Oktoberfest beer tent bookings selling out

Oktoberfest beer tent bookings selling out

Reservations for tables in the beer tents at Munich’s Oktoberfest are already changing hands online for thousands of euros, according to newspaper reports.

The October beer festival – which, contrary to its name, actually starts on September 19 – draws six million visitors to the Bavarian capital each year, and some are prepared to dig deep into their pockets for a reservation.

If you are not an annual customer, it’s very difficult to get a place in the big beer tents.

Evening and weekend places are no longer available online, according to the Muenchner Merkur newspaper. Web forms are allowing potential guests to book only lunch spaces.

Meanwhile, beer landlords have not yet received permits from the city authorities, so they can take only provisional bookings.

Toni Roiderer, spokesman for the landlords and landladies, said recently they were only taking conditional pre-bookings for vouchers worth 25 to 85 euros ($A35-$A120).

However, unofficial online resale portals are taking table reservations for 500 euros a person and up to 10,000 euros for two whole tables.

“We call on people not to pay these astronomical prices,” says Thomas Reiner, a spokesman for beer festival organiser Josef Schmid.

Roiderer also warned people away from the online reservation sites.

“We say to people don’t touch them as you won’t get anything from it,” he says.

People who use such sites often arrive to find their place hasn’t been reserved at all.

The situation has become worse since 2013, when then festival chief and current mayor of Munich, Dieter Reiter, changed the rules to restrict the number of seats that could be pre-booked.

The intention was to allow more Munich residents to turn up spontaneously and find seats in the beer tents.

Beer sellers say the opposite has happened – whoever gets a seat in a tent stays there and doesn’t move, while with reservations there is greater turnaround and more people get a chance to have a seat.

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