Tel Aviv Love Parade
From: Saturday, July 21 2007, 7:00 am
to: Sunday, July 22 2007, 12:00 pm
For the eighth year in a row, the palpable tension that exists on the streets of Tel Aviv is about to be washed away by an onslaught of good vibes, techno beats and body paint, as the annual Love Parade comes to town.
The only street party of its kind in the Middle East, the Love Parade attracts up to 250,000 party people every year. The event shouts a huge message of peace, love and tolerance to a troubled world, bringing a poignancy to the buzz words of "togetherness, tolerance and freedom" that is rarely felt in its European counterparts.
Friday is Parade day. Heavily-laden floats snake slowly down the promenade, stacked high with mind-numbing sound systems and outlandish decorations. Just as at the famous Berlin event, each float is organised and run by a different club: Pacha, TLV, Hauman 17, Fetish, FFF and Forum are just some of the names bringing hard, pumped up trance and techno to the streets of the city.
If you're lucky you'll be up there on top of a float with an ear to the speakers and a view of the crowd. Hordes of sweating, madly joyous and ecstatically dancing Paraders sport tattoos, silly hats, weird bodily modifications, garish plastic clothes and uncontainable grins. There is also a massive gay presence - anything goes, and it usually does.
At the climax of the parade, the floats circle in on themselves, forming a ring around a central stage. DJs from all over the world vie for a turn on the decks and the crowd goes wild. After-parties ensue and sleep is forgotten as the crowd move out of sight for the few hours that remain until the next instalment. There's no doubt that this is a party to remember.