Oktoberfest is the biggest ‘volkfest’ (people’s festival) on the planet. Attracting millions of visitors to Bavaria every Autumn, the much-loved beer festival brings Munich to a standstill, as locals and visitors alike imbibe in the finest quality beer the region has to offer. But what exactly is the Shoreditch Oktoberfest? Read on to find out!
Oktoberfest celebrations aren’t confined to the Bavarian heartland. Revellers in Argentina, Brazil, China, and believe it or not, Palestine amongst others, celebrate the German festival with aplomb, such is the global appeal of this famous event.
A little closer to home, Oktoberfest events are planned and celebrated throughout the UK, too. From Liverpool to London, German-themed drink-a-thons are planned to honour the Bavarian festivities. And although they’re seldom as alluring as the real thing, they’re often unique and enthralling in their own right.
This is perhaps the perfect way to introduce Shoreditch’s self-proclaimed ‘Anti-Oktoberfest,’ which throws the Bavarian Oktoberfest rule book out the window.
Let’s find out why this unique beer festival in the heart of Shoreditch might just rival Munich’s flagship annual event.
What Exactly is Oktoberfest?
Oktoberfest has been running since an 1810 royal German wedding in the Bavarian countryside. Locals gathered in the fields surrounding Munich to celebrate the marriage of the region’s crown princess, and the festivities initially included an annual horse race and fairground rides.
Today, Oktoberfest is very much a beer festival. It usually spans between 16-18 days and is attended not only by Bavarian locals, but also by beer enthusiasts from around the world.
Food is served, beer is consumed, and a good time is had by all! But what on earth is a southern German beer festival doing in Shoreditch? Let’s take a look now.
Shoreditch Oktoberfest: What Can I Expect?
At first glance, Oktoberfest in Shoreditch could be mistaken for a typical Bavarian-inspired beer festival. Long wooden tables seat stein-drinking guests, while food stalls serve up flavoursome German cuisine, including bratwurst, schnitzel, and sauerkraut.
A live oompah band provides the unobtrusive background music, which ticks along nicely throughout the festival and is the perfect accompaniment to the lederhosen and alpine hats that staff and punters alike are dressed in.
If you’ve ever been to a German beer festival, this familiar scene will almost certainly resonate with you. But it’s also where the similarities between Shoreditch and Munich end.
Tellingly, organisers pronounced at the event’s launch:
“If you’re looking for a traditional 5-hour sit-down sipping Weiss Bier – this isn’t for you.”
So, what can you expect from Shoreditch’s Oktoberfest?
Perhaps the main difference is that the Shoreditch event will be jam-packed full of activities that make sitting down nursing your beer all day nigh-on impossible.
The addition of slides, ball pits, deck chairs, and a DJ-backed dance floor make this an Oktoberfest like no other.
As for entertainment, attendees can participate in bratwurst eating contests and enjoy live performances from Bavarian break-dancers and street magicians.
There’s even a David Hasselhoff Karaoke session hosted by a German comedian with a particularly inventive name!
The bottom line is that you can expect something totally different from the Shoreditch Oktoberfest. If the typical sit-down nature of traditional Bavarian beer fests doesn’t appeal to you, then Shoreditch’s unique take on this truly global event almost certainly will.
Why Should I Visit?
Earlier this year, organisers of Wiesn (what the Germans called Oktoberfest) announced that the festival would not be going ahead because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Given the travel restrictions still in place in Germany, it would have been unfeasible to host an international event.
In a roundabout way, Oktoberfest’s cancellation has been a good thing for event organisers around the world, as revellers are looking for an alternative.
So, while you’re unable to attend the real thing for the second year running, now is an excellent opportunity to attend an Oktoberfest event a little closer to home.
Attending Shoreditch’s Oktoberfest is also an attractive prospect for those of you who wouldn’t ordinarily be interested in a conventional beer festival.
Thanks to the various attractions, entertainments, and unique vibe of the event, it truly has something for everyone.
Anything Else I Need to Know about the Shoreditch Oktoberfest ?
Now you know what to expect, let’s get into some of the practicalities. The event runs from 22nd September – 6th October and is hosted by Last Days of Shoreditch, formerly the Red Market. You can find more about the venue here.
Shoreditch Oktoberfest is an all-ticket event, so you will need to buy your tickets in advance. There are two options available to you:
General Admission – £20.00pp
• Venue admission
• One stein of Oktoberfest bier
• Limited unallocated seating
VIP – £50.00pp
• Express entry into the venue
• Two steins of Oktoberfest bier
• One portion of food
• Prime allocated seating
You can book tickets here. You should also note that the event is mainly outside, so it is likely to be affected by the weather!
As the Bavarian Oktoberfest has been cancelled for the second year running, now is an excellent time to experience an alternative.
Oktoberfest has long been celebrated in different parts of the world, but this year’s Shoreditch event is an exciting evolution of the festival’s typical format.
While beer and bratwurst are still in endless supply, the live entertainment coupled with the vast array of adult-themed games and activities makes the Shoreditch Oktoberfest an event like no other.
If you haven’t yet attended, get a group of your friends together and book your tickets before the event comes to a close.