Gay Sunday at Oktoberfest.

I’d never visited Oktoberfest before so wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. What I did know was that on the gay Sunday (the first Sunday of the festival), there was a great big tent full of lots of gays drinking beer – I mean what could possibly go wrong! The previous day I’d arrived in the city from London via the train. Some of my local friends who go every year had already managed to make a reservation for a table in the main tent, where as another group who were mainly visitors, hadn’t been so organised.

For those of us who were disorganised, we apparently had to make it early in the morning in order to queue up and both make it in to the tent (as it gets really busy), and also then be able to get one of the unreserved tables before they fill up. How early you ask – we needed to be there for 07.00!

I was staying out near the Arabellapark at the Westin which I luckily managed to grab on points. Most of the city centre hotels were going for around €400/ni, and even the Westin I was at was selling for €350. Therefore using 35,000 Marriott points for a night was pretty decent value. So I set my alarm for 06.30 the next day. The next morning, I awoke to the alarm, switched it off, turned over and promptly went back to sleep. ?

Well, it wasn’t until about 09.00 that I finally woke up, had a bit of an ‘oh shit’ moment, showered, and jumped into a cab towards the park. The police closed off a significant portion of the roads surrounding the park, meaning that for the last 1km or so I had to walk.

As an aside, I was very impressed with the visible police presence surrounding and inside the park. As a former officer myself I was quite impressed at the sheer number of officers both in the venue and all the roads surrounding it. The overtime bill must have been significant!

When I eventually made it, I wandered in around 10.00 and navigated the fair ground surrounding the park to find the right tent.

I apparently was exceptionally lucky as I was able to walk straight in without queueing at all, and after a few circuits of the tent (it’s massive) found my friends. And started drinking.

Beer was priced at €11.20 for a litre, with the custom to round up to €13.00 (with Oktoberfest only time that Germans will tip this much).

Thankfully there were also lots of people walking around selling food as well, meaning that I wasn’t going to get completely wasted from the get go.

The entire place was packed. It was hot. People got sweaty. There was drinking.

One end of the tent had a balcony area which was reserved for the folks into leather (you have to have booked in advance for that part).

The band on the dais in the middle started playing a fascinating mix of both traditional songs and newer stuff like Frank Sinatra and Robbie Williams.

There were interesting customs like being allowed to stand on the benches to sing, but not on the tops of the tables. Other customs were more ‘Gay Sunday’ specific such as using the urinals. There were three ‘banks’ were guys went to relieve themselves – the first was just for that, the second bank was for those that were interested in piss-play, and then the third bank was for, er, other things. As the day wore, on, the other things got more, er, interesting.

It was a fantastic day out! Around 17.30 I left the tent with a few friends and went to one of the neighbouring ones in search of food and water. I had an incredibly over-priced Wiener Schnitzel and Apfelstrudel, but it was necessary. I think it was around 19.00 by this point and I was pretty much done. I wandered out of the park, and back to the U-Bahn, making it back to my hotel for about 20.00 where upon I crashed.

Thankfully managing to drink enough water before I went to sleep, the next day wasn’t too bad.

All-in-all, it was a fabulous day out. I’m a complete light-weight when it comes to beer, yet had a brilliant time and wasn’t too rough the next day. Highly recommended and I’ll be more organised about heading over for next year!

What Is Oktoberfest’s Gay Sunday?

Every year, the cooler, shorter days of September and October usher in a much-welcomed transition for most beer drinkers. The flurry of summer activity dissolves into a drinking season both new and nostalgic: we swap patio draughts for Koozies and tailgates and sip ambers when the weekend arrives. For the queer drinking community, however, there exists a certain melancholy when the explosive color of June Pride fades; as we return inside to our neighborhood gay bars and outside to our gay-league flag-football teams, we become aware that autumn brings with it the question of where LGBTQ+ people ought to find community when it is no longer “our” month. This answer is especially elusive in the craft beer community, but one idea lies 4,000 miles away in the German state of Bavaria, at the start of the largest international beer-centric event: Oktoberfest.

