Oktoberfest in Munich kicked off on September 22. Millions of people are gathering at beer tents, beer gardens and bars to partake in the festival that celebrates good food, good beer and German culture. There are oompah bands and folk costumes, but Oktoberfest is reportedly lacking bottled beers this year.
According to Totaltravel, officials have placed a ban on glass bottles at the 16-day Oktoberfest this year. Oktoberfest kicked off at noon on Saturday as Munich's Mayor Christian Ude drove a spigot into the first barrel of beer and led a costume parade through the city. Six million people are expected to attend, but there won't be too many glass bottles around the public festivities.
Beers get pretty pricey at Oktoberfest. Total Travel says that the price of a waiter-served beer has been raised to 9.50 euros ($A11.90) per litre. This price increase has caused drinkers to smuggle their own store bought beer into the festival grounds and beer gardens over the past few years so they can avoid paying the high prices.
Beer prices are a constant issue for visitors. According to an economic report by UniCredit Research, the cost of beer has risen by an annual rate of four percent for over 25 years, which is double the 1.9 percent rate of inflation.
While Oktoberfest is meant to be a fun time, things can get a bit out of control with thousands of people consuming massive amounts of alcohol. It isn't rare for fights to break out and for glass bottles to be thrown, causing injury. Even dropping and breaking a glass bottle can potentially hurt someone.
Red Cross medical teams had to treat many cuts over the years, so festival police are cracking down. City officials have placed a ban on bottled beers this year. Visitors are being frisked and glass bottles are being taken away, but cans and plastic bottles are still permitted.
"My dearest wish is that it be a peaceful festival," Ude told reporters as quoted by Total Travel.
While the beer is being limited, the music is getting louder. Oompah bands have received permission to play a bit louder as there have been complaints that the music was too low for visitors to hear in previous years.
Millions of people from all over the world will attend Oktoberfest. People flock from the United States, Asia, the UK and Australia all the way until the festival's end date of Oct. 7. Total Travel says that the busiest days will probably be Oct. 2 and 3 as the city holds a civic festival where Chancellor Angela Merkel will speak to celebrate Germany's national day.
There are expected to be 500,000 visitors to the inner city on each day of that weekend. To keep the peace, thousands of police and security are keeping a close watch on revelers.