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The Love Parade's Financial Flop

GERMANY: Both financial losses and knee high rubbish have prompted Berlin's Love Parade organisers to do a huge clean up after the huge techno festival, which took place on Saturday.

Around 1 million ravers gathered in the city for this year's annual techno street party.

However, the event lost 1.5 million DM after sponsors pulled out due to confusion as to whether it would take place.

The losses are huge because of the 1m DM clean-up bill that organisers must pay for the first time in the event's history.

Those behind the event have said they must now reach a deal with city authorities so the parade, which first took place in 1989, can go ahead in the future.

City officials have said they will continue to support the all-day dance party, which pumps millions of Deutsche Marks into the city's piggybank.

Mayor Klaus Wowereit told local television: "It's an important event that should stay in Berlin."

The fuss over this year's Love Parade arose when some groups tried to block the free festival from taking place because they believed it would cause much damage to the Tiergarten.

Environmentalists caused a row as they stopped the event from taking place on its usual date, the second Saturday in July.

But organisers managed to settle on a later date after weeks of discussion with the Berlin authorities.

Germany's highest court also ruled that the event could not be classed as a political demonstration – meaning organisers must pay for the clean up, instead of the city's taxpayers.

The event did go ahead – but with lower attendance figures than last year. The event is still believed to be the world's biggest dance music party.

DJs on 50 "techno-wagons" serve up techno music along the route of the parade, which went down the city's central June 17th Avenue from the Brandenburg Gate to the Victory Monument.

Police made 180 arrests on the boulevard bisecting the Tiergarten park, mainly for theft and drugs offences.

Medical personnel treated almost 4,000 partygoers, with 466 taken to hospital. Most were suffering from exhaustion and circulation problems, with about 10% of the ailments due to drugs or alcohol.

Some 2,000 police, 900 first-aid workers and five ministers were out on the streets along with the ravers.