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Munich Oktoberfest

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Kirmes & Park Revue English Edition - epaper ⋅ Ausgabe 10/2019 vom 23.09.2019
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The time has come again! The world-famous Oktoberfest, popularly proclaimed in Germany as the “fifth season” in the calendar, will shortly be held in Munich. The 186th staging of the legendary event will last from 21st September up until 6th October, and thus runs relatively far into the month that the event was named after. It will be a “large Wiesn” once again. The overall area of the festival grounds amount to 34.5 hectares including the “Oide Wiesn” and is not to incorporate the Central Agricultural Festival this time. From a total of 1,067 applicants, 551 operations were approved including 167 ...

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... showman attractions.
Naturally, the annual Wiesn ritual began already much earlier, namely on 8th July with the build-up of the 17 large tents that transforms theTheresienwiese below theSchwanthalerhöhe into a spectacular, colossal construction site, keeping residents and passers-by in suspense for months. The build-up and dismantling period were extended by one week each this year, and those interested were able to read the latest news about the build-up of the tents on Facebook every day – a service offered by the Wiesnpatrons for the first time. Talking of Wiesnpatrons , even back in the spring of this year there had been heated discussions about Wiesn approvals or bans. WiggerlHagn, owner of the Löwenbräuzelt, was accused of having submitted incorrect 2017 turnover lease figures. However, it goes without saying that the tent will stay at the Wiesn under the management of his daughter Stephanie Spendler.

View across the Wiesn in a north-easterly direction, 2018

Kaiser’s “Bayern Tower”: Snapshots taken during manufacturing at Funtime

Moreover, the media has focussed on the wine tent since beer tent operator Roland Kuffler had been faced with investigations by the Munich public prosecutor’s office due to the alleged granting of an unfair advantage. Naturally, a wine tent will also be presented at the Wiesn again. Also hitting the headlines was the somewhat strange application by Alfons Schuhbeck, the famous event chef, who had an eye on a Wiesn tent of his own. As is now well-known though, this did not work out, even though “ginger chicken” served at the Wiesn would certainly have been something completely new in the gastronomic sector at the Oktoberfest.

All about Beer

As is the case every year, increasing beer prices have caused a stir again. According to the publicans, the price for a litre of beer will be up 30 cents on 2018 this year on the grounds of higher costs. This year’s highest price of €11.80 will apply in seven beer halls, much to the chagrin of the service staff, whose tips will decline correspondingly. With €10.80, the cheapest litre of beer will be offered in the museum tent at the Oide Wiesn, the only beverage outlet staying below the €11 mark. Nonetheless, it is by no means to be expected that the visitors’ enjoyment of beer will be spoilt, no matter the price. The new Wiesn patrons’ collector beer stein, introduced in late July, will also provide a lot of beer drinking fun. The 18th stein edition, featuring a clever and colourful Bavarian motif and designed by the artist Maximilian Fliessbach for the fourth time, is available at €22 – with pewter lid it costs €36. Moreover, the six-part TV series that the ARD TV station is currently intensively advertising, is centred on the “fight for beer”. Called “Oktoberfest – 1900”, it tells about a Franconia brewer fighting for a liquor licence at the Wiesn. It also addresses the budding emancipation of women in an industry dominated by men. The series filmed in, among other locations, the Czech Republic is to be aired in 2020 – and you may well be curious to see the result. But let us first have a look at which attractions will be waiting for the visitors on the original location at the foot of the “Bavaria”.

