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Oktoberfest Brisbane Is Saying Auf Wiedersehen After 15 Years of Steins, Schnitties and German Celebrations

"Over the past few months it has become clear that if the festival were to take place in 2023, we would not be able to deliver the same authentic German experience you have come to expect and love."
By Concrete Playground
February 24, 2023
By Concrete Playground
February 24, 2023

When October hits Brisbane, almost every venue in town busts out the Oompah bands, sauerkraut, wursts and pretzels, with Oktoberfest shindigs happening all around the city. The biggest of them all: Oktoberfest Brisbane, which has been filling steins and serving schnitzels since 2008. In 2023, however, it won't be returning.

The always-hefty, always-boozy, always-merry German-themed celebration has experienced a difficult few years, as all events have, including a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. But after making a comeback in 2022, Festival Directors Kim and Boris Zoulek have announced that the big six-day event is saying auf wiedersehen.

"All our pretzels were crossed that this message would never need to be written, but the time has come to announce the toughest decision of all — to say auf wiedersehen to The Only Oktoberfest Brisbane," the Zouleks said in a statement.

"They talk about decisions not being made lightly, but this one takes the cake. The past few years have brought about the biggest challenges our industry has ever faced. But just last October the team were as excited as they'd ever been to bring back Australia's most traditional Bavarian experience to the people of Brisbane, no less than three years in the making!"

"However, over the past few months it has become clear that if the festival were to take place in 2023 we would not be able to deliver the same authentic German experience you have come to expect and love. And if there's one thing we won't do, it's compromise on your experience. So, it's with a very heavy gingerbread heart that we say auf wiedersehen for now (but with one very carefully trained German eye on the future)."

Thankfully, the door isn't completely closed on future occasions for Brisbanites to dust off their lederhosen or dirndl at Brisbane Showgrounds — or for the sizeable German culture festival's traditional live music tents, Munich-style biergartens and carnival rides, including yodelling and dance — but there's no immediate plans for another Oktoberfest Brisbane yet.

In the past, the event has taken place across two weekends, pairing its entertainment with the opportunity to eat, drink and celebrate all things Bavaria, and attracted more than 35,000 people per year in the process.

"When The Only Oktoberfest Brisbane was birthed back in 2008, we had no concept of the authentic, all-yodelling, all-dancing, bratwurst-eating, magnificent teenager it would become." the Zouleks added.

"Over the past 15 years, we've welcomed nearly half a million honorary Germans into our family, downed around two million bratwursts, munched on over 1.5 million pretzels, danced to nearly 800 hours of Oompah music and sipped on over a million traditionally brewed biers. While Oktober 2023 will be tough, we say farewell knowing Brisbane was privy to the most authentic celebration of German culture outside of Bavaria."

For more information about Oktoberfest Brisbane coming to an end, head to the event's website.

Published on February 24, 2023 by Concrete Playground
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