THE GRAND German festivity of Oktoberfest landed in Manchester this week bringing with it the food, beer, music, and the Bavarian culture.
Albert Square in Manchester hosted its third annual Oktoberfest since its launch in 2014 hosting the festival which originated in Munich, Germany. The long weekend celebration sees much more than just authentic German beer and food as you can experience everything that makes the real Oktoberfest.
Blue and white colours characterised the 2000 capacity large tent in Albert Square as inside you could expect a fully decorated layout. Long rows of tables and benches filled the inner canvas and upfront stood the elevated stage. Waiters and waitresses were dressed in the traditional Dirndl and Lederhosen carrying beer stein’s left, right and centre.
A block or two away from Oktoberfest the music was already ringing loudly around Manchester.
Entry fee on the door and prices for beer and food weren’t too pricey, meaning there was no breaking the bank. The bar didn’t just serve its specially brewed Bavarian beer, they whipped up food lovers with favourites like Bratwurst, Schnitzel and Pretzel’s.
Traditional Bavarian style music began, the German band armed with their saxophone and accordion and other backing instruments. Although it was hard to sing along with the German lyrics the crowd swayed back and forth in unison chanting along to the music.
With celebrations well underway Oktoberfest erupted in to madness as everyone stood on the benches and unleashed their inner Bavarian side. Just like that Oktoberfest was the in place to be in Manchester.
The German band gave way to a DJ who was adamant on everyone re-living their musical childhood churning out the classics such as ‘Come on Eileen’ and ‘We Will Rock You’. The crowd was ecstatic, the clashing of beer steins in the air spilling everywhere. With alcohol consumption through the roof more classics were dropped in the tent. The chant “Will Griggs on Fire” made its now-mandatory appearance. Several members of the crowd learn that dancing on a skinny table to ‘Cotton-Eyed Joe” is much harder than it seems.
Although not at full capacity Oktoberfest felt outrageously busy with a sometimes large queue for the bar, though thankfully this moved surprisingly quickly.
As the night drew to a close participants wrapped arms around one another as we all sang our lungs out to ‘Wonderwall’ and finishing on Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believing’. Oktoberfest had provided one of the best experiences of the year so far.
By Alex Costello