No Oktoberfest twice in a row – there were longer breaks only in times of war. Not another year without it: people in Munich are thinking about how there can be another Oktoberfest in 2022.
Munich – There are occasional carousels on the Oktoberfest grounds, there are a few snack bars, shooting galleries and a palm garden.
But even before the originally planned opening date in September, the Theresienwiese in Munich will end the amusement again: the alternative program “Summer in the City” ended after a good month on Sunday.
Again no Oktoberfest. For the second time in a row, the Oktoberfest has been canceled due to the corona pandemic. In the more than 200-year history of the festival there were only longer breaks in times of war.
All hopes are now directed towards 2022. Already now, people are thinking about the conditions under which the Oktoberfest could take place next year. “I am sure that we will have a Oktoberfest in 2022,” said Oktoberfest boss and Munich economics officer Clemens Baumgärtner (CSU) of the German Press Agency. “Our job is to fine-tune the requirements.”
Certain access rules and digital surveillance are conceivable, says Baumgärtner. He thinks it tends to be possible that the folk festival can be celebrated with those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered. An Oktoberfest with spaces and masks is hardly imaginable for him. The Wiesn will not be the only major event under corona conditions next year. In this respect, measures and techniques are also being developed elsewhere to ensure a safe process. You can also orientate yourself on that.
Munich’s Lord Mayor Dieter Reiter (SPD) had already said in an online consultation hour in June that two years without an Oktoberfest would be enough. He wants a Oktoberfest in 2022. A concept should be drawn up with experts. After all, he doesn’t want to unlearn how to tap. Several media had reported about it.
The world’s largest folk festival before the pandemic attracted six million visitors, some of them came from far away: from the USA, for example, from China, Russia and Australia – an additional risk in times of corona.
Most visitors come from Munich and the surrounding area, says Baumgärtner. “We have international guests that we are proud of. But numerically that’s the smallest part. “
Scientists are still cautious about the chances of a Oktoberfest in 2022. “Indeed, from an infectiological point of view, no serious statement currently seems possible to me,” said the pandemic officer of the Klinikum rechts der Isar of the Technical University of Munich, Christoph Spinner, of the dpa. The development of the pandemic and of worrying virus variants, the progress of vaccination and many other factors played a role in the risk assessment.
“And at the end of the day, the risks and benefits must be weighed up politically. In my opinion, we have done well in the pandemic to keep the observation periods shorter and more manageable, ”says Spinner. And there is still a while until the next Oktoberfest: It will take place from September 17 to October 3, 2022.
For the originally planned start this year on September 18, there will probably be another test tent on the site, but no marquee – the site has been tested for corona since the beginning of the pandemic.
It is true that the “Wirtshaus-Wiesn” starts on that day in Munich, which last year attracted many fans in traditional costumes to the restaurants for Wiesn delicacies and beer. On the Theresienwiese itself, however, as in the previous year, they want to avoid uncontrolled alternative parties.
There will also hardly be any copies of the Oktoberfest in other countries. According to estimates, there were more than 2,000 such festivals before the pandemic. This year things are cautious here too.
In China there should have been an attempt at such a beer festival, but it was canceled after a few days due to Corona. The Oktoberfest in Cincinnati in September could take place. The plans for an “Oktoberfest” in Dubai seem unclear. According to the media, it was postponed because of the Delta variant. Munich had taken legal action against the organizers because, in the opinion of the city, they gave the impression that the original was moving into the desert.
Consolation after the Oktoberfest cancellation: As in the previous year, there is Oktoberfest beer, the breweries have brewed it despite the cancellation. Fans can drink it from the original Oktoberfest beer mug. This year’s motif: mug, gingerbread heart, pretzel, hops and pale blue Olympic rings for the famous Olympic looping roller coaster, which had its world premiere in 1989 at the Oktoberfest and how many rides are now in the warehouse.
Landlords and showmen are optimistic about 2022 – not least, the storage of the marquees and rides costs considerable sums of money. “We think positively! The city leaders also absolutely want to avoid that the Oktoberfest is canceled a third time, ”says the second Wiesnwirt spokesman, Christian Schottenhamel. “I also think that in 2022 we will still have to deal with the effects of the pandemic. But we will also learn to deal with it, ”he says. “I firmly assume that the Oktoberfest will take place in 2022.” dpa