Founded in 2006, The St Andrews Charity Oktoberfest has been around for almost a decade, and has evolved into one of St Andrews’ most sought after events. Though many were shocked that an Oktoberfest table auctioned at FS 2015 went for £1600, after speaking with the organisers we found the figure was a modest one, with a table auctioning for £2000 two years ago! This year, I will be lucky enough to be witness to the festivities that the St Andrews Charity Oktoberfest has to offer.
Representing The Saint, I spoke with two members of das Komitee; Stella Schmadl and Julius von Gierke, who educated me on the inner workings of the event. Both of them have previously been on das Komitee, with Stella joining in her first year, and Julius in his second.
Oktoberfest brings back alumni and current students to celebrate one of the most famous Bavarian celebrations; with 500 of the 1200 tickets on offer being sold to international guests. The festivities and the acclaim of Oktoberfest have become a weekend of celebrations, with people from all corners of the globe travelling to this town on the East Fife Coast.
The event will be held in Kinkell Byre, which will be transformed into a Bavarian fun fair a lá Munich. The set up will be similar to that of previous years, as “people like the familiarity of the event,” with two beer bars (serving Paulaner Bier, a Bavarian beer) and a schnapps bar. There will also be Brezen or pretzels (a personal favourite of mine) and leberkäse for guests to indulge in. There will be token counters at Kinkell where beer tokens, sold for £5 a litre will be available. But the festivities don’t just stop because when you head outside, there will be La Bamba set up outside for everyone to head out to enjoy.
As many of you are probably wondering, when did the tickets, priced at for £40 a head, go on sale, and how were they selected? The raffle system, in which prospective guests could place a request for a ticket within 3-4 hours, was introduced in 2012. It was used to mitigate the high demand for tickets, as before this was set in place, there were seemingly endless lines to get a ticket (think of Christmas ball ticket sales or for a more recent analogy – the line at bell street earlier this year). Das Komitee also felt that by introducing the system, “everyone has a chance to get a ticket.”
The charity that is being supported by the proceeds of the Oktoberfest is Tayside Children with Cancer and Leukaemia, a local charity who they have supported from 2006. This year, the charity is trying to set up a lodge outside St Andrews as a centre for children with cancer.
So clink your beer glasses to joy- ful festivities and helping a great cause. Bavarian tracht is welcome; ladies don your dirndls, gents the lederhosens and get ready for a day that will take you back to Bavaria, or at least help to celebrate that there is only half a year left utill the real Oktoberfest.