Tight security, recession dampen Munich beer fest
Sunday 04 October 2009
The number of revellers at Munich's world-famous beer festival dropped this year, the city's tourist office said Sunday, amid economic woes and tighter security following messages from Islamic extremists.
Only 5.7 million drinkers staggered through the beer tents during the two-week jolly, compared with six million the year before. The record attendance was 7.1 million in 1985.
However, those that did make the trip drank more on average than last year, with some 6.5 million litres (11.4 pints) consumed, compared with six million in 2008.
Non-alcoholic drinks proved a major hit during the balmy summer weather, with sales up by 10 percent.
But the party-goers proved less keen to splash out on meals, souvenirs and fairground rides, although a total of 111 oxen were eaten, a rise on the 104 munched last year.
Security was stepped up hugely at the event following a string of video messages from Islamic extremists in the run-up to Germany's general election on September 27, with two of them apparently targeting the Oktoberfest.
Armed police searched people as they came in, and cars were banned from parking nearby.
In addition, private security guards also searched bags as people entered the festival's immense tents, and once inside there was a visible security presence. There were also a large number of surveillance cameras.
On one of the days, a light aircraft advertising beer caused minor panic among visitors after it flew over the site and circled around at low altitude, organisers said. Since then a no-fly zone was put in place over the festival.
Nevertheless, the Munich tourist office described the two-week event as "brilliant" and said the visitors were "calm" in the face of the increased security presence.
Police also hailed the festival as a success and reported roughly the same number of incidents (1,395) as last year, although more arrests -- 716 -- were made.
As Voltaire once said, “Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal”
Life & Style blogs
Movie pirate given almost 3 years in prison for filming Fast & Furious 6 in back of cinema
What is ALS and the Ice Bucket Challenge?
Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for beauty pageant
Doctors tell Treasury of their anger at rejection of pay reviews
Exclusive: Tickets for Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in London are not on ‘sale’
- 1 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for beauty pageant
- 2 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 3 Crystal Palace next manager latest: Palace consider Ally McCoist - EXCLUSIVE
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 5 Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'
iJobs Food & Drink
£6000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: Oracle 11...
£17K OTE £30K: Charter Selection: Highly successful and innovative specialist...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Working with an exciting ...
£23,000: Sauce Recruitment: A global leader in sports and entertainment is now...