The Love Parade 2010 was supposed to be like all the others before, a mega-party full of techno music and fun. Millions of people came from all over Germany and all over the world to be part of this festival and hear the many DJs perform.
I have attended two Love Parades when they were held in Berlin and had great experiences. The people and the atmosphere were amazing. We met people from all over the world who were all there to enjoy a good time. It was a party of gigantic proportions. It was not just about the parade; the city turned into a dance floor, with Techno music streaming from loud speakers at street corners.
Berlin used to be the home of the Love Parade, until the city decided it was no longer willing to deal with the massive clean-up following the event. Other German cities decided to host the annual mega event. This year, it was Duisburg.
What went wrong?
Organizers of the Love Parade 2010 had planned for 700,000 to 800,000 people. An estimated 1.4 to 1.5 million came, according to German news.
The area where the parade was held was far too small. Bordered by the main train station of Duisburg on one side and a highway along the other side, the entrance and exit through an underpass tunnel was inadequate.
Panic broke out in the tunnel leading from the train station to the Love Parade site. It was a deathtrap.
There was another tunnel on the other side leading to the site. It was already overcrowded, and nothing moved there. The site was so filled that people trying to get in were now faced with people trying to get out. Nothing moved at this end either. Then, a mass panic broke out, leading to a stampede that left 19 dead and as many as 400 injured.
According to CNN news, some of the victims were visitors from the Netherlands, China, Australia and Italy.
The whole country is in shock and mourning. Event organizers have said that there would be no more Love Parades in the future.