a two-year hiatus. “It's a fitting conclusion to the World Cup.”
Rainer Schaller, owner of McFit, Germany's largest fitness studio chain and the Parade's key corporate sponsor, said it was time to bring the Love Parade home. In recent years the Parade was moved to Austria, Switzerland, Britain, Israel, South Africa, Mexico and San Francisco.
“The Love Parade is a German export hit. This brand has achieved cult status and is known worldwide. That this mega event should not take place in its homeland just because of financial problems was unacceptable for me,” said Schaller.
The Parade began as a street party of some 200 people in a divided Germany in 1989, but expanded rapidly after the Berlin Wall collapsed.
It became a symbol for Berlin's hip image during the 1990s, with the number of attendees reaching as high as 1.5 million. But it waned in recent years before descending into virtual financial collapse two years ago.
The Love Parade started generating losses after it lost its status as a demonstration in 2001, which forced it to pay for many services which the city had provided free of charge before, such as blocking off roads, relocating bus stops and cleaning up the massive amounts of rubbish left behind by revelers.
Dr Motte said the festival's organizers were discussing the security situation with German police and other authorities to assure that the party is as safe and orderly as possible.
He also said they would set booths up at the festival to educate the revelers about the negative effects of drugs, which are quite popular among many participants who often rely on them to keep dancing for days without interruption.
“I think the Love Parade should be saying we think drugs are uncool,” said the well-known techno DJ.