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Go BackWHERE IS THE LOVE? As the Love Parade is welcomed to Chile in January 2005, organiser Carlos Latorre explains how, where… and why!

Posted: 1/12/04 7:24

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In Chile!!!! on the 8th January 2005, the capital city of Santiago will be taken over - but don’t worry, it’s with the utmost love and respect! Thanks to Dr Motte, a most gracious founder, the Love Parade has spread from Berlin (in 1989) to: Israel, Mexico, Austria, South Africa and San Francisco, and will next embrace Chile...

As such, Santiago expects in excess of 300,000 people to enjoy this free electronic event involving: over 100 DJs, 12 mobile floats, a 4km party circuit and over 18 hours of loved-up partying! The honourable organisers of the Love Parade in Santiago are an experienced collective of artists founded in 1994 by Manuel Martinez (Capitan Cianuro) and Carlos Latorre (DJ Zikuta); they are (quite aptly) called Euphoria
Carlos Latorre, executive producer of the parade in Chile, revealed how he set about bringing love to the streets of Santiago saying:
When we first arrived at the ‘headquarters’ of the Love Parade in Berlin, we had a letter by the Governor of the city of Santiago. This letter was clear (it said): ‘Dear friends of the Love Parade, I want to invite you to realise the Love Parade in Santiago, Chile. In order to do this, I introduce you to the people of Euphoria. They have a great vision of what the Love Parade can be in Santiago, and an expertise in such events that can guarantee the success of this party in our city....’ The response from Berlin didn’t take long (they said): ‘Ok, here is the deal... please sign it.’ Obviously I omit some details, but we started with the difficult part - making the Governor and the city believe in this project.”

So with the support of local authorities, the German embassy and countless other parties, the Love Parade is fast approaching Chile. To get an idea of what this has and will involve, as well as what it hopes to achieve, we spoke with Carlos Latorre… who had a great deal to discuss!

Hi Carlos, how is it going – do you feel the heat from the forthcoming Love Parade in January?

“Well, it is very intense. We have been working for the past year, and are just a few steps away…”

Where were you born and how did you get into music, DJing and the culture?
“I was born in Santiago, Chile, 31 years ago, and I got involved in the ‘essence’ of DJing when I was 13 years old at school parties. I remember my first pieces of 12-inch vinyl - they were ‘Always on My Mind’ by the Pet Shop Boys and ‘Dreaming’ by OMD. Later, just before leaving school, I got involved with the ‘experimental’ sound of what we know now as ‘electronic music’… Aged five, I spent four years with my family in Germany listening the sounds my father played like: Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, Vangelis and Jean Michel Jarre. In 1992 I got connected with some old German friends, and by 1994 my arts and electronic music collective (Euphoria) was born. Since then over 150 parties have been held in places such as: Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Montevideo and, of course, Santiago, Chile. The year 2003 will be remembered for our first international tour of Europe (Barcelona, Paris, Berlin, Geneva, etc...). Regarding the culture… well, living in the same country as Atom Heart (Uwe Schmid) doesn’t give you many choices to escape from the influence. And then there are my friendships with: Alexi Delano, Christian Vogel, Ricardo Villalobos, Miss Dinky (my ex-girlfriend) and Luciano and so on...”

What kind of history does electronic music have in Chile and is the Santiago scene healthy in your experience?
“We have a deep and respectful old school tradition. In 1993 for the Eclipse Party in Putre (2,000kms from Santiago) we had: Stacey Pullen, Derrick May, John Acquaviva and Ricardo Villalobos playing, and that’s 11 years ago. Since then, there have been a lot of changes and a lot of old people disappear while the newer ones come with ‘new/old’ ideas. Only a few weeks ago, Kraftwerk came to our country for the first time and one week later we had our first edition of Creamfields. So as you can see the underground and the mainstream are playing together in a country where the old traditions are still in the minds of a few. The kids who bought tickets for the Chemical Brothers don’t recognise Atom Heart in the streets... and if you tell them about Ricardo Villalobos or Luciano, they could think that they are folk artists. Like everywhere those who know the story, or those who lived it, know. The list of Chilean artists is large: Alexi Delano, Ricardo Villalobos, Martin Aguayo (Closer Music), Luciano, Martin Schops (Sieg Uber Die Sonne), Miss Dinky, Mambo Tour, Alejandro Vivanco (Eukatech)... Now I cannot speak for the nightclub scene, since there is only one respectable club called La Feria, but there are a lot of new party producers who make good stuff over here.”

Can you express a little about what the Love Parade means to you personally and why you got involved?
“As I remember the world’s first electronic movements, I remember the Love Parade. It’s simple and clear; they invented what others use to inspire local manifestations. They are the standard. They began it. For me the first Love Parade I experienced killed a lot of my prejudices. I was worried about ‘cheesy’ truck music and ‘happy-hardcore freaks’ getting in my way, well… I got in with other six friends, and after the first 15 minutes I was lost in an ocean of people from around the world. This was one of the most wonderful experiences I have ever lived. It is not just about music, it is really about what we learnt in the beginning: peace, love, unity and respect – that is what it’s all about.”

