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July 21st Is Love Parade Day in the UK (AND Berlin)

Author: Skruff
Sunday, July 15, 2001
Revellers will be packing the streets of both Newcastle (UK) and Berlin (Germany) next weekend when both cities stage massive free street parties. Berlin's hugely popular event faced cancellation earlier this year following political moves by opponents to ban it, but well over a million revellers will now be taking over Berlin for the weekend. Britain's event, only in its second year of operations, is expected to attract around 250,000 people, in line with crowd figures for last year's party in Leeds.

Both raves are centred around parades of truck-drawn sound systems from clubs and media organisations such as MTV, Gatecrasher, and Global Underground. The DJ line-ups compare favourably with any at commercial dance festivals, with over 100 name DJs already confirmed for Newcastle (see Radio 1's website for details). Despite the success of last year's Leeds Parade, however, some local officials are concerned.

"The whole thing has been done on a wing and prayer; I am not convinced the city centre can cope," local councillor Wendy Taylor told the Guardian this week. Council leader Tony Flynn disagreed, claiming, "We have to be seen as doing something positive for young people after the disturbances in other cities (several towns in Northern England have recently exploded in racial violence). Local football team Newcastle United are also playing at home next Saturday afternoon suggesting over 40,000 fanatical football supporters will be joining the festivities from 5pm, which some locals fear could lead to trouble.

If Newcastle mirrors last year's event in Leeds then violence will be non-existent and the greatest problem people will face is where to sleep/ shelter or party, overnight. Although almost all the clubs involved are staging 'secret' after-parties around the area, if you can't get in, the choice will be spending a night on the streets. Tens of thousands did so in Leeds last year and it's likely to be the same in Newcastle. (Live on Radio 1 from 1pm, 21st July (Berlin pre parade party: Paul Van Dyk)
Jonty Adderley