Gay Sunday at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar


UBERRASCHUNG! (Surprise!) If you always thought that the world famous German Oktoberfest (now in its 180th year) held during the last full week of September every year in Munich was a very straight and drunken affair, you are still in the last century. This Sunday will be a very Gay drunken affair as over 10 thousand (mostly) men in red gingham shirts and tight lederhosen will pour into an enormous tent in glorious Munich to dance the night away to the sound of brass bands and all kinds of great music! Om-Pa bands are not my thing at all until I hit Munich and get a good grip on an oversized stein of the best brews on the planet. As a Philadelphia guy, the concept of a hot soft pretzel with mustard is not uncommon at all! I once hosted a “cocktail” party for about 175 people in Munich. I hired a series of 10 trolley cars which ran all over the city. The bands played (Om-pa-pa!), beer-mugs clunked and Schnapps was consumed by the gallon. The cars would sometimes pass each other amidst cheers, laughter and tubas playing way too loud! It was probably one of the most spectacular nights ever! Too bad my guests were not all Gay men and women as I am sure it would have had even more style (I can only do so much, alone) and a lot more fun.

Like most of the world, I thought that Oktoberfest was in October (Silly me). But, the world’s largest and most famous “folk festival” begins in mid September lasting until the first Sunday in October. This year the festival begins on Saturday, September 21 with Gay Sunday the 22. The entire Oktoberfest “Fair”, a true one of a kind event, ends on Sunday October 6.

An estimated 10 thousand (Stout-Hearted) men are expected Sunday. It sounds like a lot but during the course of the 17 day party, over 6 million people will be milling about Munich and the fair-grounds, drinking about 7 million litres of beer washing down around 300,000 pork sausages. Oktoberfest is serious fun! It is not High Tea at the Ritz. There is certainly no dress code!

I thought this was a good quote from a German gay last year: “Inside our tent are thousands of men (mostly) so I would doubt that I will venture any further outside than the Braurosi beer tent. The Bavarian brew is clearly a social lubricant of undisputed success. Take the tall, tanned and handsome Swiss boy across the table from me, for example. Minutes ago he ripped the sleeves off his traditionally chequered shirt with his bare teeth to better exhibit his chiseled biceps. Or, the two lads from Nuremberg near the entrance, both dressed in snug-fitting lederhosen, dancing shirtless on the table to the tune of Heidi.  The Gay Sunday at Oktoberfest is hands down the biggest Gay attraction in Munich after Pride.”

THE BOTTOM LINE: Munich (especially for us Gay and Lesbian folk) is a wonderful destination all year round, with the flowers of spring and colors of fall and the slow-paced summers and Alpen slopes. I have entertained very successfully in Munich by itself or combined with Innsbruck, Salzburg, even Venice. One of the most famous Gay Royals of all time, the “Mad King Ludwig of Bavaria,” built his famous caste “Neuschwanstein” near Munich. His sexuality was an open secret even during his own lifetime.  Walt Disney used the fantasy creation as a model for the Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland. Only a Gay Dude could have come up with that!

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