The first Sunday of the two-week long festival is host to the de facto gay party of the event, known in English as Gay Sunday and German as Rosa Wiesn. What started as a meetup amongst friends of the Munich Lion’s Club (MLC) in the 1970s transformed into the queerest day of the sixteen and takes place in the Bräurosl tent, where thousands of gay and lesbian fest-goers celebrate together. MLC is a gay leather and fetish collective that brings together queer folks of similar interests and advocates for the gay community. Rosa Wiesn is the most well-known of LGBTQ+ happenings at the festival, and present-day Rosa Wiesn Oktoberfest spans over three days, includes shows and music, and attracts nearly 8,000 visitors per year. There are now three official events sponsored by MLC: the first Sunday in the Bräurosl tent, the last Sunday on the Bräurosl balcony, and the last Sunday in the Schottenhamel tent.

Events like Gay Sunday create moments in time where identity and celebration enter the public space together; for a community often besieged by fears for their own safety, the Bräurosl tent has created the kind of physical space that queer folks seek: there is a certain safety in hearing that you are welcome, and a relief in knowing that there is little need to hide. Gay-labeled events are about seeking, finding, and celebrating the fact that we can see and name the most essential parts of ourselves in others, and in public.

Joshua Styleman, co-founder and CEO of Threes Brewing in Brooklyn, notes the role that community plays in the spaces we all drink together. “Building and nurturing community was one of our primary motivations in starting Threes Brewing. It is our belief that people have a natural desire for connection with other human beings. That bond can come in many forms. However, it all begins with getting together, and, for us, it deepens when we become advocates for one another. Communities are groups that form around certain ideologies, yet most important to us is that our community is an environment where people can simply be who they are. In public spaces like breweries, micro-communities can be nurtured,” Styleman said.

While there is a certain safety and relief in knowing that there are spaces where you are welcome, the challenge comes in maintaining those spaces. The official Rosa Wiesn website, translated, notes that, “Holding hands, public kisses, etc. can also lead to aggressive reactions in the beer-like atmosphere of the festival,” and encourages festival-goers to exhibit caution when publicizing their queerness. This is not unfamiliar to a community whose safety is foremost when deciding when, where, and with whom to gather.

Gary Szeredy, General Manager of the Pike Brewing Company in Seattle, notes the intersection of community and safety, particularly when it comes to the queer community. “When Pike partners with the Greater Seattle Business Association and the Out & Equal Workplace Summit to offer a discount for our restaurants to their attendees, we must also provide an experience that makes those guests feel safe and comfortable when they actually dine with us. The LGBTQ community has not always felt safe in many bars, restaurants, and brewpubs. It’s our responsibility to provide a place where everyone is accepted and welcomed and we are proud of that here at Pike,” Szeredy said.

Providing safe space, however, is only a first step in facilitating places to form community. Szeredy continued, “There is more work to be done. Being one of the largest urban breweries in a metropolitan city such as Seattle we get to operate in a very accepting environment. The real challenge for the craft beer industry will be in those cities and towns that it’s not so easy being accepted. Those breweries will be the ones to really make a difference.”

At the end of a long week, we head to our favorite local bars, breweries, and events because of the product, but we return for the people. Pride celebrations began in the United States in the month of June to commemorate the Stonewall riots that exploded a month prior. Rosa Wiesn is a reminder that disaster need not always precipitate celebration, and that there is room for growth in creating spaces, both in well-known and smaller-name events, that will make a difference. We celebrate the places we are told we belong, because in a life that may be marked by nothing but impermanence, and consumed wholly by search, we can be, if only for a Sunday, found.

What Is Oktoberfest’s Gay Sunday?

Five Things I Learned at Gay Oktoberfest

As the last keg gets tapped today at Oktoberfest, the 201-year-old celebration of a royal wedding and horse race that’s become a two-week beer-soaked bacchanal at the end of September in Munich, it’s time to start planning for the 2012 festivities – and reflect on my three-day blaze, which coincided with “Rosa Montag,” one of the festival’s two gay days. Here’s what I learned:

1. Gingham and lederhosen really gum up the “Gay or European?” game. It’s not just a movie cliche: young or old, Bavarian or Brazilian, everybody dresses up in traditional garb at the fest. For the guys, that means embroidered leather shorts or trousers and a starched gingham shirt (sans-suspenders, if you’re feeling trendy), with high socks or sexy calf warmers, and for the ladies, a bosom-boosting dirndl. The entire effect is a little bit fey yet surprisingly hot – Men of Oktoberfest calendar hot – and fun. You won’t feel entirely left out if you don’t, but if you spring for some (cheap Chinese imports available at stores all over town), you’ve got your Halloween costume covered for the rest of your life.

