NewsTapping - or Ozapft? A guide to the Oktoberfest

Tapping – or Ozapft? A guide to the Oktoberfest

Created: 09/15/2022 2:32 p.m

Oktoberfest
Full Oktoberfest from before Corona times. This year there will be an Oktoberfest again for the first time after a forced two-year break. © Tobias Hase/dpa

Why is it called Ozapft is – and how do you get to the Oktoberfest grounds in a very practical way? What is a noagerl? What does it mean when someone wants to hook up? Everything you need to know about the Oktoberfest.

Munich – After a two-year Corona break, the Oktoberfest will be celebrated again for the first time. On Saturday is tapping – or is that called Ozapft? How big can the bag be on the festival grounds, where can you park? A lot has been forgotten over the long period without a Oktoberfest. A little refresher – and the most important thing about the new topic Corona at the Wiesn.

The overview

Corona rules: Like all folk festivals, the Wiesn takes place without restrictions. The mask only has to be worn again on public transport.

Risk of infection: Doctors expect the festival to cause a new corona wave. The risk of infection, especially in the beer tent, is high. They advise people with an increased risk to avoid the festival – or at least not to celebrate in the tent. Fest director Clemens Baumgärtner (CSU) warned on Bavarian radio that anyone who does not feel healthy or belongs to vulnerable groups should “rather not go”.

Tapping: At 12.00 sharp on the first Oktoberfest Saturday, the Mayor of Munich taps the first keg in the tap box in the Schottenhamel tent.

Ozapft is: That is the traditional call of the mayor when the first beer runs out of the 200-liter keg. With that, the festival begins.

Beer: beware! Stronger than regular beer. With a higher original gravity, it has 5.8 to 6.4 percent alcohol, normal light beer has around 4.8 percent. One liter contains as much alcohol as eight schnapps, five liter correspond to one bottle of schnapps. Consequences: often ugly.

Measure: Served in a beer mug like the beer. The measure – female! – should contain a liter of beer, with inspectors turning a blind eye at the Wiesn. In a hurry, it’s hard to really fill the mug because of the foam.

Noagerl: The unsavory rest of the beer is called Noagerl and divides the world into three types of drinkers: those who skip the last sip, those who drink it, and those who pour it straight into the next beer.

Prices: The price for a liter of festival beer varies between 12.60 euros and 13.80 euros. That’s an increase of 15.77 percent compared to the last Wiesn in 2019. The food shouldn’t be that much. However, the exploding gas and electricity costs will not affect the guests, fixed energy prices apply.

Beer tent: mostly full. There is a good chance of getting a seat at lunchtime. The reservable places are gone almost everywhere. Be careful with Internet offers: reservations are being traded at astronomical prices, with four-digit amounts for a table. In some cases, landlords successfully defended themselves in court against the second sales.

Opening hours: Complicated. From 9.00 a.m. guests are allowed on the festival grounds. The tents open at weekends and public holidays from 9.00 a.m. and during the week from 10.00 a.m. to 11.30 p.m. The serving ends differently. Rides start after the opening day from 9.00 am and are usually open until 11.30 pm. On Fridays, Saturdays and the third Sunday they close at midnight. The Oidn Wiesn has different times: it is open from 10 a.m. to 10.30 p.m.

Luggage: leave it at home. However, luggage storage is possible at the entrances. Bags and rucksacks with a volume of up to three liters are permitted. For the sake of clarity, the festival management always spoke of three milk cartons – which shouldn’t really make sense for most guests, who takes three liters of milk to the Oktoberfest when there’s beer.

Driving and parking: hopeless. That’s why Park & Ride at a more distant S-Bahn or U-Bahn station on the outskirts. In the wider area around the festival site there is a restricted area that only residents can drive into by car.

Trains, S-Bahn and U-Bahn: Deutsche Bahn and the Munich transport company are increasing their offerings. Deutsche Bahn has planned 470 additional journeys for local and suburban trains. The subways run at special intervals every 2.5 to 3.3 minutes. And the escalators at the Theresienwiese underground station are stepping on the gas: They roll at 0.68 meters per second instead of 0.5 meters.

Camping: A hotspot during the festival is the campsite in Thalkirchen. Various organizers have put up hundreds of tents there, some of which can be booked with a sleeping bag and (hangover?) breakfast – pure partying.

Campers: Many Italians like to come in mobile homes, they used to like to park close to the festival site – and after visiting the Wiesn they looked in vain for their mobile home: towed away. There is now a parking lot for mobile homes in Riem at the exhibition center. Guests can get into the city by S-Bahn and U-Bahn.

Italian weekend: The middle of the three Wiesn weekends is traditionally the most popular – and thousands of Italian guests do their part.

Dirndl: There are cheap ones around the festival area. The traditional costume hype began with country house fashion. Mini dirndl, Christmas tree style with glitter – everything is allowed, but this is not a real costume.

Derndl: Not a special kind of dirndl, but the person who wears the dirndl: Derndl is Bavarian and loosely translated means girl.

Flirt: Bavarian synonym for flirting. This in turn is part of the Wiesn like pretzels, beer and brass band music.

Gspusi: If the flirting works, you have – for at least one evening – a Gspusi.

Gingerbread heart: Typical souvenir. Gladly with the lettering Spatzl, Mausi, Prinz, Held – or a simple “Greeting from the Oktoberfest”.

Security: The festival area is fenced. Security guards randomly check visitors at the entrances. Around 600 police officers are on duty, along with pickpocket investigators from various countries. There are a good 50 video cameras on the premises, which have helped prevent theft and sexual assaults on several occasions. dpa

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