Oktoberfest Safety Tips You Need To Know

Oktoberfest Safety Tips

When the world’s largest festival opens its doors, a huge number of visitors can be expected. If you plan to attend this event and fully enjoy the excitement, it’s important to be aware of some security issues before going to Oktoberfest. Entering the biggest festival without preparation might pose safety and enjoyment problems. To ensure the best possible safety for such a large number of people, take note of the following tips!

Is Oktoberfest Safe? 

Oktoberfest is generally safe and has foolproof security for visitors. More than 500 personnel are on duty during the festival days. To make Oktoberfest safe and secure, the Theresienwiese ground is monitored by more than 50 cameras. Loudspeakers are installed on the grounds to make important announcements regarding any safety or security concerns. Munich security department has installed metal detectors to identify any dangerous prohibited items. These measures make Oktoberfest safe for the millions of visitors annually. 

Note down the emergency contact numbers for Munich if you face any unforeseen mishap;

Emergency Situation Contact Number 
Fire 112
Medical Condition 112
Limited Water 089 233-96200 (SWM)
Food Allergies 112
Overdrunk People 112
Lost People 089 2910-1910 (Police)
Extreme Wet Weather 089 233-00 (Weather Info)

Always Remember- Enjoy the Journey, Don’t Rush the Fest!

At Oktoberfest, the beer tents are usually renowned for their generously sized servings. Beers are served in one-liter quantities, and Bavarian beer at Oktoberfest is stronger than a basic Pilsner. When a liter of beer arrives at your table, be prepared for its size.

While it might be tempting to stand at a table and finish the entire beer to cheer the crowd, Oktoberfest beer is heavier both in volume and alcohol content. The average ABV is between 4.9 % – 6 %. The substantial servings of stronger beer can lead to travelers getting intoxicated more quickly. This can lead to increased urination, problems, or even acute alcohol poisoning.

As a result, it’s critical to be mindful of your beer drinking. There’s a hill on the fairgrounds where intoxicated people can be found resting, known as “Bierleichen” (beer corpses) or affectionately referred to as “Kotzhügel” (puke hill). It’s essential to take a break when needed but not to overindulge to the point of passing out.

Make Sure to Know Security Measures Before You Go- Celebrate with Caution! 

To celebrate every phase of Oktoberfest with super excitement can be troublesome. As the famous proverb says, don’t lose consciousness in excitement! Plan ahead before starting your journey. To avoid any hurdle, you should be aware of some important security measures that will prevent you from experiencing any inconvenience. 

  • Backpacks and heavy bags are strictly forbidden. 
  • Nothing larger than a cigar box.  
  • A bag check is performed at all entrances.  
  • No strollers/baby carriages: 
  1. – Every day after 1800 hours. 
  2. – On Saturdays. 
  3. – On German Reunification Day (3 OCT).  
  • Access controls and luggage checks (of smaller bags) may be performed there.  
  • The open area on the slope side along Theresienhöhe is secured with a fence to prevent people from bypassing the checks.
  • The entrance at the Theresienwiese subway station is modified to ensure that no guests can enter the festival area without being checked.

Individual Protective Measures- Safety First, Party Always! 

On an individual level, it is essential to be familiar with these safety guidelines before deciding to attend Oktoberfest, as they can help you stay safe and avoid any inconveniences.

  • When traveling, safety should be your top priority. Always travel in small groups and vary your routes to avoid attracting unwanted attention. 
  • Make sure to carry a card with key phrases in the local language to help you seek assistance when needed. Do inform your unit, coworker, family, or battle buddy about your travel plans and expected return time for added security. To blend in and stay safe, avoid wearing clothing with US or DoD logos, and remove any affiliated stickers from your vehicle. 
  • Be vigilant of your surroundings and identify potential safe havens such as Munich police stations and hospitals. 
  • Avoid spontaneous gatherings or demonstrations, and if encountered, leave the area calmly. 
  • Have emergency numbers and key contacts such as the nearest US Consulate on hand, and consider carrying a cell phone with pre-programmed emergency numbers for added security. 
  • Stay updated on the latest information by monitoring news, government websites, and social networking sites. 
  • Exercise caution in high-risk areas and be aware of emergency exit points in case of an attack. 
  • For added peace of mind, register your trip with the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive important alerts and messages. 
  • Lastly, always adhere to local policy regarding off-post uniform wear for your own safety.

Safety Actions for any Potential Issues!

When trouble arises at a festival, take immediate action and be aware of basic safety tips to effectively handle any issues. At Oktoberfest, everything is efficiently managed, but it is still important for your safety that you know these quick actions.

Campfire- A hazard! 

If the fire grows out of control or visitors get too close to the fire, they may be burned. 

The Safety Action! Whenever there is a fire taking place, a nominated fire warden will be present. This warden will have good knowledge of the control measures put in place and will make sure they are maintained. The fire must have at least two fire buckets nearby, with a nominated water source to refill the buckets if required. One bucket is for putting out the fire if it grows out of control, and the other is for burning first aid. Wood to stock the fire will be kept a safe distance from the fire to prevent fire spreading and must be kept out of the way to make sure participants can’t trip over it. 

The fire warden should also monitor visitors behavior, and if it becomes of concern the participants may be asked to leave and head to bed. Visitors may not make an unofficial fire around the campsite, all fires started must be under the permission of the staff either as a campfire or as required by an activity.  

Pre-existing Medical Condition! 

The medical conditions may directly cause harm or indirectly e.g., someone having a sudden seizure could get into danger. 