2. Nothing beats a local hookup. Seven million visitors a year drinking 7.5 million liters of beer and that gotta-do-it-once-in-a-lifetime vibe, it takes a bit of planning, a wad of cash, and a strong liver. But the payoff is spectacular. For a group of 11 people, I booked my hotels and AirBNB apartments in January and even then it was a dicey finding rooms. As for reservations at the tents? Forget it. Eight requests out, not a peep in return. The lesson: plan now and enlist help. For my part Thomas Bömkes of TomOnTour, an online gay travel guide and operator based in Munich, was invaluable. He got us tickets to the Rosa Montag gay day at the Fischer Vroni tent and convinced me that hitting up that instead of the larger Gay Sunday the first weekend was the way to go. Instead of tourists, it was packed with locals, featured a drag show I wish I had any memory of, and had the high-energy spiritedness of people who know what’s what – and the words to all the songs being sung. And for the other two days, since it was the second week, the Wiesn was less busy and you could snag a table during the day (you must be seated at a table to get served) and squish into rowdier tents at night. Tickets included a coupon for 1 maß (liter) of beer (about 10 euros with tip) and 10 euros towards food, the specialties at Fischer Vroni being 15 varieties of grilled fish on stick, the ubiquitous half roasted chicken, and a mean crispy duck. Everything else is à la carte. And that’s your day. Drinking. Eating. Toasting. Singing. Flirting. Rinse and repeat. Just remember to tread lightly when buddying up to a random table to score a beer when you’re not seated; reservations are hard to get and fiercely guarded. And, well, Germany likes its rules.

3. Thrill rides and beer, not such a bad idea after all. Like a state fair on steroids, Oktoberfest isn’t all about the 14 massive bräu hauses and 20 or so smaller ones. It’s also about the endless wurst stations and pretzel hawkers and candied fruit. (Sorry, Iowa, not a fried Kool-Aid ball in sight!) And of course: the rides. One half of the sprawling Theresienwiese grounds is dedicated to getting your thrill socks off. Ranging from kid-friendly haunted houses to pee-your-pants rollercoasters and topsy-turvy twirlers a hundred-plus feet up, its worth spending at least part of the day or night whooping your head off. At two to five euros a pop, it’s cheap and fun, with nary a pile of sawdust in sight. (Just do everyone a favor and avoid the really, really spinny ones.) And despite your best intentions, you can’t drink all the time.

4. The steins can actually shatter. Sure, those 1-Liter behemoths seem like they’re nearly indestructible (and make an excellent forearm workout), but after the umptenth round of Ein Prosit (the Oktoberfest drinking song), there is such a thing as too vigorous of cheersing. Keep it classy. Keep your fingers.

5. Nobody wins in a chugging contest with a liter of beer. Yet for all the drinking and rowdy singing, it’s not the shit show you’d expect. Germans can hold their alcohol. When you start drinking at noon, with Oktoberfest brew that’s about 2 percent more alcoholic (and sweeter) than regular beer, it’s all about the pacing. Prost!

Five Things I Learned at Gay Oktoberfest


Breakfast at the hotel. Together with your LGBT Friendly Tour Guide, you will discover the magic and the secrets of the city ! Start your morning short city tour at Marienplatz Square, cultural center of the city, where you will join the crowds watching the famous glockenspiel clock dating back to 1908 with its colorful mechanical figures dancing the top of the hour. Continue to the imposing Frauenkirche, walk towards Munich Residenz palace and take a look into the Hofbräuhaus, the largest beer hall in Munich famous around the world. During the tour learn more about Gay and Lesbian history of Munich. Finally, reach Munich Memorial which honors Gays and Lesbians persecuted by Nazi. Lunch on your own to taste local specialities. In the afternoon free time for shopping and having fun at Oktoberfest in Theresienwiese or optional excursions from Munich like Dachau or Erding Thermal Baths. In the evening, enjoy a typical Bavarian dinner at a local brewery to taste delicious German products and dessert. Rest of the night free for party. Overnight at your hotel.



