Sep 26, 2016

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The 2016 Oktoberfest: One week in

The 2016 Oktoberfest: One week in

Same, same, but different – and always fantastic: that’s the Oktoberfest for you, and the 2016 Oktoberfest is as great as ever. Like many others, we had our concerns beforehand. We were worried that the checks at the entrances to the Theresienwiese might detract from the carefree feel of the Fest, for example. And for the first few days, the weather was appallingly bad. Munich looked washed up and empty. But still, the 2016 Oktoberfest is an Oktoberfest like every other. Sure, far fewer visitors have come thus far, with just under three million in the first week (around a quarter less than usual). And sure, less beer has been sold – although the amount hasn’t dropped as sharply as visitor numbers, so each of us has, statistically speaking, been drinking more. This proves to our mind that fewer people coming to the festival is actually a good thing, allowing as it does those who are there to get around the Theresienwiese more easily and go in and out of the tents more or less as we please. We’ll certainly drink to that!

On the matter of tents: we’ve been in plenty and can give you the lowdown on this year’s most exciting development, the new Hacker tent. To put no too fine a point on it: it’s absolutely brilliant. Airy and bright inside, lots of beautiful details, and greatly improved facilities. And the crowd is, as ever, ready to rock at 11am latest. Another tent with a reputation to keep up is Schützenfestzelt, which was redone last year and still looks gleaming. The people dress to match, as well, and you’ll see plenty of tailor-made dirndls and that trademark of stylish Munich men: red knee-length socks. And with visitor numbers down, you can even get a peek at the most exclusive tents, like Käfer’s, which is popular with celebrities and thus usually has the hardest security: this year, they’ll let you into the beer garden at all hours and will even let you stick your head in the door (but don’t push your luck too far).
We could go on – and on – about how great the Oktoberfest has been this year, but before we write a thousand words, we’ll let some pictures do the talking.


The weather on the first weekend wasbad enough to dampen spirits.


The new Hacker tent looks pretty much like old one…


…and inside, too, it’s very recognisable.


But the balcony and upper galleries have made quiet a difference in terms of size.


Schützenfestzelt is another “high-rise” tent offering excellent views.


It look’s great from the outside, too.


The Käfer beer garden is one of the most beautiful – and hardest to get into.


Augustiner is the tent with many Munich residents’ favourite beer.


And then there’s always, always Hacker – if you can still handle it.


In contrast to previous years, the Theresienwiese underground station is pleasantly empty.

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