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Oktoberfest ‘most popular ever’

Good weather and the most relaxed atmosphere since the Covid pandemic have resulted in a record-breaking Oktoberfest in Munich this year.

Some 7.2 million guests attended the event which is up from the pre-pandemic level of 6.3 million in 2019 and 5.7 million last year.

More are attending, but they are drinking less as according to the festival organisers around 6.5 million litres of beer were served, which is down on last year’s 7.1 million and also the significantly down on the 7.3 million in 2019. The organisers said the warm temperatures ensured an increase of around 50% in the consumption of non-alcoholic beverages, with guests “relying primarily on water, which at times ran out in various tents”.

The attentive stewards took 115,600 beer steins, which was down on 2022’s 137,790 but significantly up on 2019’s 107,880. Images and videos of steins being delivered has become popular on social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram, with several going viral in the past few weeks. There was also an increase in the volume of food consumed, by around 15%, with classic Bavarian specialities doing well, alongside organic and vegan options.

In terms of the sustainability of the event, the electricity use was down 12% on 2022, although water consumption as up due to the weather by 7.2%. Gas consumption was also higher by about 6.5% due to the installation of garden heaters. But the Munich Stubn tent dispensed with gas altogether.

A recycling centre was also set up for the first time to dispose of waste this year. Some 712,330 kg of residual waste was removed for disposal, 5,780kg of residual waste for energy recovery, 77,380kg of paper, cardboard and cardboard packaging and 53,255kg of mixed broken glass.

Although there is a significant international footprint for the event, the majority of guests came from Munich or the surrounding area. In addition this year there was the opportunity to purchase tickets online from unused reservations to exchange or purchase tickets, driving down the black market, with 440 tables for ten people changing hands.

The speaker for work and economy, Wiesn boss Clemens Baumgärtner, said: “We have experienced an Oktoberfest like out of a picture book, characterized by a summery, relaxed attitude to life.

“The Wiesn guests strolled around the festival grounds in a relaxed manner, took a look inside one beer tent or another, sat in the garden and tested the carousels. Water was the drink of the hour, along with beer. The exceptionally good and predominantly relaxed atmosphere at the Wiesn was praised from all sides.”

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