Once-Lively Bierhalls To Be Empty For Second Year In A Row
Munich Oktoberfest 2021 has been canceled. It’s the second year in a row this iconic two-week celebration won’t take place due to COVID-19 concerns. It was the 26th time in its history the event has been canceled. The 187th Oktoberfest had been scheduled for Sept. 18-Oct. 3.
“It wasn’t an easy decision, but I have to make it now and I have done so,” said Lord Mayor Dieter Reiter.
“The risk is simply too huge that people here could become infected with the Corona virus. I know how hard this is not only for the visitors, but also how much it affects everyone who works at the Wiesn and now has to do without that income once again – from the waiters and waitresses to the stall operators, showmen and innkeepers. But: Oktoberfest can only take place completely or not at all.”
Minister President Dr. Markus Söder said three reasons led to the cancelation.
“First: The situation is too uncertain,” he said. “We have an economic obligation here – a later cancellation of the Oktoberfest would be an economic loss.”
The second reason he cited was the potential damage to the Oktoberfest brand, a globally renowned calling card for Munich and Bavaria. Third, Söder said, an Oktoberfest with requirements such as mandatory masks and distances in the large tents would not be feasible and could lead to “chaotic conditions.”
“For a while it looked as if the Oktoberfest could take place this year,” says Clemens Baumgärtner, the Labor and Economic Affairs Officer responsible for the Oktoberfest. “Unfortunately, that hope has now been dashed because of a third wave of infection. The decision is correct and reasonable, because no danger to life and limb of the guests may emanate from the Wiesn. That would severely damage our festival and our brand.”
He added that the renewed cancellation was a heavy blow for the people who run the Wiesn, from festival hosts to carousel operators to pretzel vendors. There will also be no “replacement Wiesn.” But: “We want to think about a new edition of the summer in the city, for example.”