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The Best of Oktoberfest in Brisbane 2017

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by Roy Chambers (subscribe)
Lover of all things interesting and new
Published September 25th 2017
Fun for everyone at Oktoberfest Brisbane 2017
Oktoberfest is fun for the whole family. Kids can have fun at the Kinder Zone, adults can enjoy German food, beer, wine and entertainment, and the more active can party with German music dancing and of course drinking into the night. A celebration of German culture for everyone.

Photo courtesy of Oktoberfest
Photo courtesy of Oktoberfest

Don't be put off by the idea that Oktoberfest is just about drinking, though many go to enjoy the beer. During the day, the focus is on families and anyone under the age of 18 gets in free to enjoy the culture and entertainment. Yes, people will drink on into the night, but which time most families had headed home. However, the continual entertainment and great atmosphere creates a wonderful day.

What is Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest is an important German Tradition. While in Germany you have to go to Munich to get into the Oktoberfest spirit, everywhere else in the world also has their own version of this Volksfest. For two weekends in October, head to the Brisbane Showgrounds to enjoy fun that is more than just drinking beer. A celebration for everyone.

Photo courtesy of Oktoberfest
Photo courtesy of Oktoberfest

A Volksfest is a traditional beer and wine festivals held around Germany. In Germany, nearly every decent sized town has their own Volksfest and they attract travelling fun fairs just like agricultural shows in Australia do in Australia.

In Brisbane, Oktoberfest it is an opportunity for the German community to celebrate their culture with the wider Australian community. Of course, there is lots of good German beer, traditional German food and entertainment.

The basic rules are:
  • Morning is great for young kids
  • Afternoon is fantastic for families and people just looking to have fun
  • The evening gets more rowdy and the more you like to party the later you will stay

    Families and Kids

    There is a lot for kids at Oktoberfest and of course kids (anyone under 18) gets in for free. The Kinder Zone has wide range of kids activities from fairground rides, petting zoos, face painting and kids entertainers.

    Photo courtesy of Oktoberfest
    Photo courtesy of Oktoberfest

    Kids will also enjoy the opportunity to dress up, try some German food (especially the gingerbread), visit some of the shops selling German products and see the entertainment during the day in the main and side tents.

    Culture and Entertainment

    Oktoberfest is a cultural festival. Yes, it can all be a little kitsch with polkas and oompah bands, chicken dances, yodelling, pretzel making competitions and other things that we might normally make fun of about German culture. On the other hand, it is all a lot of fun.

    Photo courtesy of Oktoberfest
    Photo courtesy of Oktoberfest

    There will be entertainment all day in the main tent and in smaller side tents. If you have a sense of fun you certainly won't be bored during at Oktoberfest, especially as they encourage people to get up and participate, especially when it comes to German folk dances.

    Photo courtesy of Oktoberfest
    Photo courtesy of Oktoberfest

    Then, of course, there are a range of competitions. One of the most popular is Miss Oktoberfest. Anyone can enter but to win you must wear a dirndl, be able to make brezen, have knowledge of Oktoberfest, be able to milk a cow and more. For guys, there is the Beardmeister competition which is great for the hirsute individual and the Bavarian strongman competition where you show off your skills and strength with jockey racing, doughnut eating, barrel rolling and tug of war.

    Photo courtesy of Oktoberfest
    Photo courtesy of Oktoberfest

    Food and Drink

    German food is fantastic and the festival will feature some of the best. For early rises on Saturdays, you can have a Weißwurst Frühstück or traditional Bavarian Breakfast of veal sausages, bacon, brezn with mustard, all washed down by a glass of wheat beer. It is recommended that you book your spot for the breakfast when you buy your tickets.

    Photo courtesy of Oktoberfest
    Photo courtesy of Oktoberfest

    There will also be stalls selling a range of food and of couse, there will people's favourites such as schweinshaxe {pork knuckle}, bratwurst, sauerkraut and schnitzel. Try some of the various baked potato dishes and the Brezn (pretzels). For something sweet, my favourite is the gingerbread and of course, there is a range of chocolates.

    Photo courtesy of Oktoberfest
    Photo courtesy of Oktoberfest

    In the afternoon, have afternoon tea the German way. Forget the tea and biscuits have kaffee und kuchen (coffee and cake) instead.

    Time & Tickets

    Oktoberfest runs over 2 weekends 6-8 and 13-15 of October. Ticket prices vary on different days though kids (under 18) are free on all days.

    On Friday tickets are $21 online and $24 at the gate, but the festival only runs from 4 pm to Midnight on that day. However, rides are free while they are still running.

    Saturdays are the most expensive at $27 online and $31 at the gate. But this will be the main day of the festival and for people looking to party, then Saturday is the day to go.

    Sundays are probably the best value for money at $19 online and $22 at the gate. The doors will close at 8 pm, so Sunday is the perfect time for a focus on the day or early evening.

    You can also do group bookings and save money or go for the Bavarian Corner VIP table experience where you have a pre-booked table for up to 8 people.

    Cashless Payments & Digital Wallet

    Octoberfest is going 100% cashless this year. The only way that you will be able to pay for things at the festival is using your wristband which will be linked to your digital wallet. You can put money on the wristband when you arrive or deposit money into your digital wallet beforehand. If you put more than $100 into your digital wallet you will be entered in a prize draw. Remember, after the event you can withdraw any money left in your digital wallet.

    Getting there

    Oktoberfest is located at the RNA showgrounds. Entry is from Gregory Terrace rather than the main entrance off Bowen Bridge Road that people often associate with events at the showgrounds. Driving is not a problem and parking is $13 all day at the showgrounds. Public transport is also easy especially if you come by bus, though buses won't drop you in front of the entrance and you will have to walk a little way to the venue.


    Oktoberfest is a lot of fun for everyone. You don't need to dress up in German clothes but it is highly encouraged that you do so. It is a lot of fun with great food, wonderful beer and lovely German people who want to share their culture or cultural heritage with Brisbanites.

    Other Oktoberfest Events

    If you are looking for other Oktoberfest events outside of the official Oktoberfest weekends there are a few around, including Oktoberpole, a free German festival and maypole raising ceremony in King George Square.

    Photo courtesy of Oktoberfest
    Photo courtesy of Oktoberfest

    There are a number of bars, pubs and restaurants around Brisbane who get into the Oktoberfest spirit with German beer and food. Not quite the same as the real Oktoberfest but maybe better on a budget.

    Aldi, the German supermarket chain that is taking Australian by storm, is selling a range of German products from now into October, including pretzels, sauerkraut, German sausages and cakes.

    Also from October 1, there are several weeks of celebration of the German culture as part of Brisbane's German Week. This includes classical German music, art and film.
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    Why? Beer, Brezn, Bratwurst along with music and dance
    When: Fridays 4 pm to Midnight, Saturday 11 am to Midnight, Sunday 11 am to 8 pm
    Where: Brisbane Showgrounds, Bowen Hills, Brisbane, Australia. Entry Via Gregory Terrace
    Cost: Free for kids (under 18), $17 to $30 depending on the day you go
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