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Liebing criticises Love Parade organisers

Respected techno producer Chris Liebing has released a scathing statement in which he blames Love Parade organisers and the Duisburg city council for last weekend’s tragic crush that claimed 21 lives and injured hundreds more.

He says festival organisers were “striving for image and profit” and “disregarded all measures of control and security”.

The fatal crush occured when revellers became crushed in a tunnel and mass panic ensued. The tunnel, which was 100 metres long and 16 metres wide, had no escape routes and was also the only entrance into the festival after police closed the grounds due to overcrowding.

Police and city officials have launched an investigation into what sparked off the disaster, which took place at about at about 5pm local time on Saturday July 24. More than 1.4m people are thought to have turned up for the festival. Organisers have said the event will never take place again in light of the tragedy.

Here is Chris Liebing’s statement in full:

“Five days after the tragic events at the Love Parade in Duisburg / Germany, I would like to share my thoughts in a more detailed statement. First of all I want to again express my sincere compassion for all the relatives and friends of the victims, as well as for the injured and traumatized who will have hard times to recover from what they experienced. I am still shocked about what I have seen and heard so far.

The Love Parade has been developing throughout the 90s, parallel to what I would call the “Techno Movement”. More precisely speaking, the Love Parade has been an expression of this movement. It has been a movement beyond any profit or image seeking ideas, which developed completely self-sufficient out of the underground. It was all about celebrating, dancing and having fun together.

Over the years, the numbers of attendants have been rising, and so have the financial needs. The costs were rising (city cleaning, etc.) and so has the profit (for the community and the others involved), and suddenly there was a certain “image” attached, which brands could use to increase their value.

Looking back, it is actually a logical consequence and maybe also easy to recognize, that an event like this would eventually fall into the hands of people who see “celebrating, dancing and having fun together”  not as the main reason to host a Love Parade. This would actually still be tolerable, as long as human life would not be endangered, but what happened here is beyond anything one would have ever imagined.

It is absolutely appalling and shocking that the responsible organizers of the Love Parade and the city council in Duisburg have misused the “Techno Movement” with those fatal results. In their striving for image and profit, they have disregarded all measures of control and security and put people who really just wanted to celebrate, dance and have fun together in a situation in which 21 innocent persons had to die and countless have been injured and traumatized.

I hope that it will be possible to entirely clear up what has happened and that the guilty persons will be held responsible and punished as soon as possible.

But even this will not lessen the caused pain.

The least we owe to those who have died and those who got injured, is that we make sure that something like this won´t happen again in the future. New laws and rules won´t really help. We have seen that we can´t even trust those who should make sure that those rules are getting observed.

To really change something, we have to start with ourselves. We as DJs, we have to be even more sure about the “Who” we are playing for and the “Where” we are playing at – only like this, the fans can get a better orientation of where it is worth going and where it is save to celebrate. Basically everybody can change a lot with his or her behaviour in this world. The more alert we go through life, the more conscious we can make choices between good and bad products, services, events or other things. Like this we minimize the scope of action for cold-blooded profiteers.

In memory of the victims of the Love Parade in Duisburg 2010,

Chris Liebing”