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Berlin's massive Love Parade to return

Techno festival finds ample funding after a two-year hiatus
/ Source: The Associated Press

The Love Parade will return to the streets of Berlin in July after financial problems forced the techno music festival to take a two-year break.

The parade will be held July 15, less than a week after the German capital hosts the final of the soccer World Cup, organizers said Tuesday.

Organizers found a new main sponsor, fitness training company McFit, to help shoulder the "seven-figure" cost of staging the event.

The Love Parade "has cult status and is known all over the world," the company's owner, Rainer Schaller, said in a statement. "I couldn't accept that this mega event in my home country couldn't take place any more solely because of financial problems."

Launched in 1989 as a small procession of 150 ravers demonstrating for the right to party in a city still divided by the Berlin Wall, the parade bloomed into an international event that took over the Tiergarten park amid a thumping beat.

At its peak in 1999, the parade drew crowds of 1.5 million people.

However, the event was plagued by mounting financial problems and falling attendance in later years.

Organizers said they could not afford to pay the hefty costs of cleaning up public gardens after the parade lost its status as a political demonstration in 2001.