Oktoberfest | Munich

Hoping for the Wiesn 2022

Christian Schottenhamel, Gregor Lemke and Peter Inselkammer at the press conference for the 2nd Wirtshauswiesn. "We think positive! The city leadership also wants to avoid at all costs that the Oktoberfest is cancelled a third time," said the second Wiesnwirte spokesman, Christian Schottenhamel. "I firmly believe that the Wiesn will take place in 2022."
Imago / STL
Christian Schottenhamel, Gregor Lemke and Peter Inselkammer at the press conference for the 2nd Wirtshauswiesn. "We think positive! The city leadership also wants to avoid at all costs that the Oktoberfest is cancelled a third time," said the second Wiesnwirte spokesman, Christian Schottenhamel. "I firmly believe that the Wiesn will take place in 2022."

If there were no Corona, it would be time again for the Oktoberfest tapping next weekend in Munich. Instead, it will remain quiet on the Theresienwiese - and also in Michael Käfer's Eventalm at the racecourse in Riem. The Munich entrepreneur cancelled the planned "Mini-Wiesn" there due to the Corona-related uncertainties. What remains is the Wirtshaus-Wiesn and the hope of a re-start for the Oktoberfest in 2022.

All that remains of the originally planned mini-Wiesn at the racecourse in Riem with space for around 600 guests is the opening night. On September 17, presenter Cathy Hummels will celebrate an "Opening Night" at the Eventalm in Riem - but the two weeks of festivities that were supposed to follow the opening fall through. The plan was to have a 14-day mini-replacement Wiesn with a party atmosphere in the Eventalm with its large, rustic rooms that offer enough space for an Oktoberfest band, as well as shooting and almond booths.

"The area is a bit outside and has well controlled entrances. We could have created an authentic Oktoberfest feeling here on a small scale with a safe 3G hygiene concept," Wiesn host Clarissa Käfer regrets the cancellation. "But of course we understand that the city has to remain cautious with the still volatile infection situation and only wanted to grant us a permit at very short notice. After all, we need a certain lead time for planning, so we decided in mid-August not to implement the concept in Riem."

As last year, however, there will be a "Koa Wiesn" at the Käfer-Schänke restaurant and at Gut Kaltenbrunn with the bands from the Käfer Wiesn-Schänke, he said. "That was a great success last year and worked very well from the hygiene concept," said Clarissa Käfer. "I'm really looking forward to finally experiencing a Wiesn atmosphere again and the guests beautifully dressed up and in a good mood in traditional costume."

Silence on the Theresienwiese

While there will probably only be a mobile Corona test center again this year at the traditional Oktoberfest venue instead of the festival tents, people in Munich are already thinking about next year. "I am sure that we will have a Wiesn in 2022," Wiesn boss and Munich's economic affairs officer Clemens Baumgärtner (CSU) told Deutsche Presse-Agentur. "Our task is to fine-tune the conditions."

Certain access rules and digital surveillance are conceivable, Baumgärtner said. He thinks it tends to be possible that the Volksfest could be celebrated with vaccinated and recovered people. A Wiesn with distances and masks is hardly imaginable for him. The Wiesn would not be the only large event under Corona conditions next year. In this respect, measures and techniques are also being developed elsewhere to ensure a safe event. One could also orientate oneself on this.

Munich's Mayor Dieter Reiter (SPD) had already said in June in an online citizens' consultation that two years without Oktoberfest were enough. He wants a Wiesn in 2022, for which a concept is to be drawn up with experts. Finally, he did not want to unlearn the tapping. Several media had reported about it.

Before the pandemic, the world's largest fair attractedsix million visitors, some of whom came from far away: from the USA, for example, or from China, Russia and Australia - an additional risk in Corona times. Most visitors, however, came from Munich and the surrounding area, says Baumgärtner. "We have international guests, of whom we are proud. But in terms of numbers, that's the smallest part."

Scientists are still cautious about the chances of a Wiesn in 2022. "In fact, from an infectiological point of view, it seems to me that no serious statement is possible at the moment," Christoph Spinner, the pandemic officer at the Klinikum rechts der Isar of the Technical University of Munich, told dpa. The development of the pandemic as well as of worrying virus variants, the vaccination progress and many more factors play a role in the risk assessment.

"And in the end, the risk and benefit assessment must be made politically. From my point of view, we have done well in the pandemic to keep the periods of consideration shorter and more manageable," says Spinner. And the next Wiesn is still a while away: it is scheduled to take place from September 17 to October 3, 2022.

On the day of the planned kick-off, September 18, 2021, at least the "Wirtshaus-Wiesn", which last year attracted many fans in traditional costume to the restaurants for Wiesn delicacies and beer, will start in Munich. On the Theresienwiese itself, however, they want to avoid uncontrolled alternative parties, as they did last year.

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 also restrained.

Plans for an "Oktoberfest" in Dubai seem unclear. According to media, it was postponed because of the Delta variant. Munich had taken legal action against the organizers because, according to the city, they gave the impression that the original was moving to the desert. The Munich I Regional Court ruled in favour of the plaintiffs and banned the corresponding advertising.


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