Oktoberfest - ein Fest der Landeshauptstadt München

Oktoberfest tapping and opening ceremony 2020

“O’zapft is!“ is the saying at exactly midday: there’s no Wiesn without the tapping ceremony!

19 Sep
Schottenhamel Festzelt (Theresienwiese)
Every year, the tapping ceremony in the Schottenhamel festival hall kicks off the Oktoberfest. As tradition has it, at 12 noon on the first Saturday of the Wiesn, the mayor taps the first beer barrel and opens the Wiesn with the cry “O’zapft is!”.

In as few blows as possible: the perfect tapping ceremony

According to long-standing tradition, the first beer barrel at the Wiesn is always tapped at the Schottenhamel festival tent. The mayor of Munich tries his hardest to insert the tap in as few blows as possible to fill up the first beer glass, which is customarily handed to the incumbent Bavarian state premier. The current record for the perfect tapping ceremony lies at two blows – the record is shared by former Munich mayors, Christian Ude and Dieter Reiter. Mayor Thomas Wimmer (SPD), who introduced the traditional tapping ceremony in 1950, needed 17 blows!

Why is the tapping ceremony taking place at the Schottenhamel?

“O’zapft is!”, comes the cry from the Schottenhamel festival hall, because it’s where the event was “officially” tapped for the first time in 1950 by Thomas Wimmer, the mayor at the time. It’s said that he hurried to the Schottenhamel for the Oktoberfest opening ceremony because he was running a little late after opening a fair at Theresienhöhe just before 12. What’s more, it was pouring with rain on this Saturday afternoon in September 1950, causing Mayor Wimmer to take the fastest route into a tent. Whether it really happened that way or it’s just a Wiesn legend is hard to say.

12 gunshots signal the start of the festival

After the successful tapping ceremony, twelve gunshots are fired in front of the Bavaria to signal to the other festival tents at the Wiesn: Oktoberfest is officially open and the beer can start flowing! Although the Wiesn tents open at 9 am on the first Saturday, beer can only be served in all the tents after the shots have been fired.

See the tapping ceremony live – first hand, on TV or via live stream

If you overslept on the first day of the Wiesn or didn’t manage to get a sought-after reservation for the tapping tent and therefore didn’t get a spot in the Schottenhamel festival hall, you can also watch the ceremony on TV. For example, the Bavarian Rundfunk broadcasts the spectacle live on the first day of the Wiesn, and you can also watch online via the live stream at muenchen.de!