Opening and tapping of the Oktoberfest

Mayor Dieter Reiter opens the Oktoberfest

Here's to a peaceful Oktoberfest! At 12 o'clock sharp, the 189th Munich Oktoberfest will open on September 21, 2024. Traditionally, Lord Mayor Dieter Reiter taps the first barrel of Oktoberfest beer in the Schottenhamel Festhalle.

LHM, Nagy

In as few blows as possible: the perfect tapping ceremony

According to long-standing tradition, the first beer barrel at the Oktoberfest 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 exclamation 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 an Oktoberfest 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 Oktoberfest: Oktoberfest is officially open and the beer can start flowing! Although the Oktoberfest 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 Bayerischer Rundfunk broadcasts the spectacle live on the first day of the Oktoberfest, and you can also watch online via live stream.