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Zurich ravers keep their shirts on

Zurich Street Parade: not an official member of the medical services

(Keystone)

The 14th Zurich Street Parade, Europe's biggest open-air rave, attracted around a million techno-fans to the shores of Lake Zurich at the weekend.

Despite the incessant pounding techno music, the atmosphere was calmer and more low-key than previous years and the floats were less flamboyant and gaudy.

A third of the visitors to the party, whose motto was "Today is tomorrow", were reckoned to have come from Germany, France and Italy.

Zurich, Switzerland's largest city, was slowly returning to normal on Sunday after hosting lovemobiles [mobile dancefloors on articulated lorries], a laser show at the opera house and more than 100 parties and chill-out sessions.

Organisers of the 2005 Street Parade estimated that just as many people turned up as last year but one difference was the amount of flesh on show: this year was noticeably more restrained and less garish.

Whereas previous parades had resembled Brazilian carnivals with wild and florid costumes, this year's celebrations attracted more normally clothed people of all ages.

That's not to say, however, that many ravers didn't excel themselves with feather headdresses, wigs and chokers.

If you really wanted to be seen, you could pay SFr250 ($200) to climb aboard a lovemobile and dance for the 2.4km length of the procession.

Street Parade president Michel Loris-Melikoff said in an interview with Tele Züri that he was happy with the number of people who had turned up and the excellent atmosphere. But he admitted that the event, which began in the 1990s, had passed its peak.

The security and emergency services also had a good parade, with only a few superficial injuries needing attention. Police said they had arrested seven drug dealers and had seized small amounts of various drugs.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

The 14th Zurich Street Parade attracted around a million people.
In 1992, at the inaugural festival, there were only 1,500 ravers.
Thirty-two "lovemobiles" floated past, of which half a dozen came from abroad, notably Germany.
Since the discontinuation of the Berlin Love Parade, Zurich is the largest techno parade in the world.

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