The Love parade first occurred just months before the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. It was started by the Berlin underground at the initiative of Matthias Roeingh and his then girlfriend Danielle de Picciotto.
Love Parade conceived as a political demonstration for peace and international understanding through love and music. It was supposed to be a bigger birthday party for Roeingh, later "Dr Motte", and the motto Friede, Freude, Eierkuchen (in English - Peace, Joy, Pancakes) stood for disarmament (peace), music (joy) and a fair food production/distribution (pancakes). Roeingh dissociated himself from the parade in 2006 because of the commercialization of the event.
The parade was held on the Berlin Kurfürstendamm (avenue) until 1996. Because of overcrowding on the Kurfürstendamm, the festival moved to the Straße des 17. Juni in the Tiergarten park in the center of Berlin. The festival became centered around the Siegessäule in the middle of the park; and the golden angel atop the column became the parade's emblem.
Many people from Germany and abroad traveled to Berlin to take part in the Parade - over a million attended in the years 1997 through 2000 and 800,000 in 2001. Attendance at the 2001 festival was significantly lower because the date of the parade was changed with little advance notice. 2002 and 2003 also saw lower figures, and in 2004 and 2005 the parade was cancelled because of funding difficulties and coordinated opposition from most of Germany's green parties. The parade had inspired opposition because of the damage to the Tiergarten by participants, who were provided with insufficient toilet facilities. Opponents allegedly complicated matters for organisers by booking their own events in Berlin and so to exclude the parade from being able to register with city police. In 2004, however, a scaled-down version took place which served more as a mini-protest and was promoted with the title Love Weekend. Dozens of clubs promoted the weekend-long event all over the city, with various clubs staying open for three days straight without closing. In 2006, the parade made a comeback with the help of German exercise studio McFit.
The music played at the events was predominantly electronic dance music - in this case mainly trance, house, techno, and schranz music. Attempts to introduce other music styles, such as hip hop, have failed. Hardcore and gabber music were part of the parade in early years, but were later removed. They are now celebrated separately on a counter-demonstration called "Fuckparade".