Stretched along around two kilometres along the Ruhr Valley region's most important road, the parade is made up of 40 trucks pumping out techno, while writhing, jumping crowds fill the B1 motorway.
The Love Parade left Berlin after several years of increasingly bad-humoured arguments about whether it still qualified as a political demonstration – and who was going to pay for the clean up.
Although its appeal was still growing, the once edgy parade has lately been heavily criticized as having become corporate and losing its original direction. Repeated threats by organizers to move it elsewhere were finally carried out and parade moved to the Ruhr where it will tour the region each summer.
Last year an estimated 1.2 million people graced Essen with their techno dancing and delighted newspapers by providing images of scantily-clad women and male ravers.
Veteran scene DJs including Westbam and Paul van Dyke are lined up to play outside Dortmund's Westfalenhalle tonight.