‘The Risks Are Simply Too High’ Bavarian Minister President Söder Says In Announcement
The world’s greatest beer party, the two-week hoisting of heavy 1-liter beer mugs with an oompha beat backdrop, has been canceled.
Oktoberfest 2020 in Munich made the announcement. It was scheduled for Sept. 19-Oct. 4.
“No Oktoberfest 2020,” the event organizers posted on its website. “It hurts us.”
It also hurts the hoards people from around the world who go to Munich for the two-week beer festival and carnival. They sit by the thousands in beer tents the size of airplane hangers, eat pretzels the size of steering wheels and drink German beer by the fistfull from big glass mugs, which are brought to them by hearty waitresses who somehow manage to carry several at one time.
On a stage, bands play oompha and other lively music in one of the great party scenes in the world.
“It is the biggest and most beautiful beer festival in the world”, said Bavaria’s Minister-President Markus Söder. He then added, “the risk is simply too high.”
Munich’s Lord Mayor Dieter Reiter, who made the decision along with Soder, called April 21, the date of the announcement, “a quite sad day. Not to let it happen is a bitter pill to swallow.”
He added that ‘This will disappoint a lot of people. We have about two million foreign visitors, we have a beer festival where people sit close together. I am a big Wiesn fan, not only because of my task of tapping, but I am at the Theresienwiese almost every day. That’s one of the hardest decisions you can make.” But the health of the people is the highest priority.
A visibly affected Lord Mayor spoke of “several hearts beating in his chest” but said that Oktoberfest “simply cannot exist in these times.” For him personally, the traditional tapping in the Schottenhamel tent is one of the central official acts of the Munich mayor.
“I hope that in 2021, no, I’m sure that we will see another Oktoberfest in 2021 – hopefully under different conditions by then. Until then, I must beg your indulgence that there was no other solution.”