Oktoberfest 2023 was record-breaking: in sunshine and bright blue skies, 7.2 million visitors flocked to the Theresienwiese in Munich. That’s more than we’ve seen in decades. The last time the seven million mark was exceeded was in 1985, as Wiesn boss Clemens Baumgärtner (CSU) said in Munich. According to statistics, there were even slightly fewer visitors at 7.1 million for the 175th anniversary of the folk festival.

Festival management, innkeepers, showmen, market merchants and police were extremely satisfied with the 18-day “XXL Wiesn”, which was extended by two days until German Unity Day.

Less alcohol consumption

This time, visitors were a little more reserved when it came to alcohol: around 6.5 million liters of beer have been served since September 16th. In 2019 before the corona pandemic it was 7.3 million liters. Many people ordered non-alcoholic drinks instead, as Baumgärtner explained. More than 50 percent more was served here. Particularly popular: water.

However, figures from the Oktoberfest medical guard did not confirm the impression that the lower alcohol consumption was reflected in less drunk guests. As in previous years, most of the guests who ended up there had drunk too much alcohol. Intoxications – mostly alcohol – made up the majority of emergencies at 36 percent, followed by surgical emergencies at 29 percent and cardiovascular diseases at 13 percent, as the Aicher Ambulance announced.

In return, the paramedics had to deal with far fewer drunken young people: while 74 cases were registered last year, this year there have been 36 – not even half as many. The paramedics and doctors had a lot to do over the holidays, caring for more than 7,600 patients.

Not an Oktoberfest hit

One thing was missing this year: the Oktoberfest hit. It has to be catchy, have a good rhythm and the lyrics have to be so simple that at least the refrain can be easily bawled along even after several pints of beer. In the past it was songs like “Layla” by DJ Robin

But 2023? None, even if Baumgärtner would have liked to see an Italian classic from 1981 at the top: “Sarà perché ti amo” by Ricchi E Poveri. “It would have what it takes to be a secret Oktoberfest hit.”

Less work for security guards

A colorful hustle and bustle and a confusion of languages: The second Oktoberfest after two corona-related cancellations was peaceful and quiet, according to the police, fire brigade and the Aicher Ambulanz medical service.

The sensitivity to sexual crimes has increased and these are increasingly being reported, said Andreas Franken, spokesman for the Munich police. He pointed out in surprise how some visitors had a relaxed relationship with drugs.

That was a relatively unabashed interaction. Many had consumed cannabis, but a lot of cocaine was also seized. Almost 370 Oktoberfest guests were caught with drugs. Most had cannabis with them, 40 percent were found to have cocaine.

The biggest party of the year in Munich was also an ideal opportunity for celebrities to parade and pose for the many photographers. FC Bayern players such as Harry Kane, who also met his doppelganger at the Oktoberfest, were spotted. Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger conducted an Oktoberfest band. Cathy Hummels invited people to her Oktoberfest stroll. Actress Uschi Glas was seen at the “Damenwiesn” organized by rental car entrepreneur Regine Sixt.