Eco & Electronic: Berlin's Love Parade Festival Goes Green

How this festival combines love for techno and the environment.

May 28, 2024
someone djing outdoor concertsomeone djing outdoor concert

Love of music, love of love, and love for all - the overarching themes of Berlin’s Love Parade Festival. Sweaty, yet enlivening, this historic music festival is a treasure to Berlin’s culture of acceptance, vibrance, and unprejudiced love.

Berlin’s Love Parade, now under a new brand Rave the Planet, goes beyond electronic music and asks us to address bigger themes of equality, love, and ecosystems. How can we love each other and the planet all whilst celebrating through music and gathering?

We looked at the history of the Berlin Love Parade as well as the predicted future. Beyond our scope of study, we spoke with one of the Parade's collaborators and DJs, Tempoespacio or Marcelo Godoy, to shed light on the monuments to music, love, and planetary goodness.

Paving a path towards green festivals

If love is the overtone then sustainability lays the foundation. Berliners not only hold love in high esteem, but they also acknowledge the main character: Earth. The pressure for greener fun cycles through all conversations, but especially those of entertainment and leisure.

Festivals are infamous for excess. An excess of plastic cups on the ground. An excess of trash cans overflowing. An excess of consumption. The list goes on and not for the betterment of the planet. The Love Parade, if it were to realize its revival, needed to do so with a sharp turn towards sustainability. It needed to set a new bar for festivals and emit the message, “fun can and should be compatible with sustainability.”

festival crowd

We spoke with one of the festival’s main collaborators, Marcelo Godoy, to understand how sustainability was an important prerequisite for The Love Parade making a fresh debut.

"When the Love Parade left Berlin in 2005, it destroyed the Tiergarten, one of Berlin’s most luscious parks. There was too much garbage and a real stain on what sustainable electronic festivals now set out to do. This year, we increased the measures a lot. I mean, we really had to. This reopening was our way of showing that the Love Parade, or rather Rave the Planet, can show love for all, Earth included.

"It was really incredible to see, as well. The next day, after a festival with thousands of people, the park was sparkling like new. The organization really made the effort to implement sustainable solutions, green waste-management, and efficient post-clean-up so as to not hurt the green space or biodiversity of the park.”

The making of Berlin’s Love Parade as a UNESCO Cultural Site

Dr. Motte, the Love Parade’s founder and curator, emphasizes the momentous importance of electronic music in society. Motte affirms, “Anyone who understands music as a culture’s social responsibility is and will always remain progressive.” He believes that this is particularly true for Berlin’s techno culture and calls on UNESCO to protect this cultural landmark.

outdoor partying

Berlin Love Parade

In a campaign, Techno Goes UNESCO, thousands of petitioners signed for the Love Parade to be protected under UNESCO. The campaign started in November 2021 and hoped that this labeling would help to safeguard Haute electronic culture in Berlin.

Addressing the 2010 Tragedy

We would be remiss to not address the story of the Love Parade in its entirety. In its twenty-first year, the Love Parade ended in great tragedy. A stampede broke out causing the death of 21 attendees as well as injuring 600 more.

crowd of people

Accusations against the organizers for not preparing for crowd-panic as well as over-admitting beyond the festival’s capacity spread and continued to haunt the name.

Beyond enhanced safety measures, the Love Parade needed a rebrand.

2022 Love Parade positioned as sustainable and safe

Dr. Motte knew that if the Love Parade were to be revived, it needed also to be transformed. Out of love and respect for the people who attend it, the safety and security needed to be improved, but more than that it needed to be love in the most whole sense of the word: love for all and everything.

pride flag

This love reached into the great admiration for the soil which makes it possible. The ground upon which we rave needed equal respect.

The Love Parade took notes from fellow festivals like DGTL and Glastonbury Festival to see how they make eco-techno. For example, in the sponsored truck Godoy was co-operating with, Back Market, they were emphatic about a couple of the adapted measures: recycling and upscaling the truck's decoration, and totally offsetting the truck’s carbon footprint.

The future of Berlin’s Love Parade

The love grows and will continue to do so as this festival remains committed to loving in the most eco-friendly of the senses. There’s still a bit of room to grow, Goday notes.

dj duo

We tried to get an electric truck, but it’s still too early to make this a reality. There are companies just coming onto the market with hydrogen battery trucks, so maybe that would be a possibility in the future to reduce emissions.

The Berlin Love Parade is evolving to meet the increasing demands of climate change and its attendees. The rest may be unwritten, but at least it will be done with love and raving.