Copy from this article is taken from DJ Mag July/August 2000
Back in July 2000, throngs of party-loving revellers descended on Roundhay Park in Leeds for the UK's version of the iconic Berlin Love Parade, the Radio 1 Love Parade, with the likes of Spoony, Harry 'Choo Choo' Romero, Cassius and David Morales all spinning the tunes. DJCoin revisits the floats, sets and hedonism of the 2000 Leeds Love Parade in this vintage piece from the DJ Mag archives
As far as events to experience go, the Berlin Love Parade is quite rightly at the top of the tree. With the kind of free-spirited good-time atmosphere on a scale which makes it Europe's largest street party, it's a landmark dance event which encourages those that are fortunate enough to go to remind you of the fact for the next twelve months.
That said, it was a pretty good idea to try and transplant some of that Berlin magic to the UK – or more precisely Leeds – for a free party which had quickly become one of the year's most talked-about events. Originally set to be a procession on the streets of Leeds, the event was moved to Roundhay Park, which, from a police point of view, music have made it easier to keep an eye on the evils associated with a free party – namely drugs, drunks and dance music.
The other main difference between the Berlin Love Parade and the Leeds Love Parade (which was re-named the Radio 1 Love Parade) was the unavoidable corporate influence which saw floats being sponsored by the likes of Top Man, which depending on your point of view was either the major companies giving back to the masses, or another continued attempt to milk the cash cow that is club culture.
Nevertheless, when things kicked off and the Dreem Teem made their appearance on the Radio 1 stage, numbers were large and when Spoony introduced the first track of the live broadcasts, Timo Maas's remix of 'Dooms Night', it was the signal that things had really started and also made it so easy to see why the station have moved on from seaside roadshows.
Floats from Slinky and Sundissential created such a following that it didn't seem to matter that they were essentially circling a park and so hardly having to move at all. Unsurprisingly, tracks like Bob Sinclair's 'Feel for You' and Alan Bruce's 'Intro' could be heard on soundsystems all over from stages and floats like Creamfields and Virgin's The Raft Float where fellow French house meisters Cassius delivered their usual top-notch selection of similarly funky house cuts.
The float which perhaps best epitomised the underground spirit of Berlin was the float put together by Manchester nu nrg/hard house club 2Klub who, despite having two days to put together a float, managed to show that a small club can make as much effort and stand alongside any of the super clubs and major labels who appeared.
While the weather wasn't the best in the world (England, eh?) the event was still very well attended, and even when it was raining crowds still gathered round floats like Back To Basics where Basics resident Paul Woolford knocked out a tightly mixed house set with onus on DJ Sneak-style grooves.
Speaking of Basics, they hosted the official VIP after show at the Mint club in Leeds in association with DJ Mag. There, Ralph Lawson played to a rammed venue who lapped up his well-judge set which took in the best in disco-tinged vocal grooves like ATFC latest 'Bad Habit'.
It seemed the excess still hadn't taken its toll on many as the impeccably dressed crowd were still eager to party when the night's star attraction, one David Morales, took to the decks to knock out his soulful house and garage thing, New York-style. This meant a seamless blend of anthem vocal floor fillers like Soul Providers' 'Rise' being combined with biggies such as Black Legend to top off a day which may not have quite lived up to the hype, but was still a good day out anyway.
Read about how DiY Soundsystem blazed a trail for the '90s free party movement in this DJ Mag feature.
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