Oktoberfest sees lowest number of visitors in 15 years

Oktoberfest officials call it a "relaxed autumn-Wiesn with a lot of locals", others term it the worst Oktoberfest in 15 years. Only 5.6 million people, which is a drop of 300,000 people or 5% from 2015, visited Munich’s Oktoberfest which ended on Monday. This is even more disappointing taking into account that this year’s festival lasted one day longer due to the public holiday on its last day.


Also the consumption of beer declined. Toni Roiderer, the tent proprietor spokesman, reports a drop in consumption of food and drink of 12-15 percent in comparison to last year. People drank about 70,000 hectoliters of beer, which is 7,000 hectoliters less than 2015. It seems that the trend of the previous years with less visitors drinking more beer seems now to be broken.


In the last 5 years the largest beer festival in the world has seen a steady decline with its peak in 2011 with 6.9 million visitors. The low numbers can be blamed on security fears as well as the poor weather.


In the light of the events two months ago, when a 18-year old man with German-Iranian citizenship killed nine people and wounded more than 15 at a shopping center in Munich, officials had imposed stricter security measures on then festival. There had been a fence around the whole festival area with security checks at the entrances. In peak times more than 450 security wardens were on duty which checked visitors at the entrance.


Especially the first weekend of the Oktoberfest saw bad weather with abundant rainfall. This helped competing  this year’s Stuttgart’s Cannstatter Volksfest, which enjoyed bright sunshine and warm temperatures on its opening weekend, to attract twice as many people. 

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