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Oktoberfest boss attacks boozing and music

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Oktoberfest boss attacks boozing and music
Photo: DPA
18:20 CEST+02:00
Changes are afoot for Munich's legendary Oktoberfest, as a plan to crack down on binge-drinking, loud live music and endless queuing for seats will be examined by the city council.

Oktoberfest's new boss Dieter Reiter revealed his plan to stop youngsters getting too drunk at the festival, by putting a complete bottle ban in place, daily paper the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported.

A new festival area bottle ban would mostly affect food stalls which often sell bottles of booze alongside their traditional Bavarian treats.

Reiter wants to shake things up inside the tents too, as part of his master-plan is to change the reservation system inside the large beer tents that the festival is famed for.

As it stands, tables in the more popular tents are often booked a year in advance, with some even selling out completely. This means that the only way less-organised visitors can hope for a space in a tent is to queue up before they open to bag one of the few spare seats.

And what this can, and often does, encourage is a very early start to the day's intoxication as people hang around drinking while waiting for a seat. Reiter wants to leave 35 percent of inside tables free for people to claim on the day – meaning less of an early morning scrum.

“The current system is simply unsustainable,” Reiter told the Süddeutsche Zeitung. As chairman of the Munich city council's finance committee, he became the de facto boss of the Oktoberfest this year after the previous organiser Gabriele Weishäupl retired.

This would require a considerable layout reshuffle, the prospect of which has the tent managers annoyed and catering staff less than impressed, as they would have to change a finely tuned table service system.

Live music has also come under Reiter's critical eye. He would like the noise levels to be brought down to lower than 90 decibels, meaning that the traditional brassy Schlager bands would have to figure out how to rein their volume in.

Final decisions will be made when the council in charge of Munich's economy, and also its lucrative Oktoberfest will sit down to battle it out on Tuesday. The changes given the go-ahead will be enforced at Oktoberfest 2013.

The Local/jcw

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