Archive for the ‘Oktoberfest’ Category

O’zapft is – Oktoberfest, 2008 edition

Saturday, September 20th, 2008

Today, Munich’s Lord Mayor, Christian Ude, opened the 175th Oktoberfest in the Schottenhamel tent. He used just two hits to open the first 200 liter barrel of beer and yelled “O’zapft is” (“it’s open!”), followed by wishes for a peaceful festival for all visitors.

Now Munich’s Theresienwiese will be the center of the attention for the next 16 days. I’ll be out to the fest this afternoon and almost daily over the next few days; when I get around I’ll post a few photos for those who can not attend.

If you are curious about the Oktoberfest, I recommend the following posts:

Oktoberfest FAQ
What to wear to Oktoberfest?
Oktoberfest 2008 Beer Prices
Oktoberfest 2007 Impressions
More Oktoberfest Photos


Oktoberfest 2008 Beer Price +5%

Friday, May 9th, 2008

Who said that Oktoberfest in Munich is cheap entertainment? It isn’t.

Today the tent owners announced their official beer prices for Oktoberfest 2008. Prices for “a Mass” (i.e. one liter of beer) will range this year from 7.80 to 8.30 Euro! In 2007, this range was still between 7.30 and 7.90 Euro, so the fans of the fest are facing a price increase of roughly 5%! Add to this the increased tip for the waitresses (which is not included in the beer price), and you end up with more than 5% increase.

A Mass of Hofbräu Beer
Mark Zanzig/zettpress

The cheapest beer will be available at the Wienerwald Festzelt, where a mass of Hofbräu beer will indeed cost just 7.80 Euros. All the big tents are above the 8 Euro mark, many of them even charging the maximum of 8.30 Euro.

Well, I won’t complain. To me, it’s all a matter of supply and demand, and there seems to be tremendous demand for having a beer in the big tents, which justifies the high price. Also, one should remember that beer is in general quite expensive in Munich. The tourism office has done some research: outside the Oktoberfest grounds you pay between 6.20 and 7.80 Euros for a liter of beer – not cheap either.


For further information on the fest, please read our Oktoberfest FAQ (at

Oktoberfest 2008 – six months to go!

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

Just a quick heads up for you guys (and girls) waiting for the 2008 edition of the Oktoberfest to begin: It’s now less than six months away! Hoo-rah!

The fest will open September 20th, so please make sure to read our Oktoberfest FAQ to prepare yourself, then have a nice cold beer (for training purposes only), and enjoy this photo for the duration:

Oktoberfest in Munich
Mark Zanzig/zettpress

This is the view from just below the Bavaria statue on Munich’s Theresienwiese on one of those warm and cozy evenings in September 2007.

I took my tripod to the festival (which is usually not a good idea, as you won’t get in anywhere) and positioned myself between all the tired guests on the stairs leading up to the Bavaria. The idea was to wait until after sunset to catch the twilight. I wanted a crisp, noiseless picture, so I opted for ISO 100. I put up the EF 24-70/2.8L at 70 mm, and manually set the aperture to f/22 and the exposure to 16 seconds. Voilá.

In the picture you can see a lot of funny details, like the guy in the front taking a photo, or the girl in black to the left, who apparently has not moved during the whole time! And then of course the small stands in the middle, who sit like rocks in the sea of people. Too bad that the beerstein on top of the Paulaner tent did rotate so fast, but I guess you can’t have everything.

In any case, I am very much looking forward to this Oktoberfest. I hope you do too.

Oktoberfest 2008 can come!

Monday, October 8th, 2007

Only Two at Sieber Tent
The band “Only Two” performs at the Sieber Tent 2007

The Oktoberfest 2007 is history by now. Yesterday, the 174th edition of the traditional beerfest ended in Munich after 16 days of beer and fun, ompah music and Lederhosen. Munich’s Lord Mayer tells us that it was a record-breaking Wies’n, at least in terms of beer consumption: 6.7 million liters of beer have been sold (and probably also been drunk), as much as never before in the beerfest’s long history. At 6.2 million visitors, the fest could not attract the crowds like last year though. Then again, the 2006 fest lasted two days longer due to a bank holiday. All-in-all, the visitors spent this year about 1 billion Euros, so the economical importance of the Oktoberfest can not be denied. No wonder that the tent owners are happy.

The 2008 Oktoberfest will be opened on September 20th, and it will last through October 5th, with 16 days again being just a “short” fest. But it will be the 850th birthday of the city of Munich, so we expect the fest to be even more attractive and spectacular than before.

If you have missed this years fest, here is my Oktoberfest coverage on this blog. If you want to come in 2008, you may find valuable tips inside the posts that help you with your trip planning:

The Ultimate Oktoberfest FAQ
What to wear to Oktoberfest?
Oktoberfest – 24 hours to go!
O’Zapft is
Wies’n Hit 2007
Rainy Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest – 2nd week

Here is my personal tip for next year: do not just visit the big tents! Go for the smaller tents as well. This year, we had a fantastic time at the Sieber Wurstbraterei tent. At about 400 seats the tent is significantly smaller than the big tents, but it has a true local feeling to it, almost like attending a big family party. The bands were really good, and the waitresses were much more relaxed than in the big tents. Which is good in many ways, but most importantly: you’ll get your beer much faster!

Look forward to seeing you next year in Munich!

P.S.: Wies’n Hit 2007 – I might have picked the wrong song. General consensus seems to be now that DJ Ötzi’s “Ein Stern (der Deinen Namen trägt)” has made it this year. I agree that this song was played more often by the bands in the big tents, but the “Lassosong” has certainly created more emotion (more cries, more dancing, more fun). So, let’s called it a very good 2nd place. :-)