Perhaps the most notorious event in St Andrews, Oktoberfest attracts visitors from around the world, drawing international crowds on a level typically reserved for high profile golf tournaments or a visit from Wills and Kate. Lining the streets in lederhosen and dirndls, the beer-swilling attendees return year after year to celebrate Bavarian culture in a small Scottish barn.
Committee member Laurence Cardwell suggests that it is this unification of culture that makes St Andrews Oktoberfest such a unique experience. Not only does it occur in March, rather than the expected October, but it brings together such a wide-reaching crowd of people. All dressed in similar outfits, guests are united in their love for beer and jager. With a roughly 3:2 ratio of international to local attendees, the mini-festival is a prime opportunity to expand one’s horizons without even leaving the Bubble.
Our Oktoberfest, organised this year by an 8 person committee, is a microcosm of the larger-scale German event. Featuring 5000 litres of Munich-imported beer Paulaner (priced at £5 per litre on the night) and the classic jager bar, Kinkell will not lack for booze. Also available will be enough food to feed an army of very hungry Germans: Courtesy of seven caterers, the venue will be filled with schnitzels and sausage rolls and pretzels, all suitable for a post-pint snack. As in the past, all purchases will be cash only.
Priced at the affordable £40, Oktoberfest appears to have spent its money wisely as there will be no shortage of entertainment on the night. Aside from the usual rounds of glass-clinking, guests can dance to the crowd favourite band Stoabach Buam or take a turn on whichever carnival ride has been booked for this year’s event (rumour has it, La Bamba has been replaced with a far more entertaining contraption). The committee can then make a generous donation, usually in the realm of £13000, to their chosen charity Tayside Children With Cancer and Leukaemia.
A weekend-long celebration of beer, culture, and international cooperation, the St Andrews Charity Oktoberfest is an event like no other. With tickets going for over £200 on the black market, the hype surrounded the festival never manages to disappoint attendees. Living up to its reputation year after year, tomorrow’s event is poised to exceed itself yet again.