Will Oktoberfest 2022 happen? Will Oktoberfest 2022 get canceled? What even is my life without pretzels, polka, and pretty much the biggest beers I’ve ever seen in my life?
Readers ask me these questions every single day. Nay, multiple times a day. They’re coming at me from all sides and I’m just batting them away with my dirndl apron. And do you know why? Because I don’t want to even think about another Oktoberfest-less year. But here we are.
Latest update: April 29, 2022
Oktoberfest 2022 is confirmed!
In a press conference this morning (4/29/22) Lord Mayor of Munich Dieter Reiter confirmed that Oktoberfest 2022 WILL take place after two canceled years!
As of right now, there will be no restrictions to admittance and Oktoberfest 2022 will take place in much the same way as it always has. (But he does want you to know this wasn’t an easy decision for him. Not a job I would ever want, that’s for sure.)
See the official announcement here.
As an Oktoberfest tour guide and your personal Oktoberfest trip planning assistant, the stakes of “Will Oktoberfest 2022 happen?” are even higher for me, necessity to eat and all. So, I feel your pain 100%.
So, will Oktoberfest 2022 happen? Here’s the info you need to know right now.
When is Oktoberfest 2022?
Oktoberfest 2022 is schedule to take place in Munich, Germany from Saturday, September 17 – Monday, October 3, 2022.
Will Oktoberfest 2022 get canceled: official announcements
As of right now, Oktoberfest 2022 is still a go. However, as we saw with Oktoberfest 2020 and Oktoberfest 2021, anything can happen between now and then. The best thing to do is sit tight and wait for the official announcements out of Munich.
When to expect an announcement
Luckily, the powers-that-be announce whether or not they have canceled Oktoberfest fairly early in the year. In 2021, the Lord Mayor of Munich Dieter Reiter made his conclusive cancelation announcement on March 5, 2021. In 2020 he announced Oktoberfest’s cancelation on April 21.
Two very sad days, indeed, but that gives us plenty of time to adjust accordingly. Plus, having a definitive answer to the question of whether Oktoberfest 2022 will happen or not is a good thing either way.
Why so early?
Though Oktoberfest doesn’t take place until September each year, Oktoberfest construction actually begins in June.
Each and every year all of the massive beer tents, vendor huts, rides, and structures of all shapes and sizes get torn down after the festival is over and rebuilt the next year. This construction process begins in June and lasts until just before Oktoberfest begins. Some would even say it never ends.
You can learn more about the Oktoberfest construction (and destruction) process and some fun facts in the post where I answer frequently asked Oktoberfest questions.
Latest Oktoberfest 2022 updates
The good news is that the official Oktoberfest site still has their giant Oktoberfest countdown running. They’ve also just initiated this year’s Oktoberfest post contest. There’s still hope!
Update: April 20, 2022
More good news! An official announcement on the state of Oktoberfest 2022 is expected next week, according to this super optimistic article. 🤞
Once again, Wiesn Boss Clemens Baumgärtner expresses his full belief that the festival will take place this year. Lord Mayor Dieter Reiter, who actually gets the final say, at least sounds a little more optimistic now than he has recently. He says he still has a few final meetings to have first, and then he’ll make announcement soon.
Baumgärtner, hilariously optimistic this whole time, still says he’s “completely sure” there will be a festival this year and that he looks forward to Oktoberfest 2022!
Update: April 14, 2022
Another of Bavaria’s largest folk festivals–the Gäubodenvolksfest in Straubing, Germany (also sometimes known as the Straubing Festival)–has been given the go ahead for 2022!
Though this takes place in a different (although still nearby) town and the government leaders in charge of making this decision are not in charge of Munich’s Oktoberfest, this is still good news! Given that Bavarian leaders are optimistic about their fall festivals gives us additional hope that Oktoberfest 2022 will not be canceled for a third time.
Gäubodenvolksfest, like Oktoberfest, typically takes place every year but also has been canceled for the past two. But during a meeting on April 13, they decided to go ahead with the festival in 2022.
Gäubodenvolksfest is one of Bavaria’s largest beer and folk festivals and takes place each year in August, just a month before Oktoberfest. It will take place this year from August 12 to 22.
Update: February 14, 2022
The NFL has just announced that it will play its first-ever regular season football game in Munich this fall. Yes, the fall of 2022. While this is not really an Oktoberfest news update, it is news that might prove relevant.
