1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Oktoberfest has been canceled

Rebecca Staudenmaier
April 21, 2020

With events banned at least until the end of August, Munich's Oktoberfest has become the latest victim of lockdown. Although slated to start September 19, the world's biggest beer festival will not happen this year.

People celebrate at Germany's Oktoberfest (shown here in 2019)
Image: DW/V. Dirmaier

From music festivals to major sporting events, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a wave of unprecedented event cancellations around the world — and  Germany's Oktoberfest is no exception.

Germany's latest lockdown measures now include a ban on major public events until August 31. Although Oktoberfest was due to start after the current cut-off, Bavaria's state premier said on Tuesday the festival would not take place this year.

"Based on the current situation, I can not imagine that such a large event would even be possible at that time," Markus Söder told journalists. He added that he and the mayor of Munich had jointly made the final decision to call it off.

Read more: What are Germany's coronavirus lockdown measures?

Two weeks ago, Oktoberfest vendors already floated the idea of holding a mini-Oktoberfest — one that would only be open for locals in Munich and the surrounding region. The suggestion failed to gather steam with Munich city officials, who dismissed the idea.

Oktoberfest is the world's largest beer festival and draws in 6 million people every year to the city of Munich. This year's festivities were scheduled to start on September 19 and run until October 4.Every evening at 1830 UTC, DW's editors send out a selection of the day's hard news and quality feature journalism. Sign up to receive it directly here.

Tradition and beer: the Oktoberfest