The first edition of Love Parade happend in July 1989, with only 150 people attending. The event was founded by the "Berlin Underground" at the initiative of Matthias Roeingh (also known as "Dr Motte") and his then girlfriend Danielle de Picciotto. It started as a political demonstration for peace and international understanding through love and music. It was supposed to be a bigger birthday party for Roeingh, later "Dr Motte", and the motto Friede, Freude, Eierkuchen (in English — Peace, Joy, Pancakes) stood for disarmament (peace), music (joy) and a fair food production/distribution (pancakes). In 2006 Roeingh stepped aside from the organisation because the event became to commercial.
The parade was held on the Berlin Kurfürstendamm (avenue) until 1996. Because of overcrowding on the Kurfürstendamm, the festival moved to the Straße des 17. Juni in the Tiergarten park in the center of Berlin. The festival became centered around the Siegessäule in the middle of the park; and the golden angel atop the column became the parade's emblem.
Many people from Germany and abroad traveled to Berlin to take part in the Parade — over a million attended in the years 1997 through 2000.