Oktoberfest was lowkey wack. Yes, I said it – Oktoberfest wasn’t that great and I don’t get the hype.
Trying to figure out if Oktoberfest is worth it? Are you a black person and nervous about being a black in a sea of whites? Is a dirndl or lederhosen worth the money? Read on to find out!
Love at First Sight – Aka Oktoberfest through beer googles
Our first foray into Oktoberfest was actually at night; we reached Munich later than anticipated and went straight to the event. Oktoberfest at night is actually a sight to behold – I wasn’t sure what I was expecting but it definitely was lit. The entire event was lights on crack – there were amusement park rides like Ferris wheels, carousels, haunted houses and so forth; the tents were also lit up both inside and out and the food (!!!) street meats, cookies, and pretzels everywhere you turned! It was so much at once it was intoxicating (pun intended), I mean how COULDN’T you have a good time?
The first thing we did was grab some sausages, vodka shots as a pregame and headed into some of the tents. FYI — if you don’t drink beer, not to worry you can still enjoy Oktoberfest — there are shot and wine stations as well. As expected, the tents were super crowded and loud but everyone was in a jolly good mood and it really was infectious. I found myself downing a pint or two and singing along to a cover of Sweet Caroline with a group of Austrians.
It was a great first night and I was super excited to buy dirndls and prepare myself for an Oktoberfest filled day the next day.
Getting into an Oktoberfest Tent
I got my dirndl on, had a great breakfast to soak up all the beer I was about to drink — I was excited and prepared. Then I was disappointed. The scene was a bit different in the day time; it was a lot more crowded, dirtier, everyone looked drunk and sloppy and the daytime didn’t give off the carnival-esque feel to it that I loved the night before but no biggie. The tents are massive and seem to fit about 5-10,000 people each complete with a distinct theme and oompah band! Outside of the tents are amusement park rides for the kiddies, stalls selling roasted chicken, bratwurst, cookies, crafty and souvenir shops and so much more.
The tents are INSANE(!!), you can feel however you feel about the event but you can’t deny how amazing the tents are. They are absolutely massive and just entering a tent is such an electrifying feeling. You can reserve the tents as early as November from the year before but most people tend to start booking around February for a minimum of 10 people for a table. If you don’t reserve ahead of time, you can get there super early (around 7am) to attempt to get a table at a first come first serve basis. We didn’t reserve a table and though we didn’t get a table inside the tents we were able to get some outside the tents which was just as fun and lively. Reserve tables here.
Personally, after a couple of tents – it was same shit different tent. The beers all tasted the same to me (and I wasn’t getting drunk!!!), the food was subpar barring the roasted chicken which was actually DELICIOUS! How many times could one sing along to a Michael Jackson foreign rendition and with the combination of hot beer, blazing hot sun and just loud raucous dudes spilling beers on you…. after a couple of hours I was completely over it and unfortunately sober.
To Dress Up or Not to Dress Up?
The age old question – should I dress up for Oktoberfest? YES YES YES!!! Absolutely yes! It’s so fun and absolutely worth it to get into the spirit of Oktoberfest. You don’t have to fear looking silly, it seems that literally everyone in Munich gets dressed up for the Oktoberfest season so you’ll be in good company.
Just be aware of your body type and the fit of your outfit. The lord blessed me with both hands and I was definitely reminded of it every 20 minutes or so by some drunken idiot. If you aren’t shy when it comes to attention centered on your body, then you go glen coco!
I ended up leaving the group early because it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I was incredibly aware of other people’s gaze on my body the entire time which was really uncomfortable for me, there’s only so much beer I can drink and I WASN’T getting drunk (can I say that enough?). The foods at the tent apart from the chicken was not worth it but the street meats definitely more than made up for it; and if you have a sweet tooth, there are tons of cookies and pastry stalls as well. You do get to meet a TON of people from all over the world — New Zealand, Australia, South African, Austria…everywhere!
There were a few other black people there which was a good surprise and honestly, I didn’t really feel any type of way about being black except for people asking to take pictures. This isn’t any different than when I travel, to let’s say Thailand, but it is still very annoying, unnecessary and eye roll inducing. I had older (assuming German) couples or just men asking to take a picture with me with the assumption being that I was a black girl wearing a dirndl at Oktoberfest in Munich — just say no and they weren’t pushy.
But there is a white ass family album with a picture of me and Devin somewhere out in the world.
Am I happy I did it? Yes – but only to know I’ll never do it again. It was fun for what it was and I think being sober even though I was pounding beers was a legitimate reason why I probably didn’t have the best time. I would definitely say to do it for the experience and to say you did it, but perhaps manage expectations accordingly. The group I went with had a great time so definitely give it a go!
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