Posted by Fingers on September 26, 2005 at 03:12:40:
I didn't hear about The Love Parade in San Francisco last year until after the event. I looked for it this year and made certain to check it out.
I attended the last Berlin Love Parade in 2003, so looked forward to seeing how it transferred to San Francisco. At this point the comparison is not favorable, but it will grow.
I took BART in to San Francisco as I figured parking would be horrible near the parade route, but I needent have worried as the crowds were not that big. In the Germany large mobile DJ's wander up and down the legnth of Berlin's biggest park, the Tiergarten. It peaked in 1989 with over a million participants. The big trucks would crawl through the crowd as people danced all around.
In San Francisco the parade was one way from 2nd Street to UN PLaza and City Hall. Most Market Street parade have massive barricades to hold back the spectators, but that was not the case for The Love Parade where everyone dances in the street. That concept hasn't quite made it yet, for many watched it like a parade, and some parade organizers tried to keep people away from the trucks. Back by the storefronts people walked the sidewalk just like normal. I was able to walk the full legnth of the parade route with very little difficutly, somthing that would have taken a long time to do in Berlin.
The organizers did a good job of setting up the plaza in front of city hall. Rather than have the trucks constantly moving they had them set up in pre-determined locations around the square. Crowds quickly formed and the dancing continued. In the center were food vendors, so the crowd had everything they needed to have a good time.
Public nudity has never been a focus for The Love Parade but some techno costumes do include nudity. There was far less in San Francisco than in Berlin, but it was still there. Nudity tends to increase as people have more to drink, and that may have bee the case here. Unfortunately I had an evening committment I could not get out of, and I had to leave at 3:30. Many people were still flowing into the square and riding in on the BART trains, so I have no doubt that the event continued to swell throught the afternoon.
The organizers rented a building right on the square to host a massive after party (limited to the first 10,000 ticket buyers) right there - a great idea.
The Love Parade is an event worth keeping an eye on!
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