Oktoberfest - ein Fest der Landeshauptstadt München
Photo: Anette Göttlicher

The Oktoberfest construction 2019

Halftime at the Wiesn construction site: The small tents are coming!

It’s halftime! The Theresienwiese has been a construction site for five weeks now - and the Oktoberfest 2019 will start in five weeks' time. The big tents are looking really good from the inside and the small ones are being erected.

Five weeks of construction: Sunshine in the Löwenbräu, floating Aloisius

The big tents all have their "heaven" by now. The typical colours, mostly made of fabric, were applied in all fourteen festival tents and in the two tents of the Oide Wiesn. Stefanie Spendler from the Löwenbräuzelt told us why: The floor can only be laid when the sky is ready, because heavy equipment with lifting platforms is on its way to its suspension. In the Hofbräuzelt the angel Aloisius is finally allowed to float above the events.

Th small tents are there: Bodos Cafézelt, Zum Stiftl and more

There’s no Oktoberfest without the 22 small tents. After the big ones are standing and their containers are slowly thinning out, there’s room for the little ones to pitch up. Bodos Cafézelt made the start: Otto Lindinger, spokesman for the landlords of the small tents, was there when the signs were mounted on the ridge. Rischart's Café Kaiserschmarrn is erected and you can already see Zum Stiftl, the Glöckle Wirt and the chicken and duck roasteries from Poschner and Ammer - the second oldest tent of the Wiesn!

1 month of construction: The beautiful Bräurosl and the angel Aloisius

Many typical Wiesn insignia of the big tents have arrived and are being assembled: For example, the pretty Bräurosl from Pschorr Bräurosl. The Hofbräu tent has not only received its crown, but — inside the tent — the famous angel Aloisius from Ludwig Thoma's short story, is already waiting. Soon he will be floating high up under the roof — in one piece!

The Augustiner wooden barrel warehouse and the Bavarian sky

At the Augustiner-Festhalle the tower is being erected, which is not only a landmark of the tent, but has a purpose, too: In the Augustiner tent the Wiesnbier is still served from 200 litre wooden barrels, the so-called "Hirschen". These are stored in the tower with the green roof. Meanwhile, the 2000 square meter paintings, which were not painted until 2016 by Rudi Reinstadler exclusively for the Oktoberfest, will be installed inside the Hacker tent.

Week 3: From Armbrustschützenzelt to Weinzelt: they are up!

Since 8 July, the Oktoberfest 2019 has been erected on the Theresienwiese. First the scaffolding of the Ochsenbraterei was erected and was followed tent by tent: one week in the process, five large „Wiesnzelte“ were raised. Three weeks after the start of the construction they were all there, the big tents, from the Marstall at the main entrance near Paulskirche, the Hofbräufestzelt and the Pschorr Bräurosl to Kufflers Weinzelt at the southern end.

A lion that’s not thirsty anymore

The tents now carry their inscriptions on the gables: there you can see the „Himmel der Bayern“ („Bavaria’s heaven“) on the Hacker Festival tent, „Gut, besser, Paulaner" on the roof of the Paulaner Festival tent and the striking writing on the Armbrustschützenzelt. The Paulaner Tower was already standing in the first week. Now the Löwenbräu Tower is rising into the mostly blue Munich sky, too. And finally, the lion is sitting gracefully on top of ist tower: with a beer mug in its paw! Not for long, and his second mate is going to roar „Löööö-weeen-bräääu" again from his place in front of the tent.

Week 1: The foundations of the tents have to be found

It all started on 8 July: 75 days before the start of the 186th Wiesn on 21 September 2019, the first 40 trucks rolled onto the Theresienwiese, delivering material for the large tents. The beer tents aren’t set up all at once — containers, suppliers and construction workers would stand in each other's way. In addition, one to two large cranes are needed per tent. First, however, the foundations of the large tents must be found and excavated under the gravel of the Theresienwiese: Each tent is individual and has its own base. No other tent would fit on this foundation. Fun fact: The Oktoberfest tents are not set up anywhere else than on the Munich Theresienwiese — from November to July they hibernate in 50 overseas containers per tent.

Ochsenbraterei and Paulaner Tower were the first

Because the Ochsenbraterei was completely redesigned and rebuilt in 2017, it was also the first to be set up this year: In the middle of the first week, the high, bright green scaffold stood like a one and was given its distinctive sign „Lass dir raten, trinke Spaten“. On the other side of the Wiesn, the Paulaner Tower was erected during this time and was also fitted with his famous beer mug on the roof. The lion from the Löwenbräu tent, so popular with children, has to wait a little longer for his beer: not so royal, but patiently he has to Lie on his back until he’s finally assembled this week and allowed to drink from his beer mug.

Facts and figures about the Wiesn construction

It would take 800 trucks, believe it or not, to transport the containers with the material for the large tents to the Theresienwiese. Every day, between 40 and 60 transporters arrive on the site.

In the first week "only" about 50 workers were busy with the erection. But as soon as the small tents arrive after the big ones, followed by the rollercoasters and the many small huts, when electricians, plumbers and carpenters start their work, there will be about 8000 people involved in the erection until "O'zapft is!“. By the way, also female workers!

A tent has as much floor space as 350 three-room apartments, and with the cables that are laid in every beer tent, you could get from the Chinaturm in Englischer Garten to the suburb of Pullach in the south of Munich - over 13 kilometres away.

The nails that fasten the small Wiesnzelt "Zum Stiftl" to anchor plates are up to 1.50 metres long.

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