10 Tips on Surviving your First OktoberFest Beer Festival

31 May, 2013

Held since 1810, Oktoberfest is a dear tradition for German people as well as the uttermost attraction for tourists and beer fanatics worldwide. It lasts for 16 days in a row, making the adventure run wild and the challenge almost impossible to survive yet the locals have somehow discovered, during the years of sharing and passing on of the ritual  numerous hints under the table that seems to make them undefeatable.  As they say practice makes perfect a propos viva la resistance!

OktoberFest Germany Beer Festival

Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/kudo88/6928667487/sizes/l/in/photostream/

Wiesn , as the natives call it welcomes over 6 million folks over this festivity, including all the generations which no doubt is a golden break for chaos though usually people dispersed over and around their favorite tents.

The festival currently maintains 14 larger tents and some 20 smaller ones among which different types of personalities can choose what suits them best. Despite the diverse themes, interior and internal activities many of the tents differ on the type of food, particularly meat they serve having to choose between chicken, roast pork , grilled ham,  grilled fish on a stick, Würst  along with Pretzel , Knödel (potato or bread dumplings , cheese noodles and the unconventional Reiberdatschi (potato pancakes). There something we all agree on, the Bavarian Obatzda, a delicious mixture of bread cheese and butter is spicy enough to sober your drunken ass into a nun.

According to your status, age and preferences the social atmosphere changes from tent to tent, luxurious offering wine and champagne on some tents and others hippy, chaotic and very loud. Having the chance to frequent each one at a time contemplates the whole experience and spirit of the festival so voila’ enjoy the ride.

OktoberFest Germany Beer Festival

Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicolelaukhart/6195594559/sizes/l/in/photostream/

Drinking liter after liter, trying various types of flavor you yearn for later on or you spill your guts out from, the singing, laughter, crowds in costumes and glasses clinking may become a sane man’s insanity after the certain amount of alcohol reaches your central, the brain. Without the proper care, prior to and during your staying inside these venues the point of collapse is inevitable. So, suck it up mate and learn how to hibernate your liver through great Oktoberfest days.

1.       It is all about the Money

Firstly you have to bring loads of cash, each beer costs between 8-11 euros, a decent meal is around 15 euros and renting a room, even 6 months before it even starts will cost you no less than 40 euros per night. Most of the natives and a lot of tourists too wear traditional costumes to the event that include lederhosen for gentleman and dirndls for the misses. It’s after all a festival held in the name of the festivity of King Ludwig I getting married to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen over 200 years ago so not wearing the traditional cloths puts a jinx on its sanctity. Genuine costumes cost somewhere around 100 euros and even it’s considered a bit disrespectful no one says it’s illegal to attend it in jeans and a t-shirt. Have mercy on your wallet, the more money, the merrier.

2.       Plan Way Ahead

Never mind its name, the festival starts in the last week of September so keep that in mind while deciding to take your vacation. The number of visitors per year speaks for itself, booking a place to stay some place close to the festival must be done months before while they are vacant or else you’ll end up sleeping in Nuremberg. If you desire to attend the festival during the weekends you better be there at 7am or have a table of 16 reserved, drinking while standing is not common and definitely not smart.  You don’t want to waste 10 precious euros in a beer you’ll despise so get the list of the types of beer that will be served at your tent and choose wisely.

Once inside a tent it gets very crowded, sometimes even impossible to leave for many hours so according to its characteristics and your interests pick one that will keep up with your standards.

3.       Health Insurance

No matter how many times you tell yourself while sober that you won’t do anything stupid when drunk it’s never the case. In the end you just stop torturing yourself with the one promise you won’t ever be able to keep and get insured (Mawista, a terrific choice I’d recommend). So, I shall say break a leg, LITERALLY.

4.       Rest and Digest

While there take a day off between party days to visit other spots in Munich that you might find interesting. BREATHE, none can’t drink for so many days in a row and not be suicidal. Sleep well, drink water and eat tons of fruits, you’ll be in a desperate need of detox.  Remember you are no superman so act upon it.

5.       Holy Water

Start drinking water more than usual, even a couple of days before arriving. Once well hydrated the engine will feel like new.

6.       Service on a first come first served bases

Arrive early, before noon if possible during the weekdays yet before dawn in the weekends. Firstly you’ll be among the first to enter, you can easily get a table and comfortably sit and wait for your first beer, first.

7.       Eat your way to victory

To tolerate the percentage of alcohol ingested, reach out for our best friend carbs. Transform your light salad meals to giant plates of pasta, hamburger and pommes’ or fatty meat portions for 10 served inside the festival. Don’t skip dinner or snacks, pretzels can be lifesaving.

8.       Don’t dress to impress

While in front of the closet, pick up the items you feel most comfortable in. Long hours and stretchy clothes make a perfect nightmare. Check on the weather, dressing in layers is no option, between the crowd and translocations there is no space for anything but you. Everything that is extra, even the everyday jewelry can be lost, grabbed or stolen from you without even noticing.

Have in mind that last year in Oktoberfest in Lost and Found office apart from 950 passports, 570 wallets, 480 mobile phones, 280 bags and rucksacks, 80 cameras and 100 pieces of jewelry and watches, there are also some unusual items, some of them still waiting to be collected by their rightful owner:

Two wedding-rings, two license plates, two bugles (one already collected), a hearing-aid, a baby monitor, a ping-pong-paddle, a Playboy-magazine (signed by the official 2012 Oktoberfest Playmate) and a dog (already collected).

9.       Don’t rush on leaving

The day usually ends before midnight, in case you make it till the end; don’t rush on leaving and try to avoid the crowd, fighting and vomiting. It’s rather unpleasant.  Drunken fellows remind me of sci-fi movies, so very untrue and hard to gasp.

10.   Forget about Driving

This tip is redundant, as I recall, based on all the propaganda against alcohol vs. cars and the fact that you should know better than drinking when hammered. One other thing, it’s ILLEGAL.

Bonus Tips on Do’s and Don’ts for OktoberFest Behavior

  • Be polite to the waitresses, they decide when, where and if ever you will get your next beer. Smile and don’t forget to say thank you, so you won’t end up sober.
  • Be polite to the guards, those giant gladiators might come in handy at the end.
  • Make friend with the people that surround you, clink glasses and look them in the eyes you don’t want to end up single; when the Beatles are singing let it be, most definitely let it be, join the crowd and sing along out loud. You’ve hit rock bottom!
  • Don’t do anything stupid and dangerous, save the cravings to a crazy ride for Disneyland.
  • Alcohol means poor judgment means altered attitude means trouble. Don’t hit on a chick unless you are positive she is there with girlfriends, or just friends. THINGS CAN GET UGLY.

Again, superheroes don’t exist and certainly won’t come rescue your sorry ass, therefore behave.

After this much information I guess that everyone gets the moral of the story: Try not to pass out, one way or the other, you’d be losing all the fun.

Zhiqiang & Tingyi

Comments (2)

  • chaussureReply

    8 June, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Really appreciate you sharing this blog article. Much obliged.

  • besReply

    20 June, 2013 at 6:11 am

    Enjoyed every bit of your article post.Really looking forward to read more. Much obliged.

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