Breakfast at the hotel. Live the magic and gayest atmosphere with “Gay Sunday“, the very soul of gay Oktoberfest in the Bräurosl stand (opened from 09.00 am till 23.00 pm) ! “Gay Sunday” at the Bräurosl stand is traditionally the largest gay event in Munich after the Pride, where you will have the opportunity to meet more than 8.000 gays and lesbians. Lunch and dinner on your own to taste local specialities and drink authentic German beer. You can use the vouchers for beer and food. Overnight at your hotel.* Rainbow Tips: Live the vibrant LGBT atmosphere in one of the 9 Official Discos like Carmens, Gay-T-Dance, Doublecross, Ny Club, PopParty, U27 or Pubs like Camp, Eagle Munich and Ochsengarten.



Breakfast at the hotel. Together with your LGBT Friendly Tour Guide, departure towards the spectacular and fairy tale castle of Neuschwanstein. Enjoy the journey into the Bavarian alpine countryside and learn about the mystery and legends behind mad King Ludwig II of Bavaria. A short climb up to the Marienbrücke reveals picture-perfect views of the 19th-Century, neo-romantic masterpiece, as well as the gorge beneath. Visit then castle of Neuschwanstein from the inside with a 45-minute tour and enjoy sweeping views of the surroundings. After the visit, free time for lunch in one of the many Bavarian beer gardens of the city. Back to Munich and rest of the day and night free for party. Overnight at your hotel.

Munich’s Oktoberfest might not be the first event that comes to mind when you think of a gay event or holiday but there are so many benefits for a gay man of a trip to Oktoberfest. Germany has an open-mindedness about sexuality and Munich is a very gay-friendly city.

Oktoberfest is the world’s biggest beer festival, but if beer is not your thing it is so much more than that. Inside the beer halls, you can dance on the tables whilst the oompah bands play international classics for you to enjoy including and all the sing-along classics.

During the second world war, Bavaria was under Nazi control. They ran the show in Munich and during that time being gay was punishable by death. Thank god that regime ended and Oktoberfest could go back to being the merry event we know and love. What a better way to say to the haters then getting your gay on at Oktoberfest. 

The first Sunday of Oktoberfest is known to the locals as

When the beer halls close for the night but you haven’t gotten your fix of german sausage, Munich has a great range of gay bars, clubs, saunas, and cruise clubs, all conveniently located in the city centre, so when you from the Oktoberfest grounds you can carry on your night in true gay style.

Germany is quite famous for camps, but don’t worry. Thankfully the only action happening in the showers are sex parties.

Stoketoberfest is much more than just a campsite; it includes a daily bottomless brunch with delicious cooked breakfast served with cava and mimosas. After the brunch head to the glitter stand to make yourself look fabulous before a day of slaying it at the beer halls.

All-day and night you’ll enjoy the live music and DJs that pair perfectly with unlimited delicious German beer or homemade Sangria to get you socially lubricated. Make sure to bring something fabulous to wear during Gay night which takes place at the Stoketoberfest campsite on Mondays! This will be the best night of your life.

Use promo code YAS QUEEN for free unlimited beer and sangria

Beers and Bears Gay Oktoberfest Events Reflect Changing Bavaria

By 8 a.m., the line in front of the Bräurosl beer tent has already started to snake around the massive white structure. Huddling under umbrellas, ambitious partygoers shield themselves from a light drizzle while last-minute deliveries roll in to re-stock food stands with fresh meat and warm rolls. Cleaning crews hose away remnants of a parade the day before.

„It’s a very curious sight: You arrive at the Oktoberfest by 9 or 10 a.m. and every other tent is empty. No one’s standing around waiting either,“ said Gunar Hofmann, director of a gay collective known as the „munichbears,“ with „bears“ referring to the hirsute aesthetic for which their members have a particular affinity. „And then you get to Bräurosl and there is this horde of people around the tent waiting to get in. It’s insane.“

Since 2001, Hofmann and his „bears“ have had a yearly presence at the tent on the second day of Munich’s Oktoberfest. Otherwise known as „Gay Sunday,“ the day has become a favorite event among not only the Bavarian city’s Lederhosen-loving gay community, but also gay and lesbian visitors from around the world.

