Munich’s annual beer festival Oktoberfest will last two days longer in 2023, the city’s council announced on Wednesday. Next year, patrons will have 18 days to indulge themselves in the beer and food tents and the fair outside them, thanks to the fortuitous timing of a public holiday. The move is meant to increase revenue following losses at this year’s event. Oktoberfest was cancelled for the two previous years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Let’s hope that the weather will be better, then it will make sense,” Mayor Dieter Reiter said about the decision. The far-left grouping of Die Linke and Die Partei were the only political parties to oppose the move.
This year’s event was marked by unusually wet and cold weather, helping to reduce the number of visitors, as well as ongoing concerns about COVID-19. Coronavirus cases in Munich spiked after this year’s festival.
Many local residents were opposed to the decision to extend the event, according to local outlets, who felt that 16 days of alcohol-fuelled revelry was enough of a burden. (Also Read | Oktoberfest: Cheers to food, fun and festivities!)
In response, authorities proposed that the extra days would be designated family days, with discounts on rides and no reservations in the tents to help spontaneous family visits.
This year, 55 women reported sexual or physical assaults — 10 more than last year, despite fewer visitors.
In 2019, a total of 6.3 million people attended Oktoberfest. This year, 5.7 million guests from both Germany and abroad came to drink 6% alcohol beer out of 1-liter (0.26 gallons) vessels.
The infamous puke hill was slightly less unruly this year, with police patrols and cameras monitoring vomiting drunks, public urination, fornication and drug deals.
Prices were much higher this year as well, with festival-goers paying between €12.60 and €13.80 ($12.37 to $13.55) for a litre of beer, called a Mass.
It is not possible to buy less than 1 litre of beer at a time, although inspectors said just 14% of beers sold actually contained the full litre paid for.