Love Parade (10.07.99)

I had heard of the Love Parade and I wanted to experience it myself, there were 2 problems. 1) I was supposed to be in Göteborg (Sweden) until the day before the parade. 2) Nobody wanted to come with me.

The week before the Love Parade there was a gymnastic event, called Worldastrada and it took place in Göteborg, Sweden. I was ending my carreer in gymnastics (17 years) and this was the last event I would participate in.

The entire Dutch team was going by bus which would mean I wouldn’t be back in time to go to Berlin as well. I decided to drive to Sweden myself and from there drive to Berlin to be in time for the Love Parade. And so it happened.

I was in Sweden all week, leaving on Friday driving non-stop to Berlin. I slept in my car somewhere along the freeway and continued as soon as I woke up.

I just followed the signs to Berlin Zentrum and suddenly I was close to Alexander Platz, the start of ‘my goal’: the Love Parade. I changed and went onto the streets, excited about all the things I saw. The start of the Parade was memorable…

I smuggled some magic mushrooms with me which I took on my way to the Siegessäule… When I arrived they had kicked in and I spent the most beautiful day, dancing in the sun, with thousands of people…. I remember one track: Marusha’s – Over the rainbow. Even today, when I hear this song it takes me back to 1999… Memories…

Written: June 2010