„The normalcy makes me very proud about the fact that not only can you be gay or lesbian in Bräurosl, but everywhere at the Oktoberfest,“ said Thomas Niederbühl of Rosa Liste München, or Pink List Munich, a gay rights party that sits on the city council. „It’s a clear signal that, against all odds, so much has changed for Munich’s gays and lesbians.“

The lively party traces its roots back to the 1970s, according to Niederbühl. Back then, a small group of men from a gay leather and fetish collective known as the Munich Lions Club would come together every year on the festival’s first Sunday and head to Bräurosl, a tent belonging to the Hacker-Pschorr brewery, one of Munich’s six major beer producers. Word of the fun eventually got around and in the mid-1990s „Gay Sunday“ began gaining popularity, becoming a modern tradition at a festival which dates back to 1810.

Turkish-born bisexual Kadim Cimen has been attending the festivities at Bräurosl for five years. While ducking from the rain under an awning, the 27-year-old Munich resident told SPIEGEL ONLINE that „Gay Sunday“ is a great opportunity to meet people outside of the Bavarian capital’s close-knit gay scene.

„If you go out on the weekends here, it’s always the same club, the same people. (At Bräurosl) you can meet people from Berlin, Hamburg,“ he said, noting that the party always draws large crowds. „The gays don’t care if it’s raining, snowing or hailing — they just want to have fun.“

Inside the massive tent, blue and yellow bunting hangs from the ceiling. By 10 a.m., waiters and waitresses are already delivering armfuls of beer to the thirsty revellers, the wooden floorboards creaking beneath their feet as they hurry from table to table.

Because „Gay Sunday“ continues to grow in popularity and size, space inside the tent has become scarce over the years, thus the early morning lines. But to compensate those unfortunate few who are denied entry, other gay days have also come to life. The „Prosecco Wiesn“ party is slated for Sept. 26 in the Fischer Vroni tent (the smallest among the larger, brewery-affiliated tents), and will feature a burlesque variety show by Bavarian entertainer Baby Bubble. The final gay get-together takes place on Oct. 2 at the tables near the Schottenhamel tent’s kitchen — near the site where Munich’s mayor ceremoniously taps the first keg each year. The „hot kitchen“ event is the smallest gay gathering despite its rather symbolic location.

The fact that gay life has integrated itself into the Oktoberfest culture so well has a lot to do with changes in Munich’s political landscape over the last 15 years, says Rosa Liste’s Niederbühl. Since 1996, his party has enjoyed representation on the city council and advocated a more open gay scene, including more gay and lesbian tourism. Despite the unwritten rule that Oktoberfest remain a politics-free zone, Munich’s mayor Christian Ude comes to Bräurosl every year and conducts the band — something Niederbühl calls a „strong political signal.“

„This upswing that the gay scene has seen in Munich in general is, of course, reflected in the gay and lesbian events at the Oktoberfest,“ he said.

Björn Dippon has been attending Oktoberfest’s gay parties for nearly a decade. A dancer by profession, the 32-year-old from Stuttgart says he just likes to come and enjoy an unhurried afternoon with friends. „And a few million other people,“ he adds.

On Sunday, Dippon secured a table for himself and eight friends by 9 a.m. As the day progressed, more people crammed their way onto the table’s already crowded benches. Two newcomers were Ebru S. and Lourdes M., lesbian friends visiting Bräurosl for the first time.

„It’s got nothing to do with being gay or straight here,“ Ebru said. „It’s just fun, you know?“

Nicole Hoffmann, a waitress in the Bräurosl tent, agreed. She said „Gay Sunday“ is her favorite day to work because of the atmosphere. „The crowd isn’t quite as young and everyone gets along so harmoniously,“ she said. „There’s no aggression, there’s a sense of togetherness and the mood is great from the beginning.“

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On the first Sunday of Munich’s famous beer festival Oktoberfest, big crowds of gay and lesbian vistors gather to party together at the Bräurosl tent.

The tradition began back in the 1970s with a small group of men from a gay leather and fetish collective known as the Munich Lions Club. Each year they met at the tent on the day now known as „Gay Sunday.“

This year revellers braved the rainy weather to form an early morning line around the tent. The event has become so popular that space is limited.

But once inside, guests enjoyed the festive atmosphere that has become popular not just among Munich’s gay scene, but to visitors from around the world.

