The new "Old Oktoberfest" takes place in the south of the Theresienwiese.
The Oide Wiesn, "old Oktoberfest" in English, is a separate festival that emphasizes the traditional character of the Oktoberfest with brass music and historic attractions. It has to pause every four years to make room for the central agricultural fair (Zentrallandwirtschaftsfest, ZLF), which would have been the case in 2020. After its cancellation, it's still unknown whether the Oide Wiesn 2021 will take place as planned or if the ZLF will be moved to 2021.
Concept and history
In 2010, the Oktoberfest got 200 years old. Of course, such a historic occasion had to be celebrated. Subsequently, behind the Ferris wheel at the south end of the Theresienwiese, you could visit the “Historische Wiesn” (Historic Oktoberfest) to watch horse races as a reminiscence of the roots of the festival or to enjoy other historic attractions and two beer tents. The overwhelming success of that additional fairground led to its establishment as a regular extension of the actual Oktoberfest. Ironically, the new format was named “Oide Wiesn” (Old Oktoberfest).
The most striking difference between the Oide Wiesn and the actual Oktoberfest is the fact, that you have to pay a fee of three Euros before entering the three-hectare site. The entrance fee is however used to cross-subsidize all the rides, which are only one Euro each. On busy days, it’s possible, that the whole area closes for over-crowding. Otherwise, the Oide Wiesn can be a good alternative, when the large beer tents of the actual Oktoberfest are closed for overcrowding. Be aware, that you can’t get a beer past 9:30 pm, though.
Tents and reservations
The main ingredients of this still new and fluctuating festival are the large beer tent, the Festzelt Tradition, a musicians’ tent, and a selection of historic rides and other attractions. With one exception, the musicians’ tent has so far been run by Josef Bachmaier, host of a restaurant and cabaret, as Herzkasperl-Festzelt, where you can listen to a large variety of traditional and contemporary folk music.
The Festzelt Tradition, on the other hand, is an ordinary beer tent presenting traditional brass music and dances. In addition to the two, the new "folk singer tent" Zur Schönheitskönigin offers a very lively atmosphere with traditional music and sing-a-longs.
Reservations for the Oide Wiesn tents are usually easier to obtain than for the regular Oktoberfest. Even for Saturday and Friday nights, reservation slots are usually offered publicly for all tents.