Oktoberfest 2019 – A review in numbers

Oktoberfest 2019 – A review in numbers

As the sun set on Munich last Sunday and the crowds slowly dispersed, Oktoberfest 2019 finally drew to a close. In their annual statistics report, the organisers declared this year’s festival “a quality Oktoberfest for the whole family.” While sadly no records were broken this year, the stats certainly make for interesting reading... Let’s dive into the numbers!

6,3 million attendees

Despite the temperamental German weather, this year’s festival managed to attract the same number of people as last year, with festival organisers estimating that Oktoberfest 2019 was attended by 6,3 million people.

This is still a long way off from the all-time record attendance of 7,1 million set in 1985! Contrarily, the number of visitors to the Oide Wiesn - a separate, more "traditional" festival that runs parallel to Oktoberfest - did increase by about 50.000 from last year, giving a grand total of 550.000 people.

45 countries

The highest number of visitors came from these 10 countries: US, UK, France, Austria, Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, Australia, Sweden and Denmark. However, a total of 45 different countries were represented by attendees.

Celebrities, politicians and football players were all in attendance, including the stars of FC Bayern München. There was a rumour that former US president Barack Obama was going to attend. He was certainly around, having stopped in to deliver an opening speech at the start-up festival Bits & Pretzels, but he did not put in an appearance at the Therienwiese. 

500 postcards a day

According to the Oktoberfest post office, an average of 500 postcodes were mailed each day of the festival. Beer mugs were sent to Australia, Asia and the US, while gingerbread hearts were sent to Italy and Austria. It is also reported that, due to the weather, lots of winter clothes were mailed home. 

7,3 million litres of beer

In total this year, the 6,3 million guests this year managed to drink 7,3 million litres of local German beer, according to the breweries’ balance sheets. This is a small decline from last year’s 7,5 million litres.

However, the demand for food actually increased slightly this year, with guests eating 124 oxen and 29 calves, as well as more vegetarian and vegan food than ever before.

914 criminal offences

Overall, the police reported a reduction in crime for the duration of the 16-day festival. Total offences dropped from 924 in 2018 to 914 this year. While pickpocketing offences were down from 14 to 133, the number of large-scale fights and sexual offences both increased slightly. Eagle-eyed stewards also recovered 96.912 beer mugs from would-be-pilferers.

The biggest problem for the police proved to be the presence of E-scooters, which were only introduced to the city in mid-June this year. In total, 774 drivers were stopped for DUIs, 414 of them on E-scooters. This resulted in the confiscation of 468 driving licences254 of them belonging to E-scooter drivers. At last year's E-scooter free festival, there were only 332 driving offences and 192 licences confiscated.

6.392 medical examinations

The medical team at Oktoberfest examined 6.392 people this year, 800 more than last year. Nonetheless, cases of severe alcohol poisoning dropped, from 720 to 600. A total of 3.120 people were treated in the festival medical tent. Seven attacks on paramedics were also reported, including a woman who bit two paramedics. She apparently apologised the next day.

The fire service was alerted 14 times this year, mostly for technical assistance. This is a significant drop from last year, when it was alerted 27 times.

3.800 lost items

And, finally, around 3.800 items were admitted into the lost and found office. This included 780 ID cards, 690 items of clothing, 660 purses, 465 bank cards, 420 smartphones, 300 keys, 155 glasses, 130 different bags, 115 umbrellas, 55 pieces of jewellery and eight cameras.

A set of teeth was one of the more bizarre items donated to the lost and found office, as well as a UN card game, a kitchen sieve, a flugelhorn and a book - “Dali – The Picturesque Work”, found in its original packaging.

William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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