Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany

SEPTEMBER 2007 – View across the original Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, after sunset. © Mark Zanzig/zanzig.com

The story behind the image

In TV, they’d call it BREAKING NEWS. And I agree.

After a challenging period of two years where the Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, had been suspended (due to you-know-what), the Fest will take place again this fall. At least, that’s what the Lord Mayor of Munich, Dieter Reiter, announced during a press conference on Friday. So, there’s a good chance that he will be able to open the Fest on September 17, 2022, in the Schottenhamel tent by yelling “O’zapft is!” (“It’s open!”) to the cheering crowd before the beer starts to flow!

Of course, like most people from Munich, I am extremely happy that life is slowly returning back to normal, and not just for the Fest but in all areas.

Yet, at the time of writing, we all lack guidance on the rules. Reiter said he’s aiming for a “normal” Fest without any special restrictions or additional regulations. So, I have undusted my crystal ball for you and predict:

  • It will be less busy than in 2019 and before, as many visitors will have concerns about so many people being cramped in tents, celebrating, and thus will stay away and see how it all turns out. If all is OK, they will return in 2023.
  • The mood will be different to previous years but remain extremely positive due to a more local and traditional crowd than in previous years.
  • Beer and food prices will be astronomical as tent owners and breweries need to recover for the economical losses caused by two years of suspension and a higher than usual inflation rate.

I picked this photo to illustrate this story and realized that it’s been almost 15 years ago that I took it. It feels like it was just yesterday. Time flies.

That day had been wonderful and rather warm and I wanted to capture the Theresienwiese in Munich with the busy Oktoberfest during the blue – or, as it turned out, purple – hour, i.e. the time after sunset before complete darkness sets in. I figured that the lights must be awesome and the blurred motion of the people would be interesting to see. Our appartment was just like 15 minutes away at that time, so I took my gear and tripod and cycled to the Oktoberfest.

I had the right location already in my mind: the stairs below the Bavaria statue that overlooks the Oktoberfest. From here, you have a beautiful view on some of the tents and the masses of people moving in the streets.

All said and done, I experimented a bit to get the exposure time right, and then I did a couple of shots. The shot turned out exactly as I had imagined. What’s funny though, that very few people seem to not move at all during the 15 seconds exposure (while all others disappear in an endless stream of people.)

The high resolution image

Capture Date & Time24-SEP-2007, 19:18
LocationMunich, Germany
CameraCanon EOS-1Ds Mark II
LensCanon EF 24-70 mm 2.8 L USM
Exposure15 sec at f/22
Digital Image Source FormatCanon Camera RAW (CR2)
Edited Image FormatJPEG, 24 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image Dimensions4992 x 3328 Pixels
Copyright© by Mark Zanzig/zanzig.com

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