Auf Wiedersehen Oktoberfest
21 October 2015 by Marketing Team
Approximately 1.8 Million gallons of beer are consumed each year when OktoberFest is celebrated annually in October. Traditionally held in Munich, the festival is fast becoming a phenomenon here in the UK, with more and more events being held outside of Germany. Spaces that are often utilised for the traditional ‘German’ Christmas Market in British cities – a tradition imported from Europe but now long-since embedded here – are beginning to be set up early, in October, to host Oktoberfests across Britain as the popularity of the German festival grows.
Events are held across the UK, not just in London, with events being held in Liverpool, Hampshire, Birmingham and Edinburgh, plus many more. A unique take on the event also takes place in Bristol, known as the Halo Oktoberfest – a cycling hybrid with an OktoberFest held in the evening to congratulate all the hard work of the cyclists in the day.
OktoberFest has become so popular in Britain this year that Germany were worried they may run out of beer, as more than 200,000 pints of traditional German lager were imported from Germany! London is now being described as having gone OktoberFest mad! Many events were set to take place across London among other cities, and many Britains joining in the celebrations ‘drink up’ the full spirit of Oktoberfest and even don Lederhosen and Drindl dresses as fancy dress.
But all this came at a price in 2015. OktoberFest has become so popular in the UK that one of the largest ‘OktoberFest’ events being held in London, ‘OktoberFest London’ has been cancelled as organisers were unable to cope with the unanticipated mass crowds that arrived.
After a catastrophic first evening, organisers cancelled the event at Tobacco Dock, a mere 20 minutes before the scheduled start of day two. Social media uproar induced and unhappy customers are still in limbo as to whether a refund will be given. This highlights the huge popularity of Oktoberfest events in the UK and London in particular with events being shut down it appears due to the unforeseen amount of custom. However, official statements claim it was ‘management and operational systems and insufficient serving staff both in terms of numbers and experience that had been put in place by Oktoberfest UK’ which sparked the cancellation.
All was not lost though as on the other side of London, the unofficial but similarly named London Oktoberfest went ahead as planned in Millwall Park in Canary Wharf seeing thousands more visitors due to the cancellation of the ‘official’ event due to be held at Tobacco Dock. Along with various other smaller events in London and the UK – OktoberFest was still enjoyed by the masses.
Along with the German tradition of OktoberFest taking the UK by storm we have also seen an increasing popularity for European food and drink in general. European beers in particular are increasingly popular across the UK market. Plus German supermarkets, Aldi and Lidl are vast becoming the UK’s preferred supermarkets, with more than half the nation reported to be shopping there. Hence, European food is becoming more popular in everyday British households.
Brits continue to welcome the opportunity to try new things and European food, drink and festivities such as Oktoberfest are now tried and tested and likely here to stay. Hopefully next time around, organisers will know just how popular their events are likely to be so that the paying public and the businesses behind the events can all reflect on another successfully imported tradition.