How late does the music play in tents and when is the last beer served?
The “O’zapft is!” on the first day of the Oktoberfest at 12 midday exactly is world-famous – but when do the beer tents actually open? What time does the music play till, how long can you order beer for and why are the tents sometimes already closed at lunchtime? Where can you smoke? All information.
The tents and their opening times on the first day of the Oktoberfest
The date for Oktoberfest 2023 is Saturday, September 16 through Tuesday, October 3. On the first Saturday of the Wiesn the beer tents open at 9 a.m. From 10 a.m. there are non-alcoholic drinks and small bites to eat. At 12 midday the tapping of the barrel takes place in the Schottenhamel beer tent: the lord mayor taps the first barrel of Oktoberfest beer and then the beer flows across Oktoberfest and in all the tents into beer mugs.
Large tent opening times
During the week the large tents at Oktoberfest (including the Oide Wiesn) are open from 10 am to 11.30 pm.
The bar always closes at 10.30 p.m. and the music plays till then. At the weekends and on the public holiday (on October 3) the tents open their doors at 9 a.m..
The small tents and when they’re open
In addition to the large festival halls, there are also many small and medium-sized tents, roasting houses and café tents - they open during the week from 10 a.m. (on weekends and holidays from 9 a.m.) and close at 11:30 p.m. At 11 p.m. there's the last beer or wine and the last song.
Closures due to overcrowding: what you need to know
At the weekends and on the public holiday (October 3) some tents can shut their doors at lunchtime: “Wegen Überfüllung vorübergehend geschlossen” (“Closed temporarily due to overcrowding”) is displayed on signs at the entrances. Whether or when you may not be able to enter a tent is difficult to predict; the weather plays a role too: When it’s warm and sunny the tents’ beer gardens are a cozy alternative; when it rains or is windy the tents are often much fuller.
The good news: It is very rare that every tent is closed and they will reopen at some point. With a reservation bracelet you can always get into the tent. The entrances for visitors with reservations are at the sides or at the rear of the respective tent.
Always take personal items with you
Please note: When you’re in the tent and briefly want to go outside to meet friends or have a go on the swing ride, take your valuables with you and be aware how full it is in the tent: If the beer tent is closed on your return due to overcrowding, you won’t get in, even if your friends and your half chicken are waiting for you inside.
The Oide Wiesn and its beer tents
At the Oide Wiesn, the “nostalgia Oktoberfest” on the south side of the venue, there are four tents: The Tradition festival tent, the Herzkasperl festival tent, the folk singer tent Schützenlisl® and a Museum tent. They are open from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.; beer is served till 10:30 p.m.
Smoking ban in the beer tents
Since August 1, 2010 a public health protection law has been in place that, among other things, bans smoking in the beer tents at Oktoberfest – including e-cigarettes. If you still want to smoke, you can go outside but be careful that you can get back in on your return.