After two years of mandatory Corona break, the mayor of Munich Dieter Reiter (SPD) tapped the first barrel of Wiesn beer at 12:00 on Saturday, opening the largest folk festival in the world. He seems to be a bit out of practice as he has used three strokes instead of two this year. The first measure – costing between 12.60 and 13.80 euros – he handed over to the Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU), who is traditionally present in the bar. Already at dawn, thousands of visitors had waited in front of the fairground in the cold and in the drizzle and “preheated”.
When the grounds opened at 9 a.m., the public rushed to the beer tents. “It’s the same feeling as before,” says Helga Geier, who sells roasted almonds. For now, however, the early visitors had to keep it dry. The first beer was served at 12:00 noon.
Even if you can celebrate without conditions – the risk of corona has not been eliminated. Authorities warned visitors to take a test if they had cold symptoms and not come to the festival sick to protect others. Doctors expect – just like after other folk festivals – a corona wave after the Wiesn.
Video: This is how expensive beer, chicken and co will be in 2022
A liter of water costs no less than 9.67 euros
Before the pandemic, six million visitors regularly came to the Wiesn. Whether the crowds this year will be as big as they used to be remains to be seen. Some expect more guests, others less. Concerns about Corona, but also money worries could be the reason: an Oktoberfest chicken costs up to 14.40 euros, a pork shank costs 24 euros, white sausages can be consumed for eight euros. A liter of water costs no less than 9.67 euros.
Ironically, temperatures dropped at the point of tapping after the super summer — it’s getting cold and wet. However, visitors are allowed to bring umbrellas – unlike large backpacks. The site is fenced again this year and there are random checks at the entrances.
600 police officers on duty
About 600 police officers provide security on the 16 days of the festival. There are more video cameras and additional agents with body cams. For the first time at the Oktoberfest, a mobile CT device is available for a quick diagnosis of injuries – there has never been such a device at a folk festival. The 187th Oktoberfest ends on October 3.
I’m Wayne Wickman, a professional journalist and author for Today Times Live. My specialty is covering global news and current events, offering readers a unique perspective on the world’s most pressing issues. I’m passionate about storytelling and helping people stay informed on the goings-on of our planet.