New Attraction in the Showman Section

At the press conference on 30th July, Clemens Baumgärtner, Munich’s spokesman for labour and economy, introduced eight new Wiesn attractions to the journalists, the most striking of which may well be the “Bayern Tower” (Egon Kaiser), a second “Star Flyer” at the Wiesn, designed as the “tallest May Pole in the world”. The city authorities’ official press release describes the ride as follows: “A huge May pole, not built of wood but of steel, is now rising 90 metres up into the Bavarian sky at the Munich Oktoberfest. Passengers not given to giddiness enjoy the magnificent view far into the surrounding Bavarian landscape from 90 m up in the skies and at a speed of 65 km/h, while sitting in ergonomically-designed shell shaped seats equipped with a twofold safety system. This includes bar restraints and automatic seat belts fitted to the 16 two-seat gondolas suspended from the green crown at the top of this brand new chain ride, like colourful pennants. An elevating system lifts the passenger star-shaped gantry to the top of the tower at a speed of 1 to 2 m per second.
Egon Kaiser’s transportable major ride built by the Austrian Funtime ride manufacturer this year will celebrate a stylish première at the Wiesn. Particularly well worth seeing is the ride’s backflash, featuring all sorts of traditional Bavarian motifs from the Bavaria to the Bräurosl tent, from Ludwig II to porter Alois Hingerl, from the Munich city hall to Neuschwanstein Castle hand-painted by the Atelier EK. The tower scaffolding is predominately painted blue and white and the construction is illuminated by the latest LED light system. The Wiesn is the ride’s official première fairground. With the “Jules Verne Tower” from Goetzke also being presented again, the Oktoberfest may well be the first Volksfest event that presents two rides of this type at the same time. The two giant chain rides are unlikely to seriously conflict with each other though, as their visual design is completely different. Moreover, with the new “Bayern Tower” making its rounds at the intersection of Matthias-Pschorr/Wirtsbudenstraße not far from the Bavaria, they have been allocated sites as far apart as possible. The success story of the “Dr. Archibald – Master of Time” attraction continues apace. After successful appearances at German top-notch events, the VR roller coaster was also approved for one of the coveted sites on the Theresienwiese.

View across the Wiesn in a southerly direction, 2018

The press release perfectly describes the attraction, “With the “Dr. Archibald – Master of Time” a “nextgeneration” Darkride will be presented at the Oktoberfest. Indeed, it is the first transportable roller coaster equipped with Virtual Reality technology. After three years of development and production, Patrick Greier finally realised all his ideas for this spectacular combination of a walk-through construction and a ghost ride that he presented at the Hamburg Dom 2018 for the first time. Remarkably, its passengers become part of a story. In a dilapidated museum of virtual worlds, they go off in the search of missing Dr. Archibald, a history professor, amateur archaeologist and inventor. With the aid of high-resolution VR spectacles, the Oculus Rifts, they become immersed in a virtual 360-degree world that they perceive as real. On a journey through time, they encounter dinosaurs, discover a futuristic city, admire the mysterious island of Atlantis and end up in the era of industrialization. The audio visual content is updated in real time by interaction and thus constantly adjusted to the gondola’s respective position. Prior to and after the ride on the Virtual Ride, visitors have to negotiate a fun and obstacle course featuring shaking, water and sound effects, a catwalk and an x-ray simulation. The high number of fire, water and fog effects, more than one million LEDs and numerous interactive screens alonemake the Darkride an unforgettable adventure. The novelty attraction will be built up in Straße 4 Ost.

The “Olympia-Looping” will be presented again in 2019

“Coaster Parade”

As many as three Wiesn debutantes presented will be coming from the “coaster” sector, two of them brand new examples. The description of “Heidi – The Coaster” reads as follows, “The 430m track course of Ewald and Christina Schneider’s brand-new spinning coaster is very curvy. True, the “Heidi – The Coaster” track course is identical to other rotating roller coasters from the French manufacturer Reverchon, but has an added upswing curve after the first drop. Sensors at the tracks enable pretty Heidi to acoustically “comment on” the ride. Highly striking is the very start, when the gondolas are catapulted up the lift gradient to a height of 13m with the aid of a booster lift. The high-speed ride, although hurtling at about 58 km/h and boasting rotating cars that accommodate up to four passengers each sitting next to each other, is nonetheless family-friendly and offers a great deal of fun.” Visitors can experience “Heidi” in the Schaustellerstraße, site No. 34.
In Straße 2, “Kinzlers Pirateninsel” will await families with children for the first time: “With their brand-new family coaster, Willy and Andrea Kinzler will provide young Wiesn visitors, allowed to ride on their own from the age of six, with a lot of fun. As is the case in a “true” coaster for adults, the 10m track course runs up and down and careers through sharp curves on two levels. Accompanied by their parents, even the youngest Wiesn fans are able to enjoy this exceptional ride experience. At the Oktoberfest, the family coaster built by the Italian SBF VISA Rides firm will be presented bedecked in a pirate theme, and with its environmentally friendly LED lighting system it will capture not only the hearts of the younger visitors.”
The third new approval to the Wiesn 2019 is a good old attraction; the “Spinning Racer” with rotating chaises from Angela Bruch, which was built by the Maurer Rides firm in 2001 and has been an indispensable fixture at countless events ever since. For its first Oktoberfest appearance the construction, “a unique fairground ride”, will be built up on site No. 6 in Straße 2 Ost.

