IT’S become an iconic festival on Brisbane’s event calendar as each year more and more culture-seeking enthusiasts don their Dirndl and Lederhosen and flock to Oktoberfest Brisbane for their German culture fix – and this year the event promises to be bigger than before with an exciting line-up of Germanic goodness including the celebration of a significant milestone.
Last year more than 40,000 people turned out to celebrate the biggest German festival in Australia as the Brisbane Showgrounds transformed into a mini Bavaria, bringing to life (and to Brisbane) the culturally rich atmosphere at the heart of the famous Oktoberfest celebration in Munich.
The Oktoberfest Tent, Munich Biergarten, German Connections area, Kinder Zone, traditional stalls and an exciting festival program are returning for the 2016 celebration offering families, corporate guests, students and young professionals alike the chance to experience delicious food, world-famous beer and a line-up of traditional entertainment.
Held over two weekends in October (7-9 and 14-16), Oktoberfest Brisbane is poised to deliver even more excitement as the festival celebrates the 500-year anniversary of the famous ‘Bayerische Reinheitsgebot’, the famous ‘Bavarian Beer Purity Law’.
“It’s a historic law which limits the ingredients allowed to brew German beer to water, malt, hops and yeast,” says Munich-born Festival Director Boris Zoulek.
“It’s endured half a millennium and ensured a quality we can still taste in German beer today.”
“Plenty of celebrations are happening in Germany this year and we’re bringing that excitement to Oktoberfest Brisbane, giving people the opportunity to understand and embrace the significance of this once-in-a-lifetime event.”
The Purity Law will be showcased at a dedicated interactive and sensory display called ‘1516: Das Reinheitsgebot’.
Plenty of traditional folk music, leg-slapping and cow bell ringing will feature heavily across both weekends, along with a variety of delicious cuisine and beers specially crafted for the festival to help wash it all down.
The proud heritage of the ‘family behind the festival’ is something Boris and wife Kim say has ensured Oktoberfest Brisbane remains an authentic celebration of German culture and tradition.
“Unlike most other Oktoberfest celebrations in Australia, ours isn’t just about the beer. It’s about creating the opportunity to experience and celebrate the culture and fun atmosphere at the heart of German folk festivals,” says Kim.
“We incorporate aspects of the world-famous Oktoberfest in Bavaria and elements from other German festivals and together with our vendors and suppliers from Brisbane’s vibrant German community we’ve created a celebration that is both authentic and exciting.”
Returning to Oktoberfest Brisbane in 2016 are popular competitions including Miss Oktoberfest Brisbane, Beardmeister and Bavarian Strongmen.
The Bavarian Oompah Band ‘Münchner Buam’, flown in from Germany, is once again headlining entertainment in the Oktoberfest Tent alongside yodeller Heidi and the Brisbane-based Alpenrosen Dance Group.
The festival’s official Beer Ambassador Matt Kirkegaard will share his expertise at the German cultural food fusion show OktoberFEAST. Autofest, an outdoor car show featuring vintage, classic and late model German marques, will also feature among the highlights.
The popular Kinder Zone has expanded this year with fun and educational activities for children including learning German, Animal Planet’s Snake Boss live reptile shows and the Oceanlife Discovery.
New to Oktoberfest Brisbane will also be RFID Smart Wristbands allowing users to make cashless payments and Top Up their credit via smartphone or at a Top Up station, giving them more time to enjoy the festival’s delicious flavours.