The Safety Action! Please be mindful that individual risk assessments will be conducted based on each person’s medical condition and existing control measures in place. All medical information will be reviewed before the event. The event’s health and safety lead will oversee this process and collaborate with the member’s officer when necessary. 

As a general precaution, a clearly marked first aid point with 24/7 first aiders, as well as a hotline for assistance, will be available on site. Additionally, first aiders will have information on nearby hospitals and medical support services. You should contact them immediately! 

Limited Food and Water! 

Lack of food and water leads to hunger and dehydration during overcrowded festivals. 

The Safety Action! Please remember to bring plenty of water, snacks, and a packed lunch. Visitors can stop at any shops they find along their routes to buy extra food. In case of an emergency, drivers can provide additional water and snacks as necessary.

Food Allergies! 

People who have any kind of allergy to food or anaphylaxis. 

The Safety Action! During bookings at the hotel for Oktoberfest, the catering manager usually has access to bookings so inform them of allergies as early as possible. They organize any strategy if required and brief the kitchen staff about certain allergies while maintaining appropriate GDPR. Food with specific allergy requirements is prepared separately.

People Drinking Excessively! 

There is a risk of general accidents when you drink more than your capacity. 

The Safety Action! Please make sure to read about the SSAGO behavior policy several times, both during the booking process and at the beginning of the event. The staff present at the Oktoberfest briefed that they have the authority to stop anything they feel is unsafe and to seek advice from a committee member. They monitor people’s drinking, and if anyone starts drinking too much, their drink will be taken away, and they will no longer be able to purchase from the bar. It will then be their club’s responsibility to look after the participants. 

All visitors will read and agree to the behavior policy before booking the event. They will then be reminded of it multiple times before and during the event. Visitors should be encouraged to drink responsibly and watch out for each other. 

Losing People! 

Visitors might get lost and miss their transportation due to overcrowded grounds at the festival.

The Safety Action!  At the start of the activity, all participants will receive an explanation of the day’s plan, including the pick-up location and timing. If necessary, all participants will have access to the event hotline. The activity leader will maintain a register to monitor numbers as needed. Visiting Oktoberfest can create lifelong memories, but only if these memories are remembered in the first place. Thoughtfully planning your visit to Oktoberfest can ensure both safety and an unforgettable experience at the world’s largest festival! 

Extreme Wet Weather!

Wet weather can lead to dangerous conditions, such as slipping on wet, muddy ground.

The Safety Action! The weather forecast is usually monitored before the event. If the forecast suggests extreme weather, all the visitors are advised to take care of themselves during the weather, and the committee puts appropriate measures in place. For wet weather, visitors should have a kit with more relevant equipment, such as waterproof trousers and umbrellas to keep your lederhosen safe.

Insider Tips for a Safe Time at Oktoberfest! 

As we all know, the Oktoberfest is the world’s largest folk gathering, with an estimated 6 million visitors annually. While Munich is one of the world’s safest cities, taking a few precautions will help to ensure that you remember the Oktoberfest as a fun and safe event.

  • Several apps provide information about the Oktoberfest. Download the TravelWise app by the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade to access travel and security advice for Germany. WiesenProtect is specifically designed for women but can be used by anyone. It includes a festival grounds map with emergency points marked, local transport information, updates on transport disruptions, and contact numbers for police and taxis, among other useful information.
  • Make sure you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and/or private medical insurance.
  • Bring your passport card and keep your passport securely stored. If you do not have a passport card, keep your passport in a secure pouch/bag and not in the back pocket of your jeans.
  • Traveling without a ticket on public transport, or not validating an undated ticket, risks an on-the-spot fine. Ticket information, maps and a useful app are available on the website of MVV Munich.
  • Know your limits while enjoying beer at Oktoberfest as it comes in 1 liter glasses. Never leave your drinks unattended. Attempting to take glasses you haven’t bought as souvenirs could lead to charges of attempted theft, a substantial fine, and spending a night in a police cell.
  • Please conduct yourself with respect. The security in and around the location is vigilant. Any inappropriate behavior, especially towards women, will result in immediate removal and potential arrest. Threatening someone with a glass could lead to a “deadly weapon assault,” which can carry prison time. The Servicezentrum offers a women’s emergency point, an English-speaking police station with female officers, a Red Cross first aid station, and a lost & found unit. Additionally, emergency phones located throughout the area connect directly to the police.
  • In a security incident,  adhere to the instructions given by security guards and the police. If you’re advised to stay indoors, remain calm and comply. The Munich police will provide security guidance in various languages. Depending on the severity of the incident, local transport services might be disrupted. Exercise caution when sharing information on social media, as initial reports may be inaccurate. It’s essential to heed the instructions of law enforcement, inform your family of your safety, and update your social media accounts later.

Navigate through the Crowds and Back Home! 

After an eventful day at Oktoberfest, travelers may feel the full impact of the festivities. Public transportation is available day and night to cater to all visitors.

Throughout the lively evenings of Oktoberfest, public transportation services maintain their full schedules. Munich’s U-Bahn subway system is conveniently organized by number and color, ensuring easy navigation for travelers to find their way back home.

By purchasing a multi-day ticket before traveling, visitors can explore Munich’s subway system. Additionally, buses operate in areas where the subway does not reach. Prior to attending Oktoberfest, create a safety plan outlining your journey back to the hotel, with a written plan kept on hand at all times.

The Last Word! 

A visit to Oktoberfest can yield memories that last a lifetime, but only if they are remembered in the first place. By thoughtfully planning your visit to Oktoberfest, you can ensure both safety and an unforgettable experience at the world’s largest festival!

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