Gun salutes and the cry of ‘Ozapft is’ by the Mayor of Munich to announce the tapping of the first barrel of beer usually herald the start of the Oktoberfest – but not in 2020. Upon the initiative of the Paulaner Brewery, one of Munich’s six traditional breweries that serve their beer at the Oktoberfest, Wiesn hosts, stallholders, representatives from the city, the Münchner Kindl (or ‘Munich Child’) and the Association of Munich Brewers all gathered at 10 a.m. in order to show their love for the Wiesn and send their best wishes to Oktoberfest fans everywhere.
Picture is available at AP Images (http://www.apimages.com)
Beer tables and benches arranged into the shape of a heart surrounded the breweries’ majestic-looking carts. Each brewery tapped a barrel and raised a glass at a safe distance, creating an image that served as a greeting to all of the guests who were unable to come to Munich this year to take part in the celebrations. There was a tangible sense of sadness among all those present following the cancellation of this year’s Wiesn, but in this very moment they expressed their affinity with the world’s biggest folk festival.
The initiative came about in collaboration with the fashion retailer Hirmer and the traditional costume supplier Amsel during a brainstorming session aimed at working out how to convey an image of the cancelled Oktoberfest event. A specially designed dirndl and a love letter to the Oktoberfest were just as much a part of the initiative as the message #WeLoveTheWiesn.
‘We want to use this event to create an enduring image by which to remember the cancelled Oktoberfest’ emphasised Andreas Steinfatt, managing director of the Paulaner Brewery and chairman of the Association of Munich Brewers. ‘Away from the Theresienwiese, socially distanced, with no celebrations, but an image that nonetheless shows how emotional this special time of the year is for us and how much we miss “our Wiesn”.’