„There’s no aggression, there’s a sense of togetherness and the mood is great from the beginning,“ one waitress said.

These friends were clearly having a good time, too.

„The normalcy makes me very proud about the fact that not only can you be gay or lesbian in Bräurosl, but everywhere at the Oktoberfest,“ said Thomas Niederbühl of Rosa Liste München, or Pink List Munich, a gay rights party that sits on the city council. „It’s a clear signal that, against all odds, so much has changed for Munich’s gays and lesbians.“

Despite the unwritten rule that Oktoberfest remain a politics-free zone, Munich’s mayor Christian Ude comes to Bräurosl every year and conducts the band — something Niederbühl calls a „strong political signal.“ Many guests at the event dress in traditional Bavarian garb known as Tracht.

Others, meanwhile, put a festive spin on the look like this man here.

On the first Sunday of Munich’s famous beer festival Oktoberfest, big crowds of gay and lesbian vistors gather to party together at the Bräurosl tent.

Did you know that…

… a total of around 4,000 items was found in 2019?Mostly keys, clothes and cell phones were found. However, some bizarre items, such as carry cases for cats, dentures, a leather whip, a tuba, 2 crutches and a drum set were found as well.

… there is an Oktoberfest App?The technical progress does not stop, and the Oktoberfest keeps up to date! To orient yourself as a “non-native”, there is an app with a “Bavarian – German” dictionary, an interactive map of the festival area and the latest Oktoberfest hits.

… in 2012, the operator of the Hacker tent installed a beer pipeline?Therefore, the visitors of this tent receive their beer even faster! This system is attached to a 1000 hectolitre central tank.

… Oktoberfest waitresses carry up to 18 beer mugs weighing around 41.4 kilograms?

… the Deutsche Post set up its own branch at the main entrance at the Theresienwiese?Thus, the Oktoberfest visitors can send greetings to “those staying home”.

… due to a general ban of any kind of advertising or lobby events at the Oktoberfest area, Paris Hilton was once expelled from the Oktoberfest in 2006?

… there is also an Oktoberfest on the Zugspitze?In September 2021 the 12th Zugspitze Oktoberfest takes place on Germany’s highest mountain. Unlike the Munich Oktoberfest, this festival offers a free panoramic view besides a joyful Oktoberfest-like mood and tasty Bavarian and Tyrolean specialties.

… Albert Einstein helped to install the lighting in the Schottenhammel tent in 1896?

• … the Oktoberfest has already been cancelled 24 times?

… waste baskets were abolished after the Oktoberfest bombing in 1980?

… the project “Safe Wiesn for girls and women” exists?A must-have for girls and young women: It is a free app called “WiesnProtect” with cool features such as your current location, your hotel and the security point shown on the map, as well as a separate emergency call feature, the most important phone numbers and many additional features.

… the term “Wiesn” has only recently been included in the Duden?

… there is a “Gay Sunday” in the Bräurosl tent?Thousands of homosexual men (and an increasing number of women) from all over the world are celebrating at the “Gay Sunday” at the Bräurosl, a community that is unlikely to be experienced anywhere else.

… at the Oktoberfest flea circus around 80 fleas “work” in five shifts?

Key Oktoberfest Dates

There are a number of annual events you’re sure to love that just may determine the Oktoberfest dates you choose for yourself/your group.

OPENING DAY | Oktoberfest opening day is always on a Saturday in mid(ish) September. At noon on this day, the Lord Mayor of Munich taps the first Oktoberfest keg and shouts, “O’zapft is!” It’s not until this is completed that Oktoberfest, and your most fun vacation ever, can officially begin. This day also includes the grand opening day parade of tent owners, the Münchner Kindl, horse-drawn beer carriages, and, surely, you running after them with an empty stein and a thirsty look in your eye.

GAY SUNDAY | The first Sunday of Oktoberfest (ergo, the second day as you’ve just learned) is known as Gay Sunday with some pretty damn fabulous events taking place in the Bräurosl tent every year.

TUESDAY FAMILY DAYS | If bringing your kids along to the world’s largest beer festival is something you’re into, each Tuesday during Oktoberfest is known as “Family Day”. On these two days, rides and performances are discounted but I’m pretty sure paying a babysitter is still full price.

