Street Parade in financial straits

Zurich’s biggest street party will take place on Saturday with the tightest budget yet, with the future of the event in doubt.

The annual Street Parade has only one main sponsor with which to cover 65 percent of the 1.7 million francs ($ 1.75 million) needed for the event. The organisers have made it work this time, although it is tight, and the future of the parade remains in doubt, newspaper Tages Anzeiger reported.

“We have scaled the costs back as far as possible,” said Martin Schorno, the party’s marketing director.

Part of the reason for difficulties in finding sponsorship has been that the event does not coincide well with advertisers’ schedules, most of whom aim to launch products in autumn, rather than late summer.

In addition, the many open-air festivals on offer around Switzerland provide stiff competition for sponsors' money, with the backdrop of the economic crisis not making things any easier.

There is also a sense that the parade has lost its underground flavour, earned during the 90s, when companies were keen to be associated with the event. The only remaining sponsor is a medical laboratory in Zurich, Medica: the kind of brand not usually associated with youth culture.

“The Street Parade brand is licked,” René Alleman from Branders, a Zurich branding agency, told the newspaper.

But Schorno insists that the lack of sponsorship has nothing to do with image.

“The interest is still huge,” Schorno said.

Some 425,000 francs ($ 437,662) are needed for personnel, 544,000 francs ($ 560,180) for infrastructure and 510,000 francs ($ 525,000) to pay for permits and other costs claimed by the authorities. The organizers have been trying for several years to reduce this last sum, but the city is sticking to its guns.

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Close to a million attend Zurich’s biggest street party

Some 900,000 people attended this year’s Street Parade, the city’s biggest party and one of the world’s largest techno music events.

Close to a million attend Zurich’s biggest street party
Photo: Street Parade
Held annually in the city since 1992, the Zurich Street Parade aims to promote peace, love, liberty and tolerance, embodied this year in the theme ‘Love never ends’.
Revellers gathered along the two-kilometre parade route by the river Limmat in the city centre to watch the 25 ‘lovemobiles’ pass by, pumping music and peopled with costumed dancers. 
Eight permanent stages added to the atmosphere until the event officially closed around midnight, though after-parties continued into the night. 
Though the event was largely peaceful, skirmishes broke out later in the evening and the early hours of Sunday morning, police said
Overall 130 people were arrested for various offences including drug use and trafficking, violence and threats against authorities, theft, sexual harassment and counterfeiting money.
Those arrested were aged between 15 and 49 and of 25 different nationalities. 
Most of the offences were related to excessive alcohol consumption and/or drug use, police added.
Among those arrested were 35 drug traffickers. Police seized 570 ecstasy tablets, 110g of cannabis, 85g of cocaine and 10g of Mdma.
Two men were hospitalized after a fight on Bahnhofstrasse at around 9.15pm. 
And a 24-year-old Swiss was badly injured in an incident at St Anna-Gasse just before 1am on Sunday morning. 
The offenders are unknown, said police, who are seeking witnesses to the incident. 
However overall the number of people treated by medical personnel during the festival was lower than last year – 526 this year compared with 690 in 2016.