This is how the entry to the Oktoberfest works on Saturdays.
When Oktoberfest first-timers complain that they have not found seats during their visit to the Oktoberfest and that they have not even entered a tent because they were all closed due to overcrowding, one can assume that this failed Oktoberfest visit took place on a Saturday. Due to the large crowds, we always recommend avoiding Saturdays if possible. However, if you read this, it’s probably already too late for that.
Admission has been chaotic since 2016
Due to the large crowd and the associated tent closings, tens of thousands of people stand outside the gates of the festival grounds on Saturdays until they open at 9 am to assure to get seats. The Munich administration created this difficult-to-control entry situation with the introduction of the bag ban in 2016 and the associated closure of the festival grounds until 9 am.
The security service did a better job regulating the admission on the opening Saturday, 2022. However, we would nonetheless like to prepare all those who consider it a good idea to stand in front of the entrances on a Saturday morning.
As you can see in the video, the queues can stretch around the entire grounds, from one entrance to the next. The biggest crowd is expected at the two northern entrances, the main entrance and Schaustellerstraße, the least in the south at Oidn Wiesn and at Familienplatz at Beethovenstraße.
Different entrances, different “rules”
While the entrance to Schaustellerstraße was pretty well done in orderly lanes on the first Saturday in 2019, the security guards at the main entrance and at Esperantoplatz were simply overrun. Unfortunately, those who were well-behaved and joined the line were punished by this situation.
We have seen similar things in the past at the two entrances left and right of the Bavaria. As a rule, most visitors will take their start position at the entrance that is closest to the tent they are heading for. After all, the goal is successful participation in this new Munich public run once the entrance has been cleared. Since the individual entrances were often opened with a few minutes difference in the past, it is difficult to make sure that you placed yourself at the best entrance possible.
We can therefore only recommend the following: As a rule, it is not worth appearing long before 9 am. It also makes no sense to line up in the long queues at the main entrance or Schaustellerstraße. If you want to avoid crowds, use the entrance at the Oide Wiesn (P10).
Despite everything, we wish you a nice Saturday. We would be happy to read about your experiences at the entrance in the comments below.