An event that started out as a festival celebrating the beats and jives of techno music ended in tragedy with as many as 19 music lovers including 6 foreigners losing their lives and over 340 getting injured as crowds swelled and resulted in a stampede during the Love Parade 2010 celebrations in Duisburg on Saturday.
While the exact cause behind the tragedy is yet to be ascertained, it is said that the grounds where the festival was to be held was too small to accommodate the million music fans who turned up for the festival. According to sources, the venue had an accommodating capacity of just 2,50,000 and was not equipped to handle the crowds of the estimated 1.6 million people who came for the event.
The only way in or out to the venue was a tunnel at the base of the venue, which was cramped with a growing crowd that had been denied entry due to lack of space. While many tried to make their way out or the tunnel, others tried to gain entry to the festival grounds by climbing narrow staircases, fire escapes and poles near the tunnel. According to one version, people falling off the staircase and poles led to panic and confusion resulting in the stampede.
Revellers inside the grounds were left unawares of the tragedy at the entrance and organizers chose not to announce anything to avoid further panic and another tragedy. In response to the tragedy, Love Parade's organiser Rainer Schaller said, "The Love Parade has always been a peaceful party, but it will forever be overshadowed by the accident, so out of respect for the victims the Love Parade will never take place again."
The Love Parade was an annual electronic dance music festival that started in 1989 as a free parade through Berlin drew techno music fans and celebrated DJs from across the world.