Exclusive talk about the Love Parade & Upcoming Parade with Dr. Motte - Part 1
From an acid house lover to the father of techno in Berlin. He is a pioneer of the underground electronic scene and built a peaceful community. Inspired by the second Summer of Love in 1988, the world received the first Love Parade in 1989. Today we meet Dr. Motte.
What do you love about Techno and its community?
Techno and its community is open minded, creative, diverse, colorful, innovative and they stay together. The techno community lives a new good respectful way of life. A musically dancing community.
Which things inspire you for your music and events?
All techno events inspire me. It's a feeling of togetherness. We all love to enjoy the sound of the synths and bass and the rhythm and the breaks, the build up of the track. We love to dance, enjoy and celebrate what we have in common. We want to be happy and with this happiness we create our space to have a higher feeling all together.
Does the current pandemic inspire you?
Actually not. I'm often very sad and feel a bit like a prisoner. None of us have ever experienced something like this in our whole lives. No one would have even dreamed of something like this would actually happen. I am deprived of any control over my own life. I am no longer allowed to practice my profession because our culture has been like shutting down for a year. We were the first to be closed and we will be the last to be able to open again.
The German government spends hundreds of billions of Euros to support big companies and keeps the event industry at arm length and wasting away. To point that out: The event industry was the second strongest economic sector in Germany. Our politicians have no clue what art and culture, especially electronic music culture is about. We bring the reason why to society. Our politicians only listen to lobbyists which the event industry does not have. So we have to do it by ourselves by coming together for instance at Booking United: www.booking-united.org. Everything and everyone goes virtual right now, but our culture is built on togetherness. We overcame what separated us and we will do it, again!
Let’s go a little back in time. You are the founder of The Love Parade, the example of an event that represents open-mindedness and unified its people. Celebrating electronic music. It started out as a bigger birthday party for you, under the motto “Friede, Freude, Eierkuchen (Peace, Joy, Pancakes)”.The Love Parade grew out as one of the biggest peaceful gatherings we have seen to date. With 1.5 million attendees at its peak. How did you come up with the idea of creating a parade? What was your vision?
My intention to do the Love Parade on July 1st, 1989, in Berlin was to reclaim the streets for a street party and start a new positive movement. Not talking but dancing together which was inspired by the 2nd summer of love 1988 in the UK. The idea was to repeat the Love Parade again and again, every year, and to let it grow organically. It should inspire people in other countries to do the same, with the same spirit of inclusion and one day, there should be Love Parades in every country, at the same time. All people around the globe would peacefully dance together, remembering that we're all members of the same family: the family of humans on planet earth. This would be the day when world peace happens.
Do you have a favorite edition? Which ones were the most memorable?
For us, a small group of Acid House lovers back in 1989, the first Love Parade was big fun. We did something no one ever did before. That was an ultimate kick for everyone dancing at the first edition. To see how it grew in just ten years from 150 to 1.5 million participants in 1999 still makes me speechless. I have no favorite edition because every single parade had its own vibe and special moments. But of course, there will be nothing like the first parade because everything was new and we felt like the first humans to enter a whole new planet…
The most challenging factors of such an event and how did you handle them?
We all had very good learnings from one parade to the next. From a real beginner state to a big and professional organization team. This is only possible if city authorities, city offices, securities and the production team cooperate closely with each other. I am very thankful that this was possible. At the end, it also can be seen as a huge marketing for the city of Berlin and its creativity on all levels. We started to turn the image of Berlin completely and shaped it into one the sexiest cities on the planet - till today!
Sadly in 2005 because of funding issues you need to put a step back and The Love Parade gets bought by Rainer Schaller’s company. The event becomes commercialized, taking place in different locations. In 2010 the last event ended abruptly by a drama.
How do you reflect on it today?
To sell a grown cultural brand, what the Love Parade was, to someone who actually had no clue about the culture and just wanted to do marketing for another company, was the worst decision ever. The decision was made by four of five shareholders of the Loveparade Berlin GmbH and even though I had the possibility to veto, in the end I also agreed because my intention was to preserve the Love Parade for future generations. But things didn't go as planned and the Love Parade 2010 in Duisburg ended up in this dreadful disaster. I feel very sorry for everyone who was injured or killed that day. Till today, the investigations show no one who’s responsible for the disaster.
What went wrong that didn’t go wrong earlier? What was the difference compared to your events?
When we did the Love Parade in Berlin and I was involved, our main thing was safety. Always safety first. We planned with quick emergency routes for whatever could have happened and a decentralized entry and exit to the parade. Duisburg and the whole venue was completely unsuitable for an event like the Love Parade.
Which lessons did you learn that are useful for your new upcoming event?
Start planning very, very soon. Write down the ideas. Make a concept. Talk to the right people. Focus on the basics. Listen to experienced people and involve them. Always reflect that all you do carries the true spirit of the electronic dance movement: peace, love, unity and respect.