Söder cancels Munich Oktoberfest 2020
Status: 11:35 a.m. | Reading time: 2 minutes
The Oktoberfest is not taking place this year because of the corona pandemic. This was announced by Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) and Munich’s Mayor Dieter Reiter (SPD).
EThere will be no Oktoberfest 2020: The risk in corona times is “simply too big,” said Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) on Tuesday in Munich. You could not keep enough distance on the festival site, and wearing a face mask was also not an option there. The city of Munich and the state government had therefore jointly decided not to hold an Oktoberfest. Even smaller forms were not an alternative, Söder explained: “The Oktoberfest takes place correctly, right or not at all.”
The Oktoberfest is “the largest and most beautiful festival in the world”. Söder said that he as Prime Minister and Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter (SPD) “normally have a great interest that this festival takes place”. But in Corona times it was “to live cautiously”. Söder said: “It hurts us. It’s a shame. ”
Without vaccines and medication, special care must be taken at the moment. However, the past few months have shown that après-ski in Ischgl, Austria, strong beer festivals and carnival events are “virus hurlers”, said Söder.
Normally, the largest folk festival in the world this year would have drawn six million guests from all over the world between September 19 and October 4. The Volksfest is an enormous economic factor for the city, which is why around one million guests stay in Munich every year.
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At the latest since the federal and state governments had decided to ban major events until the end of August, it was clear that there was hardly a chance for the world’s largest fair just three weeks later.
Economic value of the Oktoberfest: 1.23 billion euros
At the end of March it was said that the decision was to be made as late as possible – in late May or at the latest in early June. Then the approvals for innkeepers, showmen and market clerks should have been issued by the city. Construction would have started on Theresienwiese in early July.
The cancellation is a major blow to the economy. Not only showmen, innkeepers and stall owners at the festival itself, but also hotels, restaurants, taxi drivers and retailers benefit from the festival. According to the city, the Wiesn 2019 had an economic value of around 1.23 billion euros.
The Oktoberfest had already been canceled in the 19th century due to a plague: the festival was canceled in 1854 and 1873 due to cholera. Even in times of war there were often no Oktoberfest celebrations: the Volksfest was canceled during the World Wars, as was the hyperinflationary phase in 1923.