Germany: Will Munich have an open-air Septemberfest this year?

Bavaria's Minister of Economic Affairs Hubert Aiwanger has proposed to organize this year a special open air Oktoberfest instead of the traditional one which was canceled in April because of the corona pandemic (, 21.4.2020). He said he could very well imagine people sitting comfortable and at a distance outside on ale-benches and long tables like in a traditional Bavarian beer garden instead of beer tents with their crowded narrowness and sultry air.

In the wake of easing the curfews after the corona pandemic, beer gardens in Bavaria are now allowed to be operated again at normal opening hours."It will be a beer festival without a tent, bar and crowds, just a beer garden with background music.Maybe it’s even more pleasant for many. And parasols also protect against a brief downpour," Aiwanger said. Access to the outdoor seating areas could be restricted to avoid crowds. "That is the reality already practiced in the beer gardens," he added.

Michael Käfer, one of the festival tent hosts (Käfers Wiesn-Schänke) appreciates Aiwanger’s ideas: "I am extremely grateful when the Minister of Economic Affairs thinks about how he can support us innkeepers. Every help is great and can inspire new momentum,” he told Abendzeitung München. Käfer could even imagine to spread the beer gardens all over the city with guests wearing Bavaria's traditional Lederhosen and Dirndls for the two weeks of the event.

However, weather in Munich in October can already be cold and rainy. Therefore, it could make sense to celebrate the festival this year already in early September. Who cares, if in a weird year like 2020 the Oktoberfest this year is a Septemberfest?

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