More than six million people attended Germany’s Oktoberfest this year. But the amount of beer consumed dropped compared to last year.
Guests guzzled 7.3 million beers in the festival tents, according to the breweries’ balance sheet – 200,000 fewer than last year.
The number of visitors was around the same level as last year, meaning it was no record-breaking festival. However, organizers said they were happy with the 16-day event.
“It was a beautiful Wiesn”, said Munich economic consultant and festival director Clemens Baumgärtner, of the centre-right CSU, at the end of the festival. “We had a peaceful Wiesn with a relaxed and cheerful public.”
Busy scenes at Oktoberfest on Sunday. Photo: DPA
Slight drop in crime
The police reported a slight decrease in the number of crimes. Offences dropped by one per cent to 914, although officials had to deploy officers more frequently.
There were fewer pickpockets. But sexual offences rose slightly – 45 were recorded this year, compared to 42 in 2018.
Physical injuries occurred 263 times (in 2018 there were 256 recorded) and guests used their beer mug as a weapon 32 times.
There was a record in drink driving: road users were stopped 774 times for driving under the influence of alcohol – with 414 of those incidents involving people on electric scooters.
Nevertheless, the festival was extremely safe in view of the crowds and the alcohol consumption, said police bosses.
Guests from all over the world
Oktoberfest is popular throughout the world. And that was shown again this year. The top 10 visitor countries were the USA, UK, France, Austria, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, Australia, Sweden and Denmark.
In addition, visitors from a further 45 nations came to the festival, from Argentina to New Zealand.
Celebrities also joined in the celebrations. Politicians, actors, footballers and TV stars donned their Dirndl and Lederhosen for the festivities.
Footballers Leon Goretzka and Thomas Müller from FC Bayern at Oktoberfest. Photo: Stefan Matzke/Paulaner/Sampics/DPA
But unfortunately, former US President Barack Obama, who attended the “Bits & Pretzels” startup festival in Munich, left without visiting the Oktoberfest. There's always next year…
Stolen mugs and big appetites
Once again, souvenir hunters and beer mug collectors had bad luck: attentive stewards confiscated 96,912 beer mugs (in 2018 that number was 101,000) from them in the tents and at the exits of the festival grounds.
Hungry guests also scoffed a total of 124 giant oxen.
At the same time, according to the festival management, more vegetarian and organic food was consumed.
Wiesn medical staff treated 6,392 patients on site. The Aicher Ambulanz Union registered around 600 people with alcohol-related intoxication, almost 120 fewer than in the previous year.
Press officer Ulrike Krivec, said there were also seven attacks on paramedics. Two paramedics were bitten by a patient. “The patient then apologized the next day – she was terribly embarrassed,” said Krivec.
Missing set of teeth
The Wiesn lost and found office counted around 3,800 finds this year, including 780 ID cards, 690 items of clothing, 660 purses, 465 bank cards, 420 smartphones and mobile phones, 300 keys, 155 glasses, 130 bags, backpacks and bags, 115 umbrellas, 55 pieces of jewellery and eight cameras.
There were some strange discoveries, too. A set of teeth, a pram, a UN card game, a measuring cup, a kitchen sieve, a wedding ring, a flugelhorn, the book “Dalí – the picturesque work” (in its original packaging) and €635.60 was also stowed away in lost and found.