Oktoberfest: 1m litres of beer vanish in two days

Revellers at Munich Oktoberfest are believed to have polished off around one million litres of beer in the festival's opening weekend. The Local looks at some of the other facts and figures down on the frontlines of the Wiesn.

Oktoberfest: 1m litres of beer vanish in two days
Photo: DPA

One million people

People throng the Oktoberfest grounds as night falls in Munich. Photo: DPA

Despite some showers on Saturday night, around one million people – the first of up to six million expected between Saturday and October 4th – are believed to have visited the Oktoberfest grounds at Munich's centrally-located Theresienwiese.

Beer over €10

That's a pricey double handful. Photo: DPA

The entrances to the big beer tents were crowded with queues and some were temporarily closed to new customers, all eager to purchase litre mugs (Maß) of beer at over €10 apiece.

9,000 marchers

Men dressed in traditional costumes take part in the Oktoberfest opening weekend parade. Photo: DPA

The opening Sunday parade was led by 9,000 people wearing traditional dress and marksmen from European neighbour countries, including Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Serbia and Poland.

Two blows

Munich mayor Dieter Reiter taps the first keg at Oktoberfest 2015. Photo: DPA

Governing mayor Dieter Reiter demonstrated his prowess at the “Anzapfen” (keg tapping) ceremony that opens Oktoberfest by taking just two strikes with the hammer to get the job done.

80 minutes

It took barely more than an hour before medics were called in to care for the first case of alcohol poisoning, with a 50-year-old man this year's holder of the inglorious record – and beating last year's two hours, five minutes by some distance.

500 people

Red Cross workers rush through the Wiesn during Oktoberfest. File photo: DPA

Red Cross medics treated around 500 people on the first day, while several people were brought to hospital after falls from platforms and windows and one knife attack.

10 million people

Munich Tatort stars Udo Wachtveitl (l) und Miroslav Nemec pose for the cameras. Photo: DPA

Those who couldn't be in Munich for the big weekend didn't have to suffer in silence – Sunday evening's “Tatort”, Germany's favourite police drama, drew in 10.6 million viewers with its Oktoberfest theme as two cops hunted drug dealers through the Wiesn.

SEE ALSO: Gay Oktoberfest brings pride to Munich

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Is Germany’s Oktoberfest heading to Dubai this year?

Last year Germany's famous Oktoberfest was cancelled. And this year? We're still not sure if it will happen yet in Munich due to Covid - but it looks like it could be heading to the desert...

Is Germany's Oktoberfest heading to Dubai this year?
Guests enjoying a scaled-back Oktoberfest celebration in 2020 in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Felix Hörhager

Oktoberfest is to take place in Dubai, the largest city in the UAE, according to German media reports on Thursday.

The plan is to move the world’s largest folk festival to an area of ​​around 420,000 square meters near the Dubai Marina, Berlin Christmas market boss Charles Blume, who is one of the organisers, told Spiegel.

Blume said Dubai officials had given the festival the green light.

German daily Bild reported that Dubai’s Oktoberfest would start on October 7th at 12noon in 32 tents – and then last for six months until March 31st 2022 – that’s far longer than the original Munich event which lasts around 16 days. 

READ ALSO: Oktoberfest ‘very unlikely’ to take place in Munich in 2021

Celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Pamela Anderson and Lothar Matthäus are to be flown in as guests, Bild said, although this hasn’t been confirmed.

The estimated cost for the event is reportedly around €50 million. As well as Blume, the Munich ex-restaurateur Dirk Ippen and host Sepp Krätz played a key role in developing the plan, said Bild.

Even if the location is unusual compared to Munich’s Wiesn, the event would be strongly based on the original.

Beer tents, restaurants, as well as carousels and sales stands that resemble the traditional festival are all planned. Brewers and innkeepers would also be flown in from Bavaria.

The organiser, however, emphasises that the event in Dubai wouldn’t be “just another Oktoberfest double”, but bigger and more international than Munich’s.

READ ALSO: Germany’s Oktoberfest 2020 cancelled over coronavirus pandemic

The aim is to achieve this with numerous types of beer, the longest beer bar as well as 620 entertainers and businesses.

The alcohol ban in the UAE would not apply to the Oktoberfest or the event area. Spiegel reported that people who’ve been drinking would be transported to their hotels in shuttle buses to respect the culture and rules.

Organisers are reportedly putting together a detailed hygiene and safety plan to ensure the safety of guests and workers in the pandemic.

Will Oktoberfest be cancelled in Munich in 2021?

As The Local reported, it is still unclear if Oktoberfest will go ahead in Munich this year due to the pandemic. Munich’s mayor Dieter Reiter said the cancellation is looking increasingly likely due to the current infection situation and restrictions.

However, if it does happen it is planned that it will kick off on September 18th and will last until October 3rd.

In 2020 a scaled back celebration took place in some bars and restaurants in Munich to mark Oktoberfest but it was nowhere near as huge as the original which is world-renowned and rakes in billions of euros.

READ ALSO: Oktoberfest in numbers: A look inside Germany’s multi-billion business