THE 2 ND WEEKEND | The whole second weekend of Oktoberfest is known as Italian Weekend and these two days are the Oktoberfest dates favored by Italian visitors. So… if you’re a resident of Italy, you’re choice of Oktoberfest dates has just been made for you.

CLOSING DAY | Also known as: the Saddest Day of Oktoberfest or the Wurst Day of Oktoberfest, if you will. As sad an occasion as this is, closing day at Oktoberfest is still one of the most sought after Oktoberfest dates to attend. At the end of the night in the Hacker-Pschorr tent are the unofficial (but pretty much official) closing ceremonies. Candlelight, a sing-along 10,000-strong, and probably a tear or two being shed.

No matter which day you go, the festival is always fun!

Oktoberfest (München)

Als größtes Volksfest der Welt ist das Oktoberfest in Bayerns Hauptstadt München wohl in aller Munde. Selbstverständlich gibt es auch hier die ein oder andere Veranstaltung für die schwul-lesbische Zielgruppe. Wer noch nie in München oder auf dem Oktoberfest war, muss das mal erlebt haben. Besucher aus anderen Städten sind immer wieder überrascht: Party mitten am Tag. Kurz nach 23 Uhr ist Schluss – dann machen die Zelte zu und es geht zu den Aftershow-Partys in den lokalen Clubs, vorausgesetzt man ist dazu noch fähig.

Highlight ist hier der „Gay Sunday“ mit mehreren tausend Gästen, größtenteils männlich. Wer teilnehmen möchte, sollte nicht verschlafen: Wenn das Zelt Bräurosl gegen 9 Uhr eröffnet, ist die Schlage schon gigantisch. Für besondere Plätze müssen die Karten rechtzeitig vorher im Vorverkauf erworben werden.

Canstatter Volksfest (Stuttgart)

Immer am letzten Donnerstag des Cannstatter Volksfestes zieht die Szene aus, um eine gemeinsame Party zu feiern. Seit mehr als 15 Jahren findet der Event „gaydelight“ im Wasenwirt-Festzelt statt. Um die 3.500 Plätze bietet das Festzelt.

Das im Herbst (Ende September / Anfang Oktober) auf den Canstatter Wasen stattfindende Volksfest lockt jedes Jahr um die drei Millionen Besucher auf den Stuttgarter Festplatz. Ähnlich wie in München stehen auch hier Trachten und Dirndl auf dem Bekleidungskalender.

Schützenfest (Hannover)

Das größte Schützenfest der Welt findet in Hannover statt. Oft nicht geglaubt, aber wahr. Dabei ist es natürlich so, dass Schützenfest nicht gleich Volksfest heißt, das größte Volksfest ist woanders (nämlich das Oktoberfest München).

Dennoch hat Hannover hier etwas, was sonst keine andere Stadt bietet: Ein Gayzelt. Das heißt nicht nur ein Tag als Sonderveranstaltung im „Hetero“-Zelt, sondern über die gesamte Laufzeit von zehn Tagen sind Party und Show angesagt. Besonderes an den beiden Wochenenden (meist gegen Ende Juni / Anfang Juli) ist das Zelt auch bei anderen Besuchern hochfrequentiert. Die Stimmung ist klasse, das Bier schmeckt. Im Laufe des Abend gibt es zwei bis drei Show-Teile aus Travestie und Gesang mit täglich wechselnden Künstlern.


Die Idee mit der Queer-Veranstaltung zum Oktoberfest haben zahlreiche andere Städte, darunter Berlin, Hamburg & Hannover, adaptiert und ein eigenes schwul-lesbisches Oktoberfest geschaffen. Vom Konzept her ähnlich zu München, doch mit gewissen Unterschieden. An einem Tag (meist einem Sonntag oder vor einem Feiertag) beginnt es gegen späten Nachmittag in einer bayerischen Location. Mit Fassanstich, Essen und jeder Menge Bier wird bis in die Nacht geschunkelt und gelacht. Selbstverständlich standesgemäß in Lederhosen und Dirndl.

Which European festivals and events have been cancelled due to coronavirus? 

An updating list of the music and cultural festivals, and sporting events, across Europe that have been cancelled, postponed, or rescheduled in 2020 due to COVID-19, and those that remain…