Ride fun for young and old is guaranteed once again this year

Further Novelties

Karl Häsler is back: After an involuntary break of one year due to the destruction of the “Encounter” show booth, the innovative showman will return to the Wiesn with a new creation. His new, colourful “Münchner Ski Party” funhouse promises “Bavarianstyle fun”. On a 400 square metre area, visitors can enjoy a rotating glass labyrinth, vibrating and folding floors, a rubber rope obstacle course, a fountain tunnel or a shaking bridge. Naturally, there is also a rolling barrel and a hall-of-mirrors. Even at the entrance area, visitors can play with water, and it goes without saying that at a proper ski party a snow canon is not absent either.
Also making a first-time appearance at the Oktoberfest will be the well-known “Poseidon, Im Reich der Götter” water ride from Markus Heitmann/Schneider-Heitmann OhG. Even though the construction can already look back on a colourful success story, it still offers some new delights. “The 320-metre ride, 250 metres of it on water, boasts 13 log-design boats accommodating up to five passengers each that pass through the ruin of a Greek temple. Towering over the middle of the track is a 15-metre statue of Nike, the Goddess of Victory in Greek mythology, guarded by monumental temple guards. The large water attraction striking a classical visual appearance while meeting the latest technical standards was built by the French ride manufacturer Reverchon in 1986 and redesigned as the “Poseidon” in 2001. Specially developed fountains make water rise 10 metres high during the ride, and up to four-metre high flames stunningly reach up from high fire bowls, themselves standing at some three metres. Thanks to the latest safety technology, passengers can happily enjoy the lively ride providing them with lots of fun over two drops from an altitude of twelve and seven metres” (Straße 3 Ost).
Last but not least, novelty No. 8 is the “Be Marilyn” photo studio from Raoul Lechner. This is all about, well, who does not know the famous photo from the Billy Wilder movie “The Seven Year Itch”, in which Marilyn Monroe’s white pleated skirt is teasingly whisked up by the breeze from the subway grate? The so-called “Monroe effect” is also long-established fairground fun, where female visitors’ skirts are similarly blown up by compressed air in walk-through constructions. With his professional “Be Marilyn” photo studio, Raoul Lechner combines photo effects and fairground fun, inviting all visitors in Dirndl (but not only them) to a photo shoot as “Volksfest-Marilyn”. Imposing wind machines blowing up the skirts offer an exciting thrill to those ladies who decide in favour of the immodest “up-draught”. Depending on how the participants feel, the photo shoot on a two-metre wide stage inside the photo studio lasts three to five minutes and can always be repeated “on request” (Straße 3, Nummer 12).
The novelties on the Oide Wiesn can be encountered inside the tents, namely a wooden skittle alley modelled on historic originals, the candy factory with a roughly 100-year-old candy roller and a lollipop machine, as well as the special “Das Deutsche Schaustellermuseum” exhibition in the museum tent. Moreover, “Maurer Montag”, or “Bricklayer Monday”, from the old days will be revived as “Handicraft Monday” in the “Tradition” tent on 30th September.
For more Wiesn information:www.oktoberfest.de

