For some, the revelry has already gotten out-of-hand. Nearly 80 festival-goers were treated by the German Red Cross for alcohol poisoning on September 17, the first day of Oktoberfest, alone. After causing trouble by slinging heavy glass mugs in the beer tents, a handful of people have also been banned from festivities. In addition, police have also arrested several pickpockets.
Fourteen tents provide space for guests to crowd in and enjoy the booze until 11 pm daily. Two of the tents, Käfer Wies’n-Schänke and the Weinzelt, are open until 1 am, with the last call for alcohol shortly after midnight. Carnival attractions and rides also provide an outlet for families or those looking for a break from the boozy antics.
Around six million visitors from around the world are expected over the 17-day party. Since this year’s Oktoberfest includes an extra day – October 3, Germany’s reunification day – revellers have an extra 24 hours for eating, drinking and general merriment.
The history of Oktoberfest extends back to 1810, when Crown Prince Ludwig married his bride Therese, with the elaborate ceremony celebrated on the field where the festival now takes place.