The origin of Oktoberfest dates back to 1810 to celebrate the October 12 royal marriage between Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria (later King Ludwig I) and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. Citizens of Munich were invited to partake in the five-day festival in a field in front of the city gates, later named Theresienwiese (Theresa’s Fields) or simply Wiesn (“vee-zn”) as referred to by locals. The modern day Wiesn covers over a hundred acres or roughly 79 football fields for perspective.
Oktoberfest has withstood the test of epidemics, wars, and time over its 200+ years of existence. What began as a modest royal wedding celebration with small beer stands and horse races has evolved into an international festival with beer tents the size of football fields and amusement rides you’d find in a theme park. Today, Oktoberfest is the world’s largest festival.
Contrary to its name, Oktoberfest actually takes place in September (third weekend in September to the first Sunday in October). Citizens of Munich and event organizers moved the event from mid October to late September in order to take advantage of warmer weather and longer days. Six million people attend this festival each year from all over the world. Some statistics to provide a sense of scale for this two-week event:
- Beer: 7 million liters (that’s 20 million bottles of beer!)
- Wine: 110,000 liters (150,000 bottles)
- Chicken: 500,000
- Sausages: 300,000 links
- Fish: 85,000 lbs
- Electricity: 2.8 million kWh (14% of Munich’s daily use)
- Water: 24 million gallons (27% of Munich’s daily use)
- Trash: 700 tons
The Hofbrau tent (Hofbräu-Festzelt) is the largest at the Oktoberfest covering an area of roughly a football field. Total seating capacity is 9,992 (capacity at Toyota Center is 18,043). About 550,000 liters of Hofbräu Oktoberfest are consumed (that’s about 700 kegs a day during the 16-day event). Construction on the massive tent structure begins in mid July with completion up to the week of opening. Due to Hofbräu’s international appeal, it attracts the greatest number of foreign visitors than any other tent.
Bar Munich encourages everyone to experience this wonderful event at least once. We cannot describe in words or capture in pictures the amount of fun you’ll have. You just have to live it to understand. It’s truly a once in a lifetime experience. To find out more, follow this link.