The Munich security concept

The Munich city council is reviewing the security concept

(26.07.2016) In cooperation with security authorities and the police, the Munich city council has agreed on reviewing the security concept for the 2016 Oktoberfest and to immediately put the decisions into effect.
„This decision ensures that all measures, which are deemed necessary by the security experts to make the Oktoberfest as safe as possible, will be put into effect in time.” says Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter.
Head of the Oktoberfest Josef Schmid is relieved: “Talks with security authorities and police are conducted with maximum effort. I will personally preside over these consultations. Goal of the new concept must be to get better control of the entries to the Oktoberfest. The safety of the guests is our utmost priority.”

Security for the Wiesn guests

Despite the six million guests at the Oktoberfest ever year, there hasn’t been a major incident in the last 30 years. This was because of the tried and tested security concept, former head of the Munich Department for Public Order Wilfried Blume-Beyerle told the dpa news agency. “But you can never be sure that nothing will happen. You can never rule out the unforeseeable.”

To assure and improve the necessary safety, the security staff will be increased by 100 people this year. There will be baggage searches and identity checks at the entrances to the fairground, which will be done in case of suspicion of prohibited materials being carried.

Mass gatherings are never completely safe, which is why security measures have to be taken. A positive aspect is that the Theresienwiese is open to all sides. In case of a mass panic the area can be escaped from in all directions.

The Oktoberfest security concept is based on decades of experience and gets reviewed every year. Video surveillance of problem areas, circular security areas around the Oktoberfest and the constant increase of the number of security personnel are just a few of the new actions from the last years. A new feature is the usage of social networks to warn guests about impending overcrowding. Twitter and Facebook are the channels for communicating a possible stop of admittance to the fairground.

The weekends are the most critical times in the beer tents and in the subway. This is why Munich’s Department for Public Order, police, fire department and disaster control have elaborated the massive security concept. Police speaker Wolfgang Wenger’s motto is: Watch the rush closely and react quickly if necessary. 

Despite protests of heavily drunk guests, tents and subway stations are closed before they are totally overcrowded. Passengers are then admitted in and out of the subway trains only in groups. Every tent proprietor has to provide a big number of security guards with verified training and an elaborated communication concept.

And what if there’s an incident anyway? Then the MANV-concept (“Massenanfall von Verletzten”, “massive onset of injured people”) comes into action, Blume-Beyerle says. By classifying grades of injury, help can be coordinated most effectively. Around the Theresienwiese, the fire department has installed a circle of locations for medical treatment. Since 2010, there is also a field hospital at the Bavariaring. To this, emergency routes are optimized every year.
So, while hoping for a peaceful 2016 Oktoberfest, Munich is well prepared.