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Oktoberfest to enforce strict smoking ban

DPA/The Local · 19 Jul 2010, 14:27

Published: 19 Jul 2010 14:27 GMT+02:00

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“That’s what the people decided and we’ll now comply with it,” said spokesman Toni Roiderer on Sunday.

Voters in Bavaria backed a total smoking ban in a referendum held two weeks ago, however, city officials in Munich managed to secure Oktoberfest organisers a one-year reprieve, since there would be little time to alter the festival’s iconic beer tents to accommodate smokers.

But now the tent proprietors are hoping to use this year’s Oktoberfest, which is celebrating its 200th anniversary, as a test run before the ban is strictly enforced in 2011. Many are hoping to convince city officials there is no need for expensive smoking areas and extra exits with more personnel.

Munich’s Abendzeitung reported over the weekend that such measures could end up costing hundreds of thousands of euros.

“Up until 5 pm on Friday the smoking ban won’t be a problem,” Wiggerl Hagn from Löwenbräu tent told the paper. But weekend evenings would prove the true test, he said.

New signs at tent entrances will be set up to alert potential smokers, who will also receive a warning from wait staff. “If all else fails we can stop serving guests beer,” said Hagn. “But we’re not going to rip off anyone’s arm.”

Hippodrom proprietor Sepp Krätz told the Abendzeitung expected most people would willingly comply with the new ban. “But we don’t know how people will react,” he said. “No-one will get thrown out by me!”

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After this year’s Oktoberfest, all the tent proprietors plan to come together to discuss options for the future, such as temporary shelters for smokers.

Organisers of Oktoberfest announced last week that the legendary beer festival will go back to its roots for its 200th anniversary this autumn. Alongside the copious amounts of beer and traditional food, the event this year will offer several historical attractions to mark two centuries of epic partying.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

19:44 July 20, 2010 by sorochin
'Twould do my heart good, and perhaps restore my faith in humanity, if this year's "sanitized" Oktoberfest were significantly underattended.
07:54 July 22, 2010 by JAMessersmith
Is that Philipp Lahm in that picture?
17:40 July 23, 2010 by sorochin
I see in other stories that German politicians are imitating their US and UK counterparts by railing against alcohol and obesity and proposing the government stick its nose in. So why not go all the way? Since alcohol is so bad for society, how about a "dry" Oktoberfest, where revelers will merrily hoist Masskrugs of mineral water? No soda, though it contributes to obesity. For food, the radishes can stay, and maybe saltless pretzels, but all those fatty sausages and roasted meats will have to go. They can be replaced with Tofuwurst...

Gesundes Deutschland!
17:29 August 6, 2010 by sorochin
I completely forgot about the damage to public health that loud music and noisy crowds do to public health. I stand corrected.

And what about all those dangerous amusement rides? How can any decent society allow irresponsible parents to place their children on such contraptions?
15:59 August 7, 2010 by sorochin
Hopefully it will cost them considerably. But I hope whoever is in charge of that detail will get into the full spirit of the New Bavaria and put them in 3rd Reich uniforms.
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