OKTOBERFEST, not exactly Germany…
Running from the 6th to the 9th of October, the event describes itself as an authentic celebration of German food, beer and music. Held in the grounds of famous former local brewery The Tetley, the venue was impressive. A giant 2,000 capacity German tent had been transformed into a traditional beer hall, with long wooden tables, a bar, stage and various food stalls.
It was an early 6pm start for us on the Friday, but the atmosphere was bustling and lively, and the bar was packed. At first glance, it was a struggle to spot anyone under the age of 40, and the crowd slightly resembled an after work office party, but on closer inspection we managed to spy quite a few students and happily set off towards the bar.
Drinks prices were fairly steep, and with tickets costing £10 we had decided to have a few drinks before hand. This turned out to be the best decision we could have made, as it took over 40 minutes to get served due to a technical issue with the taps. The best option was definitely an £8 stein, which ran out just after we got a drink. Beer bashers weren’t forgotten about though, as there was a German wine available too.
I’ll admit, after finishing my stein, my memories of the night are a tad hazy. But snapchat revealed later that there was a lot of dancing and singing with the traditional Bavarian brass band. I do, however, remember eating a German pretzel and meeting a man called Paul who introduced us to his kids. Clearly I was in the mood for making pals, as friend requests and photos show that we befriended a group of girls from South Korea…
Checking the Facebook page the next day, with a slightly sore head, there were a lot of complaints about how understaffed the bar was. Officials apologized, insisting these were ‘teething problems’ and that things will run smoothly on the Saturday and Sunday.
Although I definitely had fun, on balance, I think it was pricey for what was offered. When I asked my friend what she thought the next day, she summed up our evening in a Whatsapp message telling me ‘‘it didn’t feel like I was in Germany’’, and I have to agree, it wasn’t quite the authentic experience promised.