Export Sep 07, 2015

Oktoberfest – An export hit

42 hectares, 95 food vendors, over six million visitors annually and just as many litres of beer: That's the Oktoberfest in Munich. The original Oktoberfest attracts guests from around the world, but it is also copied in many countries around the globe. This provides several Bavarian music ensembles with the opportunity of going on a world tour.

Bavarian “Gemütlichkeit” overseas

Beer tents, traditional costumes and the unique Bavarian party mood attract several million visitors to Munich every year during autumn. But celebrating a toast to “Gemütlichkeit” is no longer limited to “Minga” (as the locals call their state capitol). The world's most famous festival is one of Bavaria's biggest export hits, whose offshoots can be found around the world. How about an Oktoberfest with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge? Simple: visit San Francisco and delve into the blue-and-white festivities. But you could also go to Brisbane, Tokyo, New York or even the Australian Outback to take part in the local version of the original Munich event. For those who do not want to travel all the way to the “real” Wiesn , will certainly be able to find a local offshoot near their home. For example, Munich's partner city Cincinnati hosts a more or less traditional Oktoberfest since back in 1976; Bangkok even celebrates an entire beer garden festival from October to November.


Brass band music from Cap Town to Shanghai

Of course, there has to be the suitable musical accompaniment along with festival beer and traditional delicacies – even when celebrating abroad. Thus, some of the successful Oktoberfest bands are not only masters at creating the right mood music, they also collect plenty of bonus miles as frequent travellers. Tokyo, Dubai and Shanghai – are just a few stops for the “Kirchdorfer”. For the past 20 years, the very busy band has been playing in the Hacker tent from morning to night at the Wiesn – every night up to curfew. Then it's off around the world playing the hits that are popular in Munich. In 2014, the band performed in South Africa, Chile, China and Japan. The band has also already played at the biggest offshoot, the Oktoberfest in the Brazilian city of Blumenau. Other Oktoberfest bands, such as the “Högl Fun Band”, who perform at the Wine Tent during the original Wiesn, also tour through many different countries.  

Copy and original

International Oktoberfests do their best in creating authenticity, not only when selecting the musicians, but also when it comes to traditional costumes, food and beverages. But how successful they are varies considerably. While beer from tried and proven traditional breweries is served in Munich, beers served around the world do not always conform to the German purity law for beer. Even the traditional costumes differ strongly from the Bavarian originals. For example, the website of the Oktoberfest in Santa Cruz do Sul, highlights samba dancers in airy traditional Bavarian costumes, however, they are not blue-white, but rather display the national colours of Brazil. Even the dates when the Oktoberfests are held differ from those of the original. Sometimes, due to the overall weather situation, the traditional month of October is moved up to August or postponed until January.

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