Oktoberfest dates 2024

A guide to what's happening when at the Munich Oktoberfest

oktoberfest-2018-datesA couple in traditional clothing at the world-famous
beer festival.

The next Munich Oktoberfest runs from Saturday, September 21 to Sunday, October 6 in 2024, but what actually
happens when you're there?.

When am I allowed into the Oktoberfest tents? Is there anything special afoot on the days I'm going?
On what days can I see people in funny costumes and cannon shooting?
Patience, young grasshopper, here you'll find what you seek. It's the temporal guide to the 2024 Oktoberfest.

Opening times
During the week the beer tents open at 10am and on weekends and public holidays at 9am.
The tents close at 11.30pm, with the last drinks served at 10.30pm. Käfer's Wiesnschänke und das Weinzelt are the exceptions, they stay open until 1am with last drinks called at 12.30am.
The smaller tents Hühnerbratereien, Wurstimbisshallen and Cafezelte are all open until 11pm.

Oktoberfest day by day guide

Oktoberfest 2024 dates - Opening parade

The traditional prelude to the fest is the parade of carneys and beer-wenches officially called the Grand entry of the Oktoberfest Landlords and Breweries (Einzug der Festwirte).
This is when the festival's workers, tent host families and the lord mayor rock up to kick things off.
Day and time: The first Saturday, 10.45am to 11.45am

Let there be beer!

Following the parade comes the Anstich, when Munich's lord mayor beats a tap into the first wooden keg of Oktoberfest beer. It's done in the Schottenhamel tent.
When the tap is in position (usually after two or three good whacks) the mayor shouts out "O'zapft is!" (It's tapped!). There's no beer served anywhere on the Wiesn until this happens. Then there's a 12-gun salute and the party's on for young and old.
Date and time: The first Saturday at midday

All dressed up...

The Costume und Riflemen's Procession (Trachten- und Schützenumzug) winds its way through the streets of Munich's Old Town to the Wiesn. Over 7,000 people march in costumes that span Central Europe and go back to the Middle Ages.
Worth a look, but watch out for the big piles of poo-poo the horses leave all over the road.
Date and time: The first Sunday from 9.45am to 12.30pm.

Gay Sunday

Munich gay group the Münchner Löwen Club (Munich Lions' Club) reserves the back of the Bräurosl Festzelt tent for their Gay Sunday event.
Date and time: The first Sunday from midday.

Familientag (Family Day)

This is the first of two supposedly more family friendly days at the Wiesn, with reduced prices on rides and food.
Date and time: The first Tuesday from midday to 6pm.

Let us praise this mug of beer

The Oktoberfest service (Oktoberfest- und Gedenksgottesdienst). The Oktoberfest has hosted a token religious service for its travelling showfolk and workers for the past 50 years. It takes place in the Marstall tent, the first one you come across as you come in the main gate. The general public is, of course, welcome.
Date and time: The first Thursday at 10am.

They come, they see, they conquer

italians-at-oktoberfestITALIANS: A couple of Italian lads I met one year
at the Oktoberfest. I drew them a very
basic map of Munich's highlights.

This marks the beginning of the unofficial "Italian Weekend", three days of rampant south-of-the-border shenanigans when the Latin hoards stream north to the city they call "Monaco di Baviera".

Despite a rowdy reputation, they're mostly harmless, friendly and make great drinking buddies.
Viva Italia
Date: The middle weekend of the festival, from the Friday to the Sunday.

Musicians do it outside

About 400 musicians blow out their spit-valves and symphonize their strings in preparation for an outdoor concert on the steps of the big, bronze Bavaria Statue.
Date and time: The second Sunday at 11am

Gay day

A gay and lesbian gathering takes place in the Fischer-Vroni tent in the name of "Rosa Montag".
Date and time: The second Monday 6pm

Familientag (Family Day)

The second of two supposedly more family friendly days at the Wiesn, with reduced prices on rides and food.
Date and time: The second Tuesday midday to 6pm.

Final day!

The last day of Oktoberfest is marked by the Böllerschießen event around the steps of Bavaria Statue at midday.
It involves dozens of old lederhosen lads shooting hand cannons and ancient rifles, an address by the lord mayor and more gussied up brass musicians than you can poke a stick at.
In the dying moments of the festival the tents go dark and everyone lights up sparklers, magic! Then the fest winds up for another year at 11.30pm. Aus is!
Date: The third and final Monday, from midday

oktoberfest-2014-dates-boobs-aus-isTHAT SAYS IT ALL: "Aus is!" - the traditional Oktoberfest closing
proclamation, written on a lady's cleavage on the final day of the festival. ©DPA

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