When around 300,000 people are expected it must be easier for people to believe, and your sponsors include Red Bull and Puma, but in those early days when it was ‘just an idea’ was it hard to get support?
“It is still hard to get support! We live in a country where the big companies don’t believe much in sharing with their community. We have a complicated panorama; there are a lot of small parties with ‘superstar’ DJs in Santiago and with big support from companies. But when you try convincing them to make something in open fields, or in the streets, free and for the people, then they are ‘worried’… For example, with remarks such as: “That’s not our target group”; “how can you manage the security?” or even “nobody has done that before in Chile, but my experience says it won’t succeed”, we are still working hard to get sponsors. Plus you have to add on what I call the ‘invisible facts’. I mean the fear of using the streets... and you can tell where it comes from. We inherit a legacy of fear from Pinochet. Those who were young in the 1970s are today the CEOs, the marketing executives, from the big companies and they cannot understand a party in the streets. Some of them cannot imagine that it could be safe. They think that it will be the door to a political manifestation – so the fear works... Those who used to have parties, festivals and carnivals in the 70s cannot understand what that means some 30 years after the strike to the government of Salvador Allende – because that day the party ended in Chile for the next 20 years… So we endeavour to overcome all that to get sponsorship from people who do believe in a massive open carnival, free for all the community.”

We hear that your Euphoria collective are exceptionally experienced in these matters, so what have been the highlights over the past decade?
“Well, what a trip! From 1994 until 1998, Euphoria used to do a party called Perros Euphoricos at a venue which is today an experimental arts building. I can say that this was one of the first underground places. In this building we had the cream of DJs play including Christian Vogel. From 1995 to 1997, without exception, every Thursday night we held the Cafe Virtula sessions. It was an open (and free) party, where thousands could gather. This place was classic, we used to invite all kind of different DJs from drum & bass to techno, from house to trance. In 1998 we made the first version of what we called the Rave Sudamericana. This party took place at locations in: Montevideo (Uruguay), Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, and Santiago. It was the first time that the Latin American underground scene made something together, and I think over 40,000 people enjoyed this idea. In 1995 we made the first free field party called Open Rave (Euphoria En El Parque), with maybe 20000 people dancing in the Parque Forestal of Santiago. Since then, year after year, until 2000 we grew without sponsorship; but we had to stop, as we didn’t get sponsorship – strange don’t you think when you have 20,000 people dancing together? In 2003 we completed our first tour to Europe, and upon return did something impossible for most Chileans. We used the Central Plaza of the President’s building for our Open Rave, this time with more than 30,000 people dancing for more than nine hours, try to do that in front of the White House!” 

You have around 12 floats, but besides being varied and electronic, what will the music be like – can you tell us who is playing yet?
“The first float confirmed by Puma is a drum & bass scenario. It is funny, but I find it great, because d&b is still an underground movement in my country today. I have got nothing against mainstream music, but our focus is to show the old school tradition. I mean techno and house are our preferences. The people who organise Earthdance in Chile are also working hard to on the psy-goa-trance float. For this first Love Parade we are considering only electronic music.”

Ricardo Villalobos was born in Santiago de Chile; will he be playing?
“I have talked with Ricardo and we are ready. This will be the biggest rave ever made in Chile, so we have to invite the biggest DJ from Chile. Ricardo will be playing with Richie Hawtin, Derrick May, Stacey Pullen and Dr. Motte on the main stage.”

There is to be a CD mix compilation representing the Chile event, can you tell us more about this?
“Well, it’s in production. All the tracks have been finished and yesterday we sent off the artwork. This is a record produced by BMG, the same label that does it in Germany. I have heard some of the tracks and it sounds pretty good to me.”

The Plaza Italia, where the main stage will be, can you tell us more about this location?
“Well, Plaza Italia is the icon of Santiago. If we win at soccer, or any international game, this is the place where Chileans celebrate. When we won the gold medal in tennis, hundreds of thousands went there. When Pinochet fell, everybody went there to celebrate. It is also the main place for disagreements and if people are protesting this is the place they go. You know, last week the (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) APEC meeting was held in Chile and a pacific manifestation ended in guerrilla warfare with the ‘carabineros’ (police)... well, what can you expect if Bush comes to visit us?”

Well, it looks like it’s gonna be hot... will the peaceful parade be televised?
“We already have support from one of the biggest TV channels in our country within our media plan; but they haven’t talked about showing it direct. This is the first one and, like I said before, some people don’t believe and others don’t know. I hope that next year we will have even more support and interest.”

What time does the parade finish, and where are the afterparties in Santiago?

“We are working on a pre-parade tour in some cities of Chile. We will also go to the (South American Music Conference) SAMC in Buenos Aires to promote our party. But the focus is on the big day, the 8th January!
We’ve split the Love Parade into three sections:
1 - The float traffic (Providencia), starting at 13:00 hours.
2 - The main stage (Plaza Italia), the floats stop here (and this starts at 20:00 until 23:00 hrs).
3 - The ‘afterparty’ starts (at Estación Mapocho) and everyone is invited to an old train station for the official afterparty; but there will be at least four clubs having Love Parade afterparties too.”

After it’s over, what do you hope the parade will achieve for your city/country?
“This is the question I was waiting for… My commitment, and that of my crew, is to open minds and cause a paradigm shift so that people do not inherit a fear, but instead think about experiencing freedom in the streets. We have to nurture those old injuries that are still in the collective conscientiousness of my country. The right wing of political parties are always using the paranoia of the people and telling them: ‘you are not safe’… we have to stop this and create a new identity and self-confidence. We want tolerance and dignity. There are people who still don’t believe that thousands of Chileans died of torture years ago, and so we have to teach them to hear, to meet strange people and not to be afraid. The music is the cure... that’s why our invitation says ‘sal y baila’, something like ‘come out and dance’. We have to dispel those fascist ghosts of old ideas that make us think we will disappear in the streets; be free, do what you want. I don't really care what your political position is... It is about making a bigger country and better people. It is about respecting our brothers from Peru, Bolivia or Argentina and stopping the jealousy. It is about to reaching a new perspective and seeing the world like it is, without judgements.”

Any other message – anything we’ve forgotten?
“Thanks for the support that you are giving to us! Maybe we are old fashioned, but we come from the old school and truly believe in this!”

Good luck Carlos  !!!


Words by Beara