The Lord Mayor of Munich Dieter Reiter says, “We are very pleased to welcome the NFL International Series to Munich. It is a great honor for the state capital Munich to be the first German city to stage a regular-season NFL game. Many Munich residents are big football fans and they will be thrilled that this spectacular sporting event is coming to their city.”
The fact that the Mayor of Munich has agreed to host a huge, international sporting event in Munich THIS FALL is such good news! Hopefully that attitude spills over into his decision on whether or not to go ahead with Oktoberfest as well.
The game will be played at Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena (which has a seating capacity of 70,000 people for international matches, I might add) but the date has not been released (or probably even decided yet).
Update: January 22, 2022
More good news out of Munich – they’ve apparently got a whole “in case it happens” budget plan all figured out. The increased costs are mostly due to the need for additional security officers to help with controlling the entrances now that only vaccinated/recovered visitors will be allowed in. They’re also considering issuing counterfeit-proof wristbands to permitted visitors, which is quite costly itself.
These extra costs of Oktoberfest 2022 will be the responsibility of the tent owners and landlords. However, they’ve assured us these increases will not wholly be doled out to us visitors. Instead, the costs will slowly be integrated over the course of four years.
Should Oktoberfest 2022 get canceled, the city of Munich has agreed to pay the extra security so the tent owners don’t have to bear that burden. Sources: tz.de and Süddeutsch Zeitung
Update: December 30, 2021
Before Omicron reared its ugly head, the Lord Mayor of Munich and Oktoberfest boss Clemens Baumgärtner told the German press: “Next year there will be the real Oktoberfest” (Sept 2021). Source: br.de
Both have expressed their commitment to no more than two canceled Oktoberfests as well as no “altered” Oktoberfest going forward. This means they will not attempt to alter Oktoberfest to conform to current safety standards – i.e., no mask mandates, no social distancing, etc.
However, that does not mean safety is not a priority, which is it very much is. For Oktoberfest 2022, Munich officials are planning to allow only vaccinated visitors into Oktoberfest. (As well as possibly additional testing requirements.) In Reiter’s own words: “There will definitely be no Oktoberfest for everyone. If someone does not want to be tested or vaccinated, then they will not be able to go to the Oktoberfest in 2022 either.” Source: stern.de
This shouldn’t come as a shock as these requirements are already in place to visit and travel around Germany and the EU as it is. So, get vaccinated, get boosted, wear a mask, and stay safe so we can all go drink beer together already!
The “however” to these statements is that they were made before the Omicron variant arrived. Since then, active cases have skyrocketed to never-before-seen levels and many European countries have instituted lockdowns and strict safety measures once again.
So, all we can do at this point is sit tight, wait for more updates and/or an official announcement, and do our part to keep these numbers down. Yes, we do have some control here! I will update this page with new information as it becomes available.
What could happen with Oktoberfest 2022?
The general feeling regarding Will Oktoberfest 2022 happen? is that it’s about 50/50.
On one hand, we have much more of an understanding of the virus and certain safety measures that we can take. We have vaccines, boosters, information, somewhat of a battle plan, and, most importantly, at least a few months of wiggle room.
On the other hand, variants like Delta and Omicron have revealed that this virus is ever-changing, ever-adapting, and probably not going away any time soon. Omicron especially and the high numbers of cases we’ve seen because of it show just how unpredictable our whole situation is.
But still, we have vaccines keeping the seriousness of this virus to a relative minimum, so I’ll take that little positivity nugget and keep it close to my chest.
What would Oktoberfest 2022 be like?
I just said it but I’ll say it again for those of you who’ve already started drinking: if Oktoberfest 2022 does take place, chances are it’ll be the same festival we all know and love. No spaced-out tables, no belting out Oktoberfest songs behind surgical masks.
The Lord Mayor (and other Oktoberfest big-wigs) have stated many times they do not want to dilute the magic of Oktoberfest with Covid protocol. (They actually refer to it as a “neutered Oktoberfest.” At least, that’s how it translates.) That is, only for the vaccinated.
In the meantime, take the Oktoberfest quiz to see if you really know your stuff!
