As the end of September approaches, millions of people around the world were hoping to attend Oktoberfest 2021, the famous annual festival in Munich, Germany that celebrates the delights of local German cuisines, lederhosen, dirndls and of course, pouring thirst quenching German beers and ales into authentic German beer steins.
Usually, around six million visitors attend Oktoberfest every year. Attendance peaked in 2011 at 6.9 million visitors, with 6.4 million visitors during each of the following two years. In addition to bringing in over $1 billion in tourism money, millions of gallons of German beer and ale are drunk from beer steins over the course of festival, and thousands of sausages and snacks are consumed under colourful Oktoberfest party decorations.
How much beer is glugged down from iconic Oktoberfest beer mugs? It’s said that beer consumption in 2013 was 6.7 million litres, averaging just over one litre per person! That’s enough beer to fill over two Olympic sized swimming pools!
Although German beer is the star of the show, nothing complements an Augustiner Hell or Erdinger Weissbräu German beer better than spit roast chicken. How many roasted chickens are consumed on average? According to statistics taken in October 2017, over half a million roast chickens are eaten at Oktoberfest every year validating why the chicken dance is a favourite!
So, what about this year? What can we expect?
Oktoberfest 2021 is Cancelled
Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Germany's annual Oktoberfest 2021 will be cancelled for a second year in a row. According to Bavarian Premier Markus Söder the decision was made with a heavy heart. He notes, "In the classic beer tents at the big festivals, social distancing, masks and other measures are practically impossible to implement." He added, "The situation is too precarious. Imagine if there was a new wave and it then became a super spreader event. The brand would be damaged forever, and we don't want that."
In a recent interview with the mayor of Munich, Dieter Reiter said, “As of today, it could not take place under the applicable regulations,” adding that the pandemic is not currently subsiding. He concluded saying, “And that’s why it’s currently hard to imagine the world’s largest folk festival taking place.”
What impact has the 2020-2021 pandemic had on the festival and local economy?
The increase of visitors and having an international spotlight shinning on Munich during Oktoberfest has a positive effect on hotels and motels in the city. During the 16 days of festivities, attendance to hospitality establishments in the city would usually increase to an 87% occupancy rate, peaking at more than 90% on some days. This huge influx affected average daily rates which surpassed €200 over this time period. Thanks to the combination of these two points, hoteliers could achieve an average room turnover rate of more than €180 per available room over the course of Oktoberfest. So, how has the industry been affected?
For the city of Munich and its beleaguered hospitality industry, the cancellation of Oktoberfest 2021 means approximately €1.2 billion ($1.45 billion) in lost revenue. However, organizers say that respecting the safety of visitors is of upmost importance and remain hopeful for Oktoberfest 2022.
Travel and Local Economy
During Oktoberfest, S-Bahn, U-Bahn, buses, and have more regular routes than normal and can get quite cramped. But the service is well adapted and will miss the influx that is usually expected after summer. Regarding other employment, according to the economic department, there are around 13,000 jobs generated by Oktoberfest. For those working as waiters or waitresses there is no hourly rate: the wage depends on a share of the revenue. The average earnings are over 5000 euros – for the whole 16 or 18 days. The pandemic has surely made its mark over the last two years.
Despite the tough time, is there anything we can do to keep spirits high and look forward to what is on the horizon?
Hopes and Hops for 2022
There is hope on the horizon! We already know Oktoberfest 2022 is going to be one of the best ever, celebrated with more appreciation and positivity! More hops than ever will be needed to make the copious amounts of German beer that will be needed! It’s never too early to start planning for a trip to Oktoberfest, especially when September 2022 is closer than you think! Oktoberfest 2022 will feature all of Oktoberfest’s signature events, Beer Steins, Oktoberfest costumes, parades, family days, traditional German polka concerts and dancing to the chicken dance. Oktoberfest opening day is always on a Saturday and for next year it will fall on September 17th. At noon, the Mayor of Munich will tap the first Oktoberfest keg and shout, “O’zapft is!” And then, and only then can the festivities begin!
Oktoberfest 2021 in USA
Despite the cancellation of the festival in Munich, you can still enjoy the festivities in the USA this year. Many USA 2021 Oktoberfest events will go ahead as planned, and let’s be honest, the United States puts on some pretty great Oktoberfest festivals!
Where and when?
Oktoberfest 2021 USA will run through September and October in various locations throughout the America.
Here are some top locations to check out - just to mention a few:
So, don’t worry about cancelled plans abroad, enjoy the spirit of the event, let loose and grab your German beer stein with a metal lid and enjoy!
Oktoberfest at Home
If you had plans to attend cancelled Oktoberfest 2021 in Munich, well, have no fear! There is hope. Celebrate at home. If you feel like enjoying the culture, history and spirit of Oktoberfest party at home, you can plan your own Oktoberfest at home with friends and family. Oktoberfest Haus can help you make it as authentic as possible!
Get everything you need without burning a hole in your wallet. From Oktoberfest costumes for everyone in the family – including the dog! – to traditional beer steins and Oktoberfest German hat pins. An easy way to grab a German wool hat or hat pin to be German for the day.
If you’re planning a party large or small, indoors or out, an Oktoberfest party idea lends itself to decorating with both seasonal Germanic and Bavarian themes. A blue and white checkerboard pattern is a traditional Bavarian design. Why is that notable? Bavaria was the location of the first Oktoberfest celebrating the marriage of two royal Bavarians, King Ludwig I and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen, in 1810. Since then, the Oktoberfest festival has grown in number and popularity, something that will continue despite pandemic setbacks!
Oktoberfest is known for its party fun atmosphere, so put your beer down and get those dancing feet ready to jig while in your German costume lederhosen or dirndl!
While the selection of Oktoberfest music is as wide as your beer stein is deep, there are a handful of German polka music tracks you’re absolutely sure to hear and definitely more than once. A great way for learning the words and singing along at the top of your lungs with friends! Check out our selection of Oktoberfest party music here. Also, a great German gift idea for Oma or Opa.
Oktoberfest music includes both traditional German brass band styles mixed with modern classics, perfect for bellowing at the top of your lungs, or at least until you have no voice left!
Oktoberfest polka songs are of the oom-pah-pah, slapping your knee, bobbing up and down in your seat kind of thing! Here you’ll find traditional, beer swishing songs that’ll get even the timidest of participants moving in their seat.
So, whatever your plans are for this annual 2021 Oktoberfest, whether in a location held near you, or with friends and family, enjoy it with the same zeal and life! Wunderbar!