Germany's Oktoberfest to return in 2022 after pandemic pause

AFP/The Local
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Germany's Oktoberfest to return in 2022 after pandemic pause
Revellers enjoy a scaled-back Oktoberfest celebration in Munich in October 2021. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Felix Hörhager

Germany's iconic Oktoberfest beer festival will once again take place in Munich in 2022 after being cancelled two years running due to the coronavirus pandemic, the city's mayor said Friday.


The Oktoberfest would be held "without conditions or restrictions", Munich mayor Dieter Reiter told a press conference.

The world-renowned knees-up drew around six million visitors annually before the pandemic. It was cancelled in 2020 for the first time since World War II after the outbreak of coronavirus.

The festival, usually held between September and October, was cancelled again in 2021 as Germany battled consecutive deadly waves of the virus.

Since then, pandemic "conditions have changed", Reiter said, noting that the healthcare system was no longer under significant stress from Covid.

READ ALSO: Munich's Oktoberfest cancelled again over Covid


"I hope the situation does not get worse in the autumn and that the festival will not have to be called off at the last minute," Reiter said.

Bavaria state premier Markus Söder said in a tweet that the return of Oktoberfest, also known as Wiesn, was "a good signal, especially in difficult times".

He went on to say that Munich's Oktoberfest stood for "joie de vivre and cosmopolitanism like no other folk festival".

"It is Bavaria's international flagship," he added.

Most Covid curbs have been lifted in Germany, including the requirement to wear masks in shops and schools, while plans to introduce a vaccine mandate were dropped.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has cast a shadow over similar springtime festivities in Bavaria, where the subject has been hotly debated.

Cancelling the Oktoberfest as a result of the war "could not be justified", Reiter said, while sharing his sympathies with Ukraine and Munich's twin city Kyiv.

"Nobody can tell what the situation will be in autumn" with the war, the mayor said.


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