Oktoberfest 2022: planning ahead
Gone are the days when we would book non-refundable plane tickets and hotel rooms because they were cheaper and we never had to cancel entire trips before. Now, we’ve had more experience with cancelations than [insert literally any celebrity from recent news here]. Travel during the pandemic is the real “cancel culture.”
Now, we are all-too-familiar with the importance of having a Plan B (and C and D and literally I had to come up with a Plan E last year).
When planning for the “will they/won’t they” of Oktoberfest 2022 cancelation, the best advice I can give is to plan ahead for both scenarios. Here’s how:
Think about travel insurance
International travel insurance companies took a forced break after the apocalypse that was March 2020 but they’re back now with new and improved travel insurance policies that can potentially cover a wide range of Covid-19 related issues.
First of all, I preach at least thinking about travel insurance for all international trips, pandemic or no pandemic. Now, such policies seem more important than ever.
Each travel insurance policy is different but many have adapted to our new normal by offering coverage for:
- Healthcare if you or your travel partner gets Covid while traveling
- Trip cancelation if you have to cancel a trip because you or a fellow traveler got Covid
- Many other Covid-related scenarios
- Many even offer “cancel for any reason” clauses you can add on now
- As well as the myriad of other vitally important reasons you should consider travel insurance.
Book your trip through your credit card
I had a trip to Morocco planned for March 2020 that was, unsurprisingly, canceled in full. (Like, I was to leave literally the day borders closed.) I feel so lucky that I booked my flights through my Chase credit card—as in, booking through the Chase travel portal.
That meant they had to handle the cancelation for me and they had to deal with refunds and vouchers and French accents over the phone and I didn’t. This was such a blessing at such a chaotic time. (For me, not them. I would not want that job.)
There’s also an extra benefit in that many credit cards also offer travel protection when you book your trip with them. Basically, a type of travel insurance.
Have a plan for if Oktoberfest 2022 is not canceled
There are many Oktoberfest-goers out there who have their entire Oktoberfest 2022 trip planned already (as they should—earlier is always better!). And then there are those who are waiting for an official announcement. And I understand the thought process behind both.
So, for those of you waiting to book anything until you know for sure Oktoberfest 2022 is happening, the following theory is for you:
When they make that announcement, everyone is going to book hotel rooms, flights, tours, everything as fast as possible. With six million people attending Oktoberfest every year (and nowhere near that many hotel rooms), it’s already a job trying to nail down the perfect hotel room. And if everyone is trying to do it at the same time? I shudder to imagine. Pass me a beer.
I’m not saying it’s going to be internet-crashing insanity all at once, but being that it’s the start of the new year (when most people are well into their Oktoberfest trip planning), it’s already go-time.
Book with ease
For the above scenario, I would advise you to:
- Make sure you have already checked out possible flights to and from Munich you’d be interested in booking
- Have a list of potential hotels you’d like to stay at (start with your top 5)
- Have all of your travel voucher information handy for smooth booking (for example, confirmation codes for airline credits)
- Don’t wait until the announcement is made to then begin thinking about your Oktoberfest travel plans
In the spirit of planning ahead, don’t forget to take a minute to consider how you’d feel attending Oktoberfest 2022 and if you even think it’s the right thing for you. Just because it’s a go, and just because you’re vaccinated doesn’t mean you’ll feel 100% comfortable going. I’m just saying, maybe think about the implications of Oktoberfest 2022 actually happening too.
Were you planning to attend Oktoberfest 2020 and/or 2021?
Were you planning on attending Oktoberfest last year? If so, did you already have everything booked? Many Oktoberfest hotels and tour operators simply moved all 2020 reservations to 2021 and then again to 2022 after they announced that Oktoberfest was canceled.
If this applies to you, be sure to have on hand:
- all your 2021 travel confirmations
- any confirmations of your rescheduled bookings for 2022
- the contact information for all airlines, hotels, tour operators, etc. where your 2022 bookings stand.
If Oktoberfest 2022 is canceled, those reservations may get moved again to 2023 or canceled or who knows what the hotels are going to come up with. And if Oktoberfest 2022 is not canceled, it would be a good idea to reconfirm your reservations and bookings just in case.
Hope for the best, plan for the worst
Again, my best advice regarding Oktoberfest 2022 is to plan your trip like it’s going to go off without a hitch, but prepare for multiple contingencies.
