Oktoberfest - ein Fest der Landeshauptstadt München
Photo: Sebastian Lehner

Project "Safe Oktoberfest for girls and women"

Safe Space: Assistance for girls and women

The Wiesn is a peaceful, enjoyable Volksfest with approximately 6 million visitors annually from around the world. When so many people come together, there can always be situations in which quick help is needed. That's why the successful campaign "Safe Wiesn for girls and women" has been in existence since 2003, which supports the health department of the city of Munich. This campaign informs female visitors in advance and assists them in unpleasant situations, for example if they are harassed.

Help in risky situations

Since 2003, three Munich associations have been working on prevention, education and help for girls and women as part of the "Sichere Wiesn" campaign. At the local Safe Space (formerly known as Security Point), any girl or woman in an emergency, feeling insecure, disoriented or threatened can find support. Anyone who has lost their friends, keys or orientation, for example, can turn to the staff at the "Safe Space" with confidence. They help the visitors to make their way home safely. You can even recharge your mobile phone battery there. But even in difficult situations such as experienced physical or sexual violence or psychological crises, the Security Point staff provide support. The police and the district administration department (Kreisverwaltungsreferat) also provide support to all victims.

The Safe Space for girls and women

The Safe Space, at which all girls and women can get help with questions and problems, is located in the Service Center, which is near to the Bavaria statue and behind the Schottenhamel tent by the “Erste Hilfe” (“first aid”) entrance, where the police are also stationed.

Opening times: daily from 6 pm to 1 am, fridays and saturdays, on October 2nd and 3rd additionally from 3 pm. Telephone: +49 (0) 89 / 890 57 45 188 (only during Oktoberfest). More information can be found at www.sicherewiesn.de, by email at Enable JavaScript to view protected content. or from +49 (0) 89 / 890 57 45 119.

Having fun safely in the Wiesn tents

At the beginning of your visit to the meadow, you should arrange a clear meeting point with your friends, because you can quickly lose sight of yourself in the crowd. When you arrive in the tent, it's time to celebrate. But a handbag is rather impractical. Better are bags in the Dirndl, in which one Smartphone, money, hotel address and keys can be stowed away surely - and take also e.g. to the toilet -. Anyone who has to go to the toilet should ask someone in the group to have a look at the beer mug, as there are always suspected cases of knockout drops. Apropos measure: The Wiesnbier should not be underestimated under any circumstances. With this particularly strong brew, it is advisable to occasionally drink something non-alcoholic such as water or a lemonade and eat something.

No means no! Turn to the security in the tent

Along with drinking, eating and dancing, many people enjoy a bit of flirting in an evening at the Oktoberfest. If your neighbor gets too insistent, however, often a clear “no!” is helpful. If he still continues, you should get help. If no-one else on the table can intervene, the best thing is to directly speak to someone; that often works better than just shouting “help!”. At any time you can also speak to the serving staff and, most importantly, the security staff in the tents. Since 2021, "upskirting" has also been a punishable offense: anyone who photographs women* up their skirts can be prosecuted after being reported to the police.

Tips for planning your trip home after the Oktoberfest

Someday even the most beautiful Oktoberfest evening is over. Then it goes for most on the way home. How to get home is something you should think about before visiting the meadow. The best way is to go back with the group you came with. Those who want to set off alone often feel safer on routes on which others are also on the way. If all this doesn't work out, you can ask the staff at the Security Point for support. They can accompany you to public transport, call a taxi or drive the woman home themselves.

With all these tips, however, one thing is particularly important: Whether the girl or woman followed the tips or not, whether she flirted, knew the person or was drunk - her feeling for her own limits counts. Nobody has the right to offend her!

Women's night cab for the ride home

In cooperation with the district administration, vouchers for the so-called "Women's Night Cab" are issued at Safe Space. This offer is intended to guarantee all girls* and women a safe ride home. All women* from the age of 16 (whether from Munich or not) are entitled to the vouchers worth 5 euros. The only condition: The ride must lead to a residential address. The vouchers can be redeemed daily between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. and only one voucher can be used per ride. More information at muenchen.de (German)

Prevention and awareness-raising

If you are visiting the Oktoberfest for the first time, you can find out in advance on the website sicherewiesn.de - in ten languages including "Boarisch". Visitors also get these tips and information on the flyers, which are available in many hotels around the Oktoberfest or at the tourist information in the town hall, for example. The latest news can always be found on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. More than 200 girls and women use the service every year. Around three quarters of them do not come from Munich or the surrounding area. They travel from the USA, Australia, Italy or elsewhere in Germany. In the beginning, the counselling centre was housed in a small caravan, but now the shelter has a fixed location between the Wiesnwache (police) and "First Aid".

WiesnGentleman

Condrobs e. V. supports a peaceful Oktoberfest with the campaign WiesnGentleman: Anyone who has been on the spot in dicey situations or has rejected disrespectful slogans can apply: Write your story about a true incident on the Oktoberfest or suggest another person as WiesnGentleman. Then send your story to Enable JavaScript to view protected content.. A jury will select a winner from the submitted stories who will receive a prize.

Condrobs e. V. is one of the largest non-denominational providers of social aid in Bavaria. The association helps disadvantaged people and their relatives. The focus is on prevention and addiction assistance, but Condrobs is also active in child and youth welfare and migration work. At the corner of Esperantoplatz and Mozartstraße, visitors of the Oktoberfest can contact the helpers of Condrobs e. V.