Last Saturday, 18 floats and around 150 DJs pumped out various strains of electronic music across a seven-kilometre route.

Around 200,000 people hit the streets of Berlin on Saturday, July 9th, for Rave The Planet, the first event of its kind in the city in more than 15 years.

Speaking to Resident Advisor, the organisers said an estimated 300,000 people danced and marched. But according to rbb24 and Der Tagesspiegel, the figure was more like 200,000, as confirmed by the police. The event was filmed by European TV channel Arte.

A huge crowd set off from Kurfürstendamm at 2 PM, following 18 floats blasting various styles of electronic music around a seven-kilometre route towards the iconic Großer Stern landmark. Around 150 DJs performed. Despite the cool temperatures and occasional showers, ravers flocked continuously.

Hazem El-Dabaa and DJ HAYEK, the Egyptian founders of Brussels-based crew Free People Collective, manned one of the floats, playing gabber, industrial techno and more.

“We were the first truck to get shut down for attracting too big a crowd,” HAYEK told RA. “But we had so much fun we couldn’t control our tears. The scale of love and presence of familiar faces was overwhelming. It was important to represent the young and upcoming hardcore scene and to be the first Egyptians to take part.”

Ellen Dosch-Roeingh, spokesperson for Rave The Planet, said standout sets included those by sex-positive techno crew Gegen Berlin, which joined forces with DJs from another local crew, Disconnekt.

While there were no reports of “bad incidents,” Dosch-Roeingh said there were “more glass bottles than expected” because so many arrived with their own food and drink. A local cleaning company was on hand to clear up the mess, and a group of 40 volunteers met up on Sunday at Tiergarten to continue the effort.

“When we came back along the route on Sunday, there was no litter to be seen,” Dosch-Roeingh added. “We also documented the park before and after the parade and found it was left cleaner than we found it.”

On Saturday night, the music and demonstration ended 40 minutes ahead of schedule because the police were concerned there “were too many people,” said Dosch-Roeingh.

Despite this, Eberhard Jeutter, a retired nurse who attended for three hours on Saturday afternoon, told RA “there were good vibes all over the place.” He added: “It was my first ‘Love Parade.’ I learnt that an event like this is still possible and we should have another one like it.”

Rave The Planet was partly spearheaded by Dr. Motte, the mastermind behind the world-famous Love Parade events in the ’90s and ’00s. Since the weekend, he has come under fire for publicly displaying the symbol of the controversial Querdenken movement during the parade. The movement “encompasses far-right extremists but also anti-vaxxers who historically have aligned with the left,” according to Deutsches Haus at NYU.

The last official Love Parade in Berlin was in 2006. The events stopped worldwide several years later, after 21 people died in a crush at the Duisburg edition in 2010.

Watch some photos.

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