Booking a hotel for Oktoberfest 2022
Much of the Oktoberfest world right now is business as usual. Most of the beer tent websites are up and many will be taking reservations soon, the official Oktoberfest site already had a countdown clock going, and hotels are most definitely still taking Oktoberfest reservations.
Some hotels are even already booked solid during those two weeks in September. (Perhaps a large part of that is rollover from 2021.)
Don’t miss my post how to pick the perfect hotel every time.
Book a hotel with a good cancelation policy
Even with allll that has happened, I’ve seen some hotels that still do not offer free cancelations. Booking one of these, to me, is so risky. I know they gotsta make money, but there’s no way I would book a hotel without a solid cancelation policy right now.
If you plan to go ahead with your bookings for Oktoberfest 2022 before an official announcement is made, I highly recommend booking a hotel that offers free cancelation.
There are plenty of hotels and tour operators and airlines that now offer free cancelations and/or no-fee change policies. This is the future of travel.
This way, you can go ahead and plan your trip before it gets too late, and if Oktoberfest 2022 does get canceled, no sweat. You’re covered, you smart traveler, you!
Finding cancelation policies on foreign websites can be a struggle (if they have them at all). The easiest method I have found for this is to book with Booking.com. When you look at hotels on Booking.com, you can see right there in obvious wording the cancelation policy for each and every room.
Some offer free cancelation until check-in, some up until a certain date, etc. They’re all different but, thankfully, most of them offer free cancelation through Booking.com (even if they don’t otherwise).
What to do if Oktoberfest 2022 is canceled
The following is a list of steps to take if Oktoberfest 2022 does get canceled and after you’ve picked your grieving self up off the floor:
Stay calm, be patient
If Oktoberfest 2022 gets canceled, first and foremost stay calm and be patient.
Everyone who had already planned on attending Oktoberfest in 2022 is fumbling to cancel their plans as quickly as possible. Hotlines may be clogged and hotels and airlines may not respond as fast as you’d like. But they will get to you.
If you’ve canceled any trips at all since March 2020, you know too well that the struggle is real. The entire world—and especially the travel industry—is aware of what’s going on right now and we’re all doing our best. You won’t be left high and dry—your business will get taken care of. Just breathe. I’m mostly speaking to myself here, just go with it.
Are you OK moving everything to 2023?
Something you need to have figured out is whether or not you’re fine having all of your Oktoberfest 2022 plans and bookings moved to 2023.
Everyone you’ve booked with will have their own policy but, for 2020 and 2021, many reservations of all types were simply forwarded to 2022. So, it might be a good idea to already know if you’re OK attending Oktoberfest 2023 if this year also doesn’t happen, or if you’d prefer to just cancel straightaway.
Keep in mind that forwarding your bookings to 2023 could potentially equal savings if there’s a non-refundable deposit involved anywhere in there. Also, remember that it’s in the best interest of whomever you booked with to simply move your reservations rather than refund you cash, so there may be extra incentives.
Are you OK keeping your plans?
In contrast to the above, one scenario could be that the festival is canceled, but international travel continues. What will you do in that case?
Many people I’ve spoken with have said that even if Oktoberfest 2022 is canceled, they still plan to visit Munich if international travel is still allowed (After all, there’s so much to do there and nearby!)
They will still drink beer at the world famous Hofbräuhaus; they’ll still spend a day at Dachau Concentration Camp; they’ll still take their day trips to Neuschwanstein Castle and/or Salzburg, Austria; and they will still use their plane tickets and hotel rooms and guidebooks.
Plan to celebrate Oktoberfest 2022 at home
I haven’t conducted any complex scientific studies as of yet, but it’s my firm belief that more people threw at-home Oktoberfest parties in 2020 and 2021 than ever before. Just because Oktoberfest in Munich gets canceled doesn’t mean the spirit dies, people!
Chances are things even domestically will have improved by September so we may actually be able to celebrate with friends and family again this year. And even if we’re not in Germany that doesn’t mean we can’t create a mock Munich at home.
