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Festivals in Munich

Munich’s festivals cover a spectrum, from music to literature to art, but what it’s famous for is of course beer. And with good reason too… Oktoberfest has become a world-wide institution. For Australians, New Zealanders, and the English it’s a rite-of-passage tourist spot. Munich also has another, less well known beer festival, so if you want something a little quieter you can ease yourself into you can try the Strong Beer Festival.

Wouldn’t it be great though, to experience some of these festivals like a local? Well even if you don’t have friends and family in Munich— it’s still possible using Withlocals. You can find people who have the inside knowledge on the best festivals, no matter what your interests.

There are techno, rock and classical music festivals and also the Theatron Festival — an extravaganza that has techno, rock and classical music — all at the same festival.

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Top 10 festivals in Munich, Germany

  • Oktoberfest is the big one and mainly consists of beer drinking in huge tents, but there is also a much more family-friendly side to it. It’s a folk festival as well and has a fun fair, and many non-drinking activities, like eating great food!
  • Tollwood summer and winter festivals (yes, there’s two), aim to tie together various music and theatre performances, and art projects with an environmental theme. Brings in many big name international performers and artists each year. Everyone likes ecology!
  • 1876 was the first Bayreuth Festival — which plays and promotes the work of Richard Wagner. To give an indication just how popular this event is worldwide, the average waiting time for tickets is between 5 and 10 years.
  • The Munich Opera Festival, almost 140 years young features highlights from the previous seasons works by the Bavarian State Opera, as well as premieres of new works by the opera company.
  • Munchener Fruhlingsfest (Munich Spring Festival) runs for two weeks and is often called the mini-Oktoberfest. Again there’s an outdoor fair and other activities, live music and much beer drinking.
  • The Strong Beer Festival (it’s a reference to the strong flavor of extra malt, not the alcohol content) is beer and more beer, but it’s a tad more civilized. It doesn’t start till 6 pm each day and you can expect to go home at midnight.
  • Held at the Olympic Centre Lake the Theatron Festival is the music festival to end all music festivals and runs 24 days over summer featuring all types of music from rock to classical.
  • Munich Christopher Street Day actually runs for 9 days in Munich and celebrates LGBT pride! Highlights include a high-heels race and handbag throwing and ladder climbing competitions!
  • The Kocherlball or "Cooks’ Ball is a small morning dance-fest that takes place in Munich’s Englischer Garten. It follows an old 19th century tradition where servants, cooks, nannies and other minions would meet and dance early every summer Sunday.
  • Celebrating emerging talent the Munich International Short Film Festival showcases films under 15 minutes in documentary, fiction, animation and experimental sections.

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Facts about Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany

  • The first Oktoberfest was held in 1810 to celebrate the marriage of King Ludwig.
  • Beers from the following breweries are served: Hofbräuhaus München, Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu, Paulaner Bräu, Löwenbräu, Hacker-Pschorr Bräu and Augustiner. No others at Oktoberfest. All from Munich.
  • The festival has been officially cancelled 24 times. Reasons include cholera epidemics, the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71), and of course WWI and WWII.
  • Oktoberfest doesn’t open in October, but September (which has much sunnier weather), but what’s in a name?
  • Paris Hilton is permanently banned from Oktoberfest. There is a reason: apparently she turned up one year promoting wine. Very bad idea.
  • In 2014 6.5 million litres of beer were drank by 6.3 million visitors.
  • Around 4000 items end up in lost and found each year, among the strangest, a set of dentures.