The Love Parade was meant to brighten up depressed and rundown Duisburg, a grimy, industrial city in Germany’s Ruhr district. But disaster struck Germany’s last Love Parade on the afternoon of 24 July 2010. Hundreds of ravers were crushed in a stampede that erupted after panic gripped a huge crowd trapped in a tunnel leading to the Duisburg festival. It left 21 dead and at least 510 injured.
Four years on, the tragedy is still exacting a horrible toll on its innocent victims. Jorn Teich, who heads the LoPa 2010 support group, says he knows of five people who have since committed suicide because they were so traumatised by what happened. He told the Suddetusche Zeitung newspaper that there were scores of other desperate, young survivors who called his helpline late at night just to talk about the disaster.
After the tragedy, the Love Parade’s organisers permanently cancelled the event as a mark of respect for those who died or were hurt.
This autumn, state prosecutors are due to rule whether 10 of the organisers should stand trial for negligence. But Mr Teich does not welcome the prospect. “What help will it be to us if people go to jail or are fined?” he asks. “We don’t want revenge. We just want help.”