Throw an Oktoberfest-themed party
Check out my guide to throwing an Oktoberfest party at home in the most true-to-life way possible. It contains:
- What Oktoberfest party foods to serve (and even my own unbeatable recipe for Bavarian soft pretzels + more)
- What beer to serve at an Oktoberfest party
- How to decorate for an Oktoberfest party
- Must-know tips for buying a dirndl online and/or how to DIY upgrade a cheap dirndl
- See what kinds of Oktoberfest games are typically played
- And my expertly-curated Oktoberfest music playlist you can listen to for free
I threw an epic Oktoberfest party at my house in 2020 (for 5 whole people) and was so completely thrilled with the photos so many of you have sent me of your own backyard bierfests the past two years! Missing a Munich Oktoberfest is such a bummer but WOW are we finding some awesome ways to make up for it!
Pro tip: You can also join the Locktoberfest Facebook group dedicated to at-home Oktoberfest celebrations. It’s a great community full of fellow Oktoberfest-lovers and we even give away great prizes!
Celebrate at an Oktoberfest near you
If Oktoberfest in Munich is once again canceled, chances are there will still be some epic Oktoberfest celebrations taking place all over the United States in 2022.
For all the info you need, check out this post on how to find an “Oktoberfest near me” – it covers all the biggest and best Oktoberfests in all 50 states! (It will be updated for Oktoberfest 2022 later this year.)
What to do if Oktoberfest 2022 is not canceled
First of all, crack open a beer. Nay, pick up a bottle of champagne, shake it up, pop that cork, spray it all over yourself, your house, your dog.
Don’t get too excited
Oooo… kayyy… well… What I should’ve said was: wait until you get all facts before you do your touchdown dance. Even if they say Oktoberfest 2022 will go ahead as planned, you still need more information to lock it down.
Consider travel restrictions
Even if Oktoberfest 2022 does happen, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can go. The big elephant in this blog post and just about every Oktoberfest community I’m a part of is: there may still be travel restrictions for both Germany and your home country.
Consider this: Oktoberfest 2022 may still happen, but there’s a chance you may not be able to attend. *backs quietly out of the room, shuts the door, tiptoes away* Depending on what measures they put in place will determine your likelihood of attending.
Knowing that Oktoberfest 2022 will take place is a step in the right direction, but you still need to stay on top of all Coronavirus-related travel updates. Many people are concentrating their anxiety on whether or not the festival will be canceled, when the real issue is whether or not they’ll be able to attend in the first place. (Have I made it worse? I’ve made it worse.)
What we do know at this point, is at the very least you will have to be fully vaccinated in order to attend Oktoberfest… and travel to Germany and the EU regardless. And if you haven’t already, that is something you can take care of NOW.
Here is the link for U.S. Covid-19 travel restrictions and the link for restrictions on travel to Germany. I also especially love the Reopen EU website where you can check current mandates and measures in place for each country. Check back often for updates.
Stay up-to-date, be patient
If they do decide to go ahead with Oktoberfest 2022, chances are there will be plenty of updates, revisions, and developments to watch for. It may take some time to solidify a working plan.
As always, and I can’t stress this enough, have a backup plan. In this case, have 12 backup plans, one for each possible Oktoberfest 2022 scenario.
My personal coping strategy
As an Oktoberfest tour guide, an Oktoberfest trip planning consultant, and a blogger for whom Oktoberfest makes up the bulk of her existence, whether or not Oktoberfest 2022 will get canceled is something I mull over every day.
Patience and preparation
I, too, am 50/50 on whether or not I’ll be in Munich come September. I honestly have no idea what will happen. To cope with this unknown, I simply take it day-by-day and throw my hands up because I only have control over myself and my own actions.
I’m mentally prepared to spend a month in Germany this fall, as I do every year. I’ve got hotel reservations, airfare vouchers ready to cash in, and a good idea of what I need to do before then.
However, I’m also mentally prepared to spend that month at home—and knowing we’ll all be safe and healthy as a result is how I will sleep at night. Hopefully by then the situation here at home will have improved enough we can all throw massive Oktoberfest ragers.
Do your part
At this point, we just have to be open to what comes at us. The best things we can do are wear masks, socially distance ourselves, and get vaccinated (and boosted!) so we don’t have to worry about this again in 2022. Because as zen as I am right now, I’m not sure how long that can possibly last. whooosahhh
If you’d like to talk about any of these issues or others regarding your Oktoberfest 2022 planning one-on-one, I’d love to chat! You can book an Oktoberfest trip planning session here and we can discuss any additional questions you still have.
In your opinion, will Oktoberfest 2022 happen?
Let me know below!
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