Oktoberfest, the world’s largest folk/beer festival, will not be happening in 2020 due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
The massive annual gathering, known for its lively parades and flowing beer taps, was set to go down over September 19th through October 4th in Munich, Bavaria, Germany.
The country’s ban on large-scale events is currently only effective until August 31st, but with Oktoberfest attracting 6 million revelers from all over the world, it just can’t happen. “The risks are simply too high,” Oktoberfest’s website states.
Markus Soeder, premier of the southern German state said, “This is not a normal year and it is unfortunately a year without the Oktoberfest.” He added, “It hurts. It is a huge shame.”
It’s a major blow to the local economy as well, because Oktoberfest brings in 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) each year. However, the event has been canceled in the past due to cholera epidemics and World War Two, so officials and organizers hope to overcome once again.
At the time of this report, Germany had 143,457 cases of coronavirus and 4,598 related deaths.
Here you can find further information and statements from public officials.
Source: Reuters | Photo courtesy of Oktoberfest / Sebastian Lehner