I would really hate for the Love Parade to be remembered as the backdrop of a stampede in Duisburg, although at the moment, it feels callous and insensitive to think of it as anything but.
The more I think about what happened this weekend, the more inexplicable it becomes. This happened where? In Germany? The most meticulous, most organized country in Europe, especially when it comes to large outdoor festivals? And at the Love Parade? I can't imagine a more peaceful, more benign megafestival. Every year it goes off without a hitch, with the only tragedy being the bottom line of the unfortunate cities whose budgets get flooded with extravagant garbage cleanup costs.
The picture on Reuters' website doesn't give me a clue as to what really happened. Yeah, that looks like a fairly narrow tunnel -- or more to the point, a very low tunnel. The sound echoing from the ceiling might have provided the initial crush on the heads of intimidated partygoers, but that's complete speculation on my part. Nobody knows what really happened. We may never know.
For what it's worth (and right now, it's not worth much and is probably pointless to even mention), I think there will be another Love Parade. We're not talking about ecstasy deaths at an unlicensed rave in a dank club. Events such as those, although clearly tragic, had a whiff of inevitability. Of course the scene was out of control. Of course people would eventually die. Only then would people wake up and do something about the problem. Until this year, the Love Parade was an extremely successful event, it showed most of the best sides of dance music with very few of the ugly side effects.
I feel terrible for the families of the injured and deceased.