Oktoberfest 2023 to last 2 days longer than usual
Germany’s most famous festival will be extended by two days in 2023, following decreased visitor numbers at Oktoberfest this autumn.
Munich council extends Oktoberfest's 2023 run
The world’s biggest beer festival will add an extra two days to its run in 2023, following underwhelming visitor numbers this autumn. After two years of coronavirus related disruptions, the 2022 festival drew 5,7 million people who drank a collective 5,6 million litres of beer.
The city council in Munich announced the change on Wednesday. “Let’s hope the weather will be better, then it will make sense,” said SPD Mayor Dieter Reiter. With unlucky timing the 2022 festival had rainy, cold weather over its entire run.
While only Die Linke and Die Partei officially opposed the extension, others have voiced concerns about the decision. Some feel that the 16-day alcohol-fuelled festival is already enough of a burden on local people and businesses. In order to relieve locals and make the affair more calm, Munich authorities suggested that the festival's additional days be for families, with discounted fairground rides and reservation-free tents to encourage spontaneous family outings.
Oktoberfest 2022 in numbers
This year’s statistic of 5,7 million visitors to the Wiesn meant it was a relatively small one. According to the official Oktoberfest website, the festival’s 175th birthday in 1985 saw the record number of revellers, with roughly 7,1 million people passing through - more than the entire population of Bulgaria.
This year, festival goers were also met with considerably higher prices than before, paying an average of 15,77 percent more for a Maß beer than at the 2019 festival. This year the one litre of beer cost between 12,60 and 13,80 euros compared to between 10,80 and 11,80 euros at the 2019 pre-pandemic run. It was not possible to buy a beer smaller than one litre.
As with many events which involve copious amounts of alcohol, unruly behaviour from irresponsible to abusive was a feature at this year's outing. While the festival’s infamous “vomit hill” (Kotzhügel) was reportedly less busy, police surveilled public urination, sexual activity and drug deals more extensively. According to Deutsche Welle, 55 attendees also reported sexual or physical assaults - 10 more than last year, despite fewer visitors.