Munich’s Second Mayor (Zweiter Bürgermeister) and Oktoberfest 2015 chief Josef Schmid recently announced the attendance numbers of the 182nd instalment of the annual Bavarian Beer-Festival . “Only” 5.9 million visits to the annual Festival were counted, roughly 400.000 less than in 2014. At the closing press conference of the festival, Schmid blamed the cold and damp weather in Munich during the Oktoberfest for the decrease in visitor numbers, even though the real reason is probably the refugee crisis.
Many festivalgoers from Austria, Northern Italy and the Balkans stayed away this year because of the crisis that, amongst other things, led to the cancellation of a popular railway connection from Austria’s Salzburg to the Bavarian capitol.
The official roundup of the Festival describes this year’s instalment as a "relaxed autumn-Wiesn with a lot of locals". The Oktoberfest 2015 took place from September 19th – October 4th. 114 oxen, 50 calves and 7.7 million litres of beer were consumed. Tent security stopped a dazzling 110.000 people from taking their mug home with them as souvenirs.
The Oktoberfest first took place 205 years ago to celebrate a royal wedding. It was originally held in October, but was then brought forward to take advantage of the better weather in September. It was not held during the World Wars, two cholera outbreaks, Napoleon's invasion of Bavaria and the hyperinflation of the 1920s.
In 2016 the Festival will begin on Saturday, September 17th at 11 am and end on Sunday, October 2nd.