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BASS: Tragedy at Love Parade as stampede kills 21; festival terminated

Paul van DykLove Parade, the world’s biggest annual electronic music festival, kicked off amid tragedy today when at least 17 people were killed during a stampede at Duisburg, Germany. The city of Duisburg has set up a hotline number where concerned family members can seek information.

The stampede reportedly occurred after cops sealed off the entrance to this year’s Love Parade "because it was already overcrowded," then absurdly told attendees to turn around and walk back to where they’d arrived. Chaos erupted in a tunnel as trapped people were pressed against the push of the crowd.

The city of Duisburg has set up a hotline at which concerned relatives can get further information: + +49 - (0) 203-94000.

Love Parade organizers, who were streaming this year’s event live at its festival website, have since shutdown the stream.

"Our wish to arrange a happy togetherness was overshadowed by the tragic accidents today. Therefore we are ending the live stream of the Loveparade," organizers posted in German.

Local media reports said the event was continuing but it’s unclear whether that will be the case through this weekend. Love Parade organizers expected upwards of 1 million attendees this year.

UPDATE: Love Parade organizer Rainer Schaller said the event will never be held again because of Saturday’s tragedy. Also, an additional four victims died from their injuries bringing the number of deaths to 21.
"The Love Parade has always been a joyful and peaceful party, but in future would always be overshadowed by yesterday's events," Schaller said at a press conference on Sunday.
"Out of respect for the victims, their families and friends, we are going to discontinue the event in the future, and that means the end of the Love Parade."

Love Parade began in Berlin, Germany, in 1989 and has morphed into similar events at cities around the world including San Francisco (where was once called Love Parade but later changed to LoveFest). The original Love Parade helped launch the careers of German techno DJs such as Paul van Dyk (pictured above) among many others. 


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