Oktoberfest 2022 – not a record year | culture | DW

Oktoberfest hearts with the inscription Vaccinated, tested, recovered or sweets for sweets

1. Wiesn balance sheet

According to the festival management, not quite as many visitors came to the 187th Oktoberfest as in previous years. That didn’t spoil the mood, in the beer tents people celebrated happily and were happy about less crowding.

In the record year 1987 there were 7.1 million, at the last Wiesn before the pandemic in 2019 a total of 6.3 million guests came. This time, 5.7 million people from home and abroad celebrated.

Neither Corona, nor money worries or the war in Ukraine are the main reasons for the decline in visitors for festival director Clemens Baumgärtner (CSU). The weather was the main reason for the lower number of visitors, said Baumgärtner at the end of the festival on Monday. He spoke of the worst Oktoberfest weather in 20 years. Nevertheless, the festival attracted a relaxed, cheerful and young audience. “The Wiesn is back,” announced Baumgärtner.

Oktoberfest hearts with the inscription Vaccinated, tested, recovered or sweets for sweets

Oktoberfest hearts with the inscription “Vaccinated, tested, recovered” could be seen at the Oktoberfest

Due to the cold and wet conditions, mulled wine was exceptionally served at the Oktoberfest – for the first time in 14 years. In 2008 it was just as cold as this year at the Wiesn. However, serving the hot drink was only moderately popular this year.

In 2022, the audience presented itself as more Munich and younger. This was shown, among other things, by the evaluation of anonymized and aggregated data from the mobile phone provider O2 Telefonica. The 16- to 29-year-olds accounted for about 21 percent of adult visitors, compared to 14 percent in 2019. Festival director Baumgärtner believes that the young people are “starved to dance and party” after the corona pandemic.

The police, fire brigade and medical service reported a quiet Wiesn with comparatively low numbers of operations. The Oktoberfest medical station recorded around 27 percent fewer operations, the police spoke of a peaceful course. However, the increase in pickpocketing by around 50 percent is worrying.

2. Opening rituals

The locals call the Oktoberfest in Bavaria’s state capital Munich “Wiesn” for short. The Wiesn had to be canceled twice due to the corona pandemic, which takes a total of three years. Only after three hits – instead of the usual two – was Munich’s Mayor Dieter Reiter able to hit the beer keg for the opening. Three years break – three strokes: number mystics already speculated about a connection.

As always after this rubber mallet attack on wood, the hosts of the Oktoberfest said: “O’zapft is!” (“It’s tapped”), followed by the cannon salutes that sounded across the festival grounds. The largest folk festival in the world was opened on September 17, 2022 – and made a name for itself for two weeks.

Munich's Mayor Dieter Reiter taps a barrel, there are many people around him

Traditionally, the Mayor of Munich taps the first keg at the Oktoberfest – with a rubber mallet

3. Oktoberfest usury

The prices have increased significantly. On average, the party-goers had to pay 15.77 percent more than at the last Oktoberfest in 2019 for a beer that is traditionally served at the Wiesn in one liter – that’s the equivalent of one liter. Between 12.60 euros and 13.80 euros (in 2019 it was still between 10.80 and 11.80 euros) had to be paid for it. You will look in vain for smaller glasses at the Wiesn. Water and wine are also only available by the liter. Bills like this one also made the rounds on social networks, where half a duck cost 53 euros.

The Oktoberfest classic, hendl (chicken), was comparatively cheap. In 2019 it cost an average of 13 euros, this time hungry people had to shell out 14.00 to 14.50 euros for half a chicken.

4th Oktoberfest showman

While the celebrations were taking place in the tents, things were not going well for the showmen outside. On the one hand it was due to the bad weather. Who would want to get on a swing carousel when it’s raining cats and dogs? Many showmen therefore often only open their rides by the hour. In addition, the energy crisis is driving inflation and people have less money in their pockets. You think twice about what you spend your money on.

An empty swing carousel turns

The rides took less than in previous years

And last but not least, lottery booth owners could only find teddy bears and stuffed animals for their stands with difficulty, while shooting gallery operators lacked plastic roses. The reason: supply chains are interrupted because container ships with coveted goods from China are stuck on the oceans. For the showmen, 2022 was definitely a year with bitter financial losses.

5th Wiesn wave

The corona numbers in Bavaria have increased significantly. If they were almost 200 one day before the Oktoberfest started, the seven-day incidence of the corona virus has now more than tripled both in the city of Munich and in the entire Free State, according to current figures from the Robert Koch Institute.

Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach tweeted with concern:

6. Oktoberfest and sexual violence

The Oktoberfest tent is a place where a lot of beer flows – and not only the people in the service have to endure a lot. Sexual violence, as reported by the Munich police, increased at the Wiesn in 2022. Halfway through, 31 visitors to the Oktoberfest reported having experienced sexual or physical violence on the festival grounds, according to a report. That’s six more than in 2019.

7. Oktoberfest costume

Perhaps the defense against the increasing sexism at the Wiesn is also reflected in the traditional costume, because in 2022 high-necked dresses and blouses were increasingly in vogue. The “Dirndlbalkon”, which shows a revealing décolleté, was therefore seen less often.

Woman in a dirndl carries beer mugs

Oktoberfest Dirndl 2022 will no longer show as much skin

8th Oktoberfest hit

After the song “Layla”, which was controversial because of its sexist content, was at the top of the German charts for nine weeks in the summer of 2022, it also became this year’s Wiesn hit. The discussion about a possible beer tent ban had the opposite effect, and at the latest when Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder spoke out shortly after the tapping at this year’s Oktoberfest that everyone should “be allowed to sing what they want”, there was no holding back and the people sang at the top of their lungs about the “brothel”.

9. Oktoberfest Mountains

From the Theresienwiese, the fairground of the Munich Oktoberfest, the Alps can be seen on a clear day. And whatever the weather, visitors have an unobstructed view of the so-called “Kotz Hügel”, a small slope behind the festival tents in the western part of the Theresienwiese. To see: drunks throwing up and urinating before or after – and not infrequently – then lying down on it. In between wild kissing, blunt sex and even drug deals. In 2022 there was a police patrol and cameras to prevent excesses, but there were still one or two beer corpses on the “puke hill”.

10. Oktoberfest Stars

In addition to many local celebrities, there were also internationally known stars on the Theresienwiese in 2022: among them the soccer pros Manuel Neuer and Thomas Müller or music stars like HP Baxxter, frontman of the techno band Scooter.

Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger (2nd from left) his nephew Patrick Knapp Schwarzenegger, (l) his sons Patrick Schwarzenegger, (3rd from left) and Christopher Schwarzenegger (r) at the Oktoberfest

Arnold Schwarzenegger, his nephew (l) and his sons clearly had fun at the Oktoberfest

With the 75-year-old Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Hollywood star returned to the beer tent with his family and created a good atmosphere.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here