Corona: Oktoberfest 2021 has been cancelled

Oktoberfest - Blick über die Theresienwiese

Oktoberfest (18.09 - 03.10.2021) cancelled due to coronavirus

(May 3, 2021) The largest folk festival in the world has been cancelled. For the second time in a row, there will be no Oktoberfest in 2021 due to the Corona pandemic. This difficult decision was announced by Minister President Markus Söder and Munich's Lord Mayor Dieter Reiter at a joint press conference. Here are the first statements.

Lord Mayor Dieter Reiter: "Wiesn can only exist completely or not at all".

, Foto: Presseamt / Michael Nagy
Foto: Presseamt / Michael Nagy

Prime Minister Markus Söder and Mayor Dieter Reiter held a press conference at Prinz-Carl-Palais to officially announce what had been speculated for some time. The Oktoberfest will not take place in 2021 - for the second time in a row.

This was preceded by a corresponding joint recommendation by the state government and the Bavarian municipalities that organize large public festivals.

"The news is bitter, but I'm sure it comes as no surprise to most: the Wiesn has to be cancelled for a second time," said Lord Mayor Reiter. "Of course, the month of September is still far away and we are on a good way in Germany, through hard cuts in our private and public life, with thousands of tests every day and a vaccination rate that finally shows a steeper upward trend and is light at the end of the long pandemic tunnel. But even if in Germany and perhaps Europe a large proportion of people are vaccinated by September, and hopefully we can get back to our normal lives bit by bit, the pandemic will not yet be over worldwide."

The mayor of Munich adds: "The Oktoberfest has a history of more than 200 years, it is the largest public festival in the world, with around 6 million guests every year. The risk is simply too great that people could contract the Corona virus here. I know how hard this is not only for the visitors, but also how much it affects all those who work at the Wiesn and now have to do without income once again - from the waiters and waitresses, to the stall operators and showmen, to the innkeepers. But the Wiesn can only exist completely or not at all."

Wiesn head, Clemens Baumgärtner: "Decision is right and resonable"

Clemens Baumgärtner

Clemens Baumgärtner, the Labor and Economic Affairs Officer responsible for the Oktoberfest, says: "For a while it looked as if the Oktoberfest could take place this year. Unfortunately, this hope has now been dashed due to a third wave of infection. The decision is right and sensible, because the Wiesn must not pose a threat to the life and limb of its guests. That would severely damage our festival and our brand."

Baumgärtner also knows, of course, that "for the people who run the Wiesn, from the landlord to the carousel operator to the pretzel vendor, the renewed cancellation is a heavy blow. Nevertheless, this is also certain: There will be no replacement event of any kind for the Munich Oktoberfest. However, we want to think about a new edition of the summer in the city, for example."

Intensive dialogue with festival hosts and customers

Das leere Paulaner-Zelt auf der Wiesn, Foto: picture alliance / dpa/Archivbild
Foto: picture alliance / dpa/Archivbild Empty Paulaner tent: No visitors to the Wiesn this year

Reiter clarifies: "We can only celebrate a folk festival if the people can also go. In my opinion, there can be no restrictions on admission, because otherwise it is not a folk festival. And there must be a boisterous and safe atmosphere, and even that cannot be assumed in the current situation regarding the Corona pandemic. Incidentally, I am making this decision in intensive dialog with the festival landlords and the people who supply the festival, who have all said: Just a little bit of Wiesn is not enough. That's why we have to bite the bullet and won't have an Oktoberfest in 2021 either."

Minister President Söder emphasized that, despite the recommendation to forego large folk festivals, the Free State of Bavaria would like to support the municipalities in their search for creative, decentralized solutions for replacement events - such as the "Summer in the City" in Munich, for example.

Video: Lord Mayor Dieter Reiter on the cancellation of the Oktoberfest

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