No longer – or for the last time

Every new approval also means a farewell. The “Cyber Space” Propeller is replaced by the “Bayern Tower”, the “Alpina Bahn” by the “Spinning Racer”, the “Omni” by the “Family Coaster”, the “Power Tower” by the “Heidi”, and Blume’s “The Tower” by Greier’s “Dr. Archibald”. As expected, the “Chaos Pendel” from HP Maier will not be presented again after its once-only appearance. On the other hand, Karl Häsler will return with the “Münchner Ski Party”, without Hempen’s “Big Bamboo” – successfully engaged as replacement for the “Encounter” in 2018 – having to make way. All in all, the fairground skyline, despite a second giant chain ride, will be somewhat more modest; there will be two Propellers, one Freefall Tower and one large coaster less.
It does not happen very often, but this year it is a wellknown fact that a certain ride attraction will definitely be built up at the Oktoberfest for the last time. It is the “Russenrad” from Koppenhöfer/Simon numbering among the three oldest ride constructions at the Wiesn. In contrast to Kalb’s chain ride, which moved to the Oide Wiesn and Niederländer’s “Krinoline” now doing its rounds in front of the entrance to the historic Wiesn section, the small Ferris Wheel had maintained its site in the north-eastern part of Schaustellerstraße for decades, regardless of its modern competitors all around. However, after this season it will disappear from the scene, as can be read at the attraction’s paybox, and even the regionalSüddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported on 27th July that “due to European safety regulations”, the “vintage Ferris Wheel” built in Thuringia in 1925 would have to be rebuilt with enormous efforts. Strangely enough, in contrast to other countries, there is no non-compliance permit for antique ride constructions in Germany. As a result, Edith Simon and her brother Herbert decided to closedown the ride. After all, it is also a milestone date for them. Since their father passed away in 1999, they have operated the ride together for these past 20 odd years; and that is a milestone anniversary. In other words, they will take a ride in one of the 94-year-old Ferris Wheel’s colourful metal sheet gondolas once again – and then have a beer and philosophically accept that all good things come to an end!

Biding its farewell: the nostalgic Ferris Wheel from Koppenhöfer/Simon

Significant Figures

Finally, as usual a little Wiesn history: Exactly 40 years ago, a round ride from the highly successful “Monster 3” type (built by Schwarzkopf) made its first-time appearance at the Oktoberfest. With the “Riesenkrabbe”, the Aigner family brought a classic ride to Munich, which was one of the most popular rides at the event for 13 years in a row. Even though the “Krabbe” was visually enhanced over the years, it had to make way for the towering “Imperator” ride in 1992. The ride’s success resulted in double presentations; with Kaiser’s “Polyp”, a structurally identical construction was built up at the Oktoberfest from 1984 to 1994, and from 1994 to 2005, while Radlinger’s “Polyp” completed the “Monster 3” trio. Yet another round ride, which had always been considered something of an exotic, made its Munich debut twenty years ago.
Even though the “Hexentanz” (built by Zierer) had already toured throughout Germany under the management of the Ludewigt showman family, as a “non-local” it did not stand a chance of being approved for the Oktoberfest. Only after Christian Fahrenschon had taken it over and lovingly restored the already ageing ride, did the miracle come true. The “Hexentanz”, with its visual appearance elaborately enhanced by extravagant real flame effects, was approved to a site in front of the Paulskirche where the “Star Flyer” has whirled for many years. The Wiesn career of the “Hexentanz” dates back to the years from 1999 to 2005 (including two breaks during the “small Wiesn” in 2000 and 2004), before the construction was sold to the Markmann firm, who still present the ride newly designed at well-chosen events – lately at the Straubing Gäubodenfest in Bavaria. The fascinating impression this crazily rotating round ride still makes today could recently be evidenced in a report about the aforementioned event aired by BR (Bavarian regional television station), when a team of journalists filmed the “Hexentanz” at full speed over a long time. Just how fascinating and crazy the “Hexentanz” has always been is also amply demonstrated by the fact that the first “fairground” article that this, your writer, wrote and published in September 1989 – exactly 30 years ago – was dedicated to this very ride.
A ‘significant’ reflection: Cheers!

Photos: Norman Vogt, Karl Ruisinger, Archive Kaiser