GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — The 2017 Oktoberfest in Munich runs Sept. 16 through Oct. 3 and fest-goers can expect to see stringent security measures again, according to the official website.
The heightened security plans include a secured perimeter, a significant police presence with up to 450 security wardens on duty at a time, a multi-language loudspeaker system for crisis communication, standby emergency phones and restrictions on festival entry, according to official news releases.
The 100-acre plot of land, nestled in Munich’s central Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt district, will be fenced off — including the open area along the Theresienhoehe — to enable 100 percent control of festival access, according Munich police officials. Barriers can be dismantled in seconds for quick escape, however, city officials assured.
All backpacks and large bags, or anything with a capacity of more than three liters, are strictly prohibited at the festival, Munich police said. Exceptions may be made on a case-to-case basis for justified reasons, such as support for handicapped people.
Small handbags and other belongings will be checked at all entrances, the police said.
Other prohibited items include glass bottles, spray cans and any items that can be used as a weapon. Strollers and buggies are allowed, except on Saturdays, German Unity Day on Mon, Oct. 3 and all other days after 6 p.m.
Despite tightened security and the general concern of random violence, the two-week Bavarian festival, set to run from Sept. 16 to Oct. 3, is expected to attract large crowds, city officials said, with nearly half a million visitors each day.
For your safety, download, print and keep the USAG Bavaria Oktoberfest tri-fold at www.bavaria.army.mil/docs/oktoberfest.pdf.
Preparing for the festival
DO NOT BRING:
REGISTER for AtHoc to receive alerts and security messages from the garrison
Check out the Wiesn-Barometer to see a schedule of the festival’s busiest days and times, and visit the US Consulate General page for a list of tips, emergency contacts and festival map. You can also download the official smartphone app for more maps and tips in English and German.
The Oktoberfest Service Center: The Service Center, or Servicezentrum, houses the police station, Red Cross, Sichere Wiesn security point for women safety and lost-and-found facility. It is located beside the large Bavarian statue and behind the Schottenhamel tent.
Emergency phones with police officers on the other end are located on light poles around the fest grounds. You may have to go directly to the police station for access to an English-speaking police officer.
Other emergency contacts: Police at 110, Fire and Emergency Medical Services at 112