Feel the Love Evolution

In San Francisco, the spirit of the Summer of Love never truly died. This Saturday saw a series of floats thunder down Market Street to the sound of every type of music worth dancing to blaring out across downtown. The streets were full of revellers decked out in a million kinds of finery or just their own skin, brazen or foolhardy in the public and the strong winds. This was LovEvolution, a spin-off of Berlin's fabled Love Parade that was uniquely San Franciscan in its manifestation.

I doubt there is any other major US city where the grand plaza in front of City Hall would be filled with semi-naked ravers partying, revelling in flouting the law, drinking, dancing, and enjoying all kinds of sensual pleasures in full view of every visible symbol of authority in the city. And there was no violence, no attempt to repress, just a long, sunny day of freedom and joy. A fesitival of love indeed.

Even as the evening came, the winds picked up and temperatures dropped the party kept going, as some of the world's best DJs entertained crowds with electronica, funk, rock and dubstep accompanied by dancers (though it was hard to know if these were official or not) and flame-throwers, until eventually everyone dispersed into the buses, trains and coffee shops of the surrounding area, and the more hard-core waited in line for the nearby after-party.

Maybe my love for the city and my desire to enjoy myself blinded me, but I didn't see a fight, a bottle thrown or an ambulance called at any point. When the biggest problem a festival has is the wait for a portable toilet, I think they're on to a good thing. The Summer of Love might now be a day in October that costs $10, but I think everyone there would agree, it's still most definitely alive and thriving.