The pulse of the showmen and hosts at the Oktoberfest traditionally goes roller coaster in May. Then the city council decides in a secret session who will be admitted to the Wiesn and who will not. The adrenaline should ensure a particularly good mood for the innkeeper Lorenz Stiftl these days because he is one of the big winners: for the first time, he was awarded the Volkssänger tent at the Odin Wiesn. “We are overjoyed that we can now live out our long-awaited wish with the Odin Wiesn and the Schützenliesl together with the Munich families,” he said after the decision.
The decision, on the other hand, should be bitter for the previous landlady Gerda Reichert, who was last responsible for her husband in 2019. She now has to watch as her “Beauty Queen” – as the tent was called – is renamed Stiftl’s “Schützenliesl”. Reichert’s husband Peter is going his separate ways anyway, he will take over the Bräurosl as host at the Oktoberfest. That had been certain since the end of 2020, but the pandemic has so far prevented its premiere. He was suggested by the Hacker-Pschorr brewery as an innkeeper and therefore didn’t have to worry as much about whether he would survive the city’s approval process. The economic department evaluates all applicants for the Wiesn with a notorious points system. Whoever has the best position here gets the chance. However, not all city councilors are always satisfied with the awarding of points, and there is said to have been some resentment in the meeting on Tuesday. Economics officer and Wiesn boss Clemens Baumgärtner (CSU) had to listen to the accusation that he had been involved in politics much too late. Namely, only when changes were no longer possible.The criticism is said to have been aimed primarily at the allocation of the Volkssänger tent. Quite a few city councilors would have preferred to keep Gerda Reichert as landlady there. Because the cultural concept, which plays a very special role in this tent, is ahead of Stifel. Many members of the Economic Committee are reluctant to give up the concept that was developed by the folk singer Jürgen Kirner. But Stifel was ahead in the total number of points, and the city council did not want to touch the points system. Stifel’s musical director will be Traudi Siferlinger, in the concept the culture department saw too much dominance of Gstanzln and few concrete approaches to the required folk singing.
With the takeover of the Volkssänger tent, Stiftl vacates a position at the chicken roastery, which Kathrin Wickenhäuser-Egger, Alexander Egger and Gerd Schmitz take over. You come to the Wiesn for the first time and bring a new tent with you. Except for Peter Reichert’s first season in the Bräurosl, nothing significant has changed in the large festival halls.
In this special year, however, hosts and showmen had to ride the roller coaster twice in the spring. Because after two years of the pandemic and because of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, it was by no means certain that the Oktoberfest could take place from September 17th to October 3rd as planned. Just a week and a half ago, Mayor Dieter Reiter (SPD) announced that the Oktoberfest would be held this year – without any restrictions. The city council came close to tipping over his last promise. It is said that the Economic Committee once again discussed very vigorously whether the 2-G rule should apply to access. According to reports, the controls would have cost around seven million euros. Ultimately, it was an Oktoberfest without restrictions.
But hosts and showmen have to reckon with the fact that the contracts with the city contain a clause that relieves the city of responsibility as much as possible if a cancellation should become necessary due to a new pandemic situation. This was decided by the economic committee as well as an earlier opening time for the shops. They can open from nine o’clock, which, according to Wiesn city councilor Anja Berger (Greens), could enrich Munich in culinary terms: “Roasted almonds for breakfast” will be an alternative for early risers in the future.
In return, the festival guests in the tents at the Odin Wiesn will be allowed to get up later, namely half an hour. Previously, after the bar closed at 9.30 p.m., the last beer had to be emptied in 30 minutes. One hour is left for this in the future. When boss Baumgärtner received no praise for his mobility concept. The Greens recognized that the mobility department had to be involved too little. Baumgärtner countered that there was no great passion for it. In the end, Left City Councilor Stefan Jagel spoke as a resident for the residents: The restrictions imposed by the Wiesn were a “nuisance”, and the use of the department was not sufficient. Baumgärtner will have to do some reworking by next year.