In 2010, the Oktoberfest got 200 years old. Of course, such a historic occasion had to be celebrated. Subsequently, behind the Ferris wheel at the south end of the Theresienwiese, you could visit the “Historische Wiesn” (Historic Oktoberfest) to watch horse races as a reminiscence of the roots of the festival or to enjoy other historic attractions and two beer tents. The overwhelming success of that additional fairground led to its establishment as a regular extension of the actual Oktoberfest. Ironically, the new format was named “Oide Wiesn” (Old Oktoberfest).

The main ingredients of this still new and fluctuating festival are the large beer tent, the Festzelt Tradition, a musicians’ tent and a selection of historic rides and other attractions. With one exception, the musicians’ tent has so far been run by Josef Bachmaier, host of a restaurant and cabaret, as Herzkasperl-Festzelt, where you can listen to a large variety of traditional and contemporary folk music. The Festzelt Tradition on the other hand is an ordinary beer tent presenting traditional brass music and dances.

The most striking difference between the Oide Wiesn and the actual Oktoberfest is the fact, that you have to pay a fee of three Euros before entering the three-hectare site. The entrance fee is however used to cross-subsidize all the rides, which are only one Euro each. On busy days, it’s possible, that the whole are closes for over-crowding. Otherwise, the Oide Wiesn can be a good alternative, when the large beer tents of the actual Oktoberfest are closed for overcrowding. Be aware, that you can’t get a beer past 9:30pm, though.