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Are reservations required for Oktoberfest?

Are reservations required for Oktoberfest?

Aug 21st, 2000, 08:59 AM
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Are reservations required for Oktoberfest?

My wife and I will be at Oktoberfest 2000 on opening day. I have read several posts saying you have to have a reservation to get a seat in the beer tents. Others have stated just the opposite. Please, which is it?.

Forgive the question but with all of the alcohol, are there many fights, people getting sick, passed out, etc. that put a damper on the activites? It would seem that things could get out of hand easiliy with so many drunk people in such a small area?

Any favorite recommendations would be appreciated (like the parade, carnival activities, etc.)


Aug 21st, 2000, 10:36 AM
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This is old info, but when we were there in the 70s you did not need reservations for any of the large tents. You just went in and tried to find a spot. They have VIP booths around the perimeter of the tents, but those have security guards. Again, all of this may have changed since then.

Fights? There will always be fights at things like this, but I found that the cops kept it pretty well controlled and we were not bothered.

The opening day parade used to be through downtown and then into the park to start the festival. It was fun tow watch, but crowded. We ended up following the last group in the parade into the park.

Have fun. You gotta do this thing once!
Aug 21st, 2000, 10:43 AM
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John, try this website:


Good info about Munich and Oktoberfest in particular. Read the little article called "Let's Party!" It's pretty accurate, especially when describing the behavior of the Italian men at Oktoberfest. Women are fair game for them to grope and harass at Oktoberfest.
If you are older than 18 I think you'll find Oktoberfest to be just a dirty fairground with a bunch of loud drunks. Much of the appeal seems to be for teenage males who may not be of legal age to drink in their home countries (like the USA). We saw men urinating on the street corners, the yelling and screaming carried on in the streets all night (got no sleep in our hotel), and of course, being a woman, I was followed, grabbed and propositioned relentlessly (yes, by Italian men). The garbage in the street and the stench was enough to make us pick up and carry our suitcases rather than wheel them through the muck.

Munich is a fine city but Oktoberfest does seem to bring out the worst. Just be prepared for it.
Aug 21st, 2000, 11:29 AM
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Being a man I didn't have trouble with the Italian men. I say very few fights and most of those were started by American GI's. You only get reservations for a large group otherwise it's each person for them selves, so get there early.
Aug 21st, 2000, 11:48 AM
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Interesting how people can have such different perceptions of the same event! I was at Oktoberfest last year, and had a fabulous time-and no, I'm not under 18, I'm in my mid-thirties. Nor was I harassed by Italian men; flirted with, yes, in a fun and entertaining way, but they were always more than willing to back off when I drew the "flirtation line."

I had expected the Fest to be nothing more than a crowd of loud, annoying drunks, but somehow it was...even though people were both drunk and loud. There was something very warm and welcoming about the atmosphere in the beer Zelts, and people were more than willing to squish over and make room for us at their tables. People frequently offered to buy us beer and food, too (that may have something to do with the fact that I remember a fair amount of my high school German).

As I said to my companion, "This is the nicest bunch of drunks I've ever met!" We did see a couple of people in serious hurt--one guy in lederhosen was collapsed in an alley barfing into his own lap. But it really didn't seem to get so out of control that it interfered with the fun.

Keep in mind, now, that we were there on Sunday and Monday nights. What weekend nights looked like, I can't claim to know. But we had a blast.

John, as far as reservations go, you *can't* make reservations in a tent unless you have a large group--I think either ten or twelve is the minimum. Just get there at a reasonable hour (we were fine staking out seats as late at 7 pm, but I'm told it needs to be earlier on weekend nights and as the 'Fest goes on--we were there right after opening weekend), and pick your tent. If you can't find space in the first one you try, there are a dozen others.

Have a great time!

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