Oktoberfest 2022 | Munich

Yes to the Wiesn

The city of Munich has made its decision: The Oktoberfest 2022 may take place.
IMAGO / Sven Simon
The city of Munich has made its decision: The Oktoberfest 2022 may take place.

After a two-year Corona break, the Oktoberfest will be held in Munich again this year. This was announced by Munich's mayor Dieter Reiter last week. According to the announcement, there will be no restrictions on access.

On September 17, the Theresienwiese will once again be the place to be: "Ozapft is". The festival will last until October 3. The Dehoga Bavaria welcomes the decision of the state capital Munich: "This was anything but easy under the circumstances, it therefore deserves respect," said industry association's Bavaria President Angela Inselkammer, "but we not only support it, we expressly welcome it."

Around 6 million visitors were attracted to the world's largest public festival before the pandemic. In 2020 and 2021, it had been canceled because of Covid-19. In the more than 200-year history of the folk festival, longer breaks have only occurred in times of war.

Corona requirements for festivals are taken back

In the meantime, Corona requirements for folk festivals have been dropped in the Free State. Bavaria's Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) had made it clear that he was convinced the Oktoberfest had to take place "at least according to legal aspects." "I think we should do that," he also said. However, the decision on whether and how to hold folk festivals is made by the respective municipalities. So the ball was in the state capital's court.

Last year, city officials had already expressed confidence that this year beer could once again flow in torrents on the Theresienwiese. Concepts were being developed as to how the Wiesn could take place in 2022 and how guests could have fun as safely as possible, Reiter said last September. Wiesn boss Clemens Baumgärtner (CSU) expressed similar views. For a short time, it was considered whether the festival could be brought forward because of the rising infection figures in the fall. However, this was quickly discarded.

Debate: Celebrating despite the war?

Most recently, after an appearance by the mayor of Kiev, Vitali Klitschko, in the Munich City Council, there had been a live debate about whether it was possible to celebrate cheerfully in view of the war and the suffering of the people. The Wiesnwirte had countered that it would contribute to international understanding if people from all over the world celebrated together peacefully. It was also argued that a cancellation would rather play into the hands of Kremlin boss Vladimir Putin, because this would show his power.

"Two years of pandemic with many restrictions are behind us, we have learned to live with the virus and everyone can protect themselves accordingly. And even if there is war in Ukraine: we are all helping refugees in quite a few relief actions with accommodation as well as integration in school and work," said Thomas Geppert, regional manager of Dehoga Bavaria. "Especially in these times, it also needs a little time out to recharge our batteries and experience good, positive moments together with friends. And that's exactly what the Wiesn is the right place for."