I’ll just preface this by saying today was one of the best/funnest days of my life.

Anna and her boyfriend Adrian (who lives in Munich) had invited me to come along to Rosenheim because there was a festival on there. Ok cool I thought, I don’t have any other plans so why not. Now I thought this thing was going to be kinda smallish and was just on for the day, but its massive and was on for three weeks as a kind of precursor to Oktoberfest.

We caught the train from Munich to Rosenheim, got off and im all of a sudden surrounded by guys in lederhosen and girls in dirndls. Cleavage central. We walked around the festival outside for a bit, and its basically just like the Easter Show back home. Rides and sideshow games and a lot of food. It was around 2pm and it started to sprinkle rain so what better time to enter the beer tent.

I still remember walking through the doors. I had no idea what was behind them and how big it was going to be. I just remember thinking ‘wow’ in my head. Rough estimates is that it had a capacity of around 8000 people sitting down. By 2pm it was already quite full so we walked around and found a table to sit at. Everyone is packed in like sardines, the benches you sit on are butted up against the ones for the table behind you. So you are shoulder to shoulder back to back. Before you know it the waitress is there asking if you want a beer. A litre stein, or ‘mass’ in German, was 7.40 euros, which is quite good, especially compared to 8.80 at Oktoberfest. The beer is also specially brewed for the festival and has a higher alcohol content than usual.

Now what you have to remember about all of this is that you don’t leave the tent, ever. Your seat is like gold, you don’t give it up. By late afternoon and early evening it is close to impossible to get seats, especially if you are more than about 4 people. And no seat = no beer. So you plonk yourself down for 8 hours and enjoy the beer, the music, the girls in dirndls and the people at your table. Going to the toilet consists of standing on the bench and climbing over everyone else to get out. Something which gets quite hard to do further in to the night.

I was the novelty of our table. I was Dave from Australia. Im quite confident that I was actually the only international tourist in the entire place. This festival draws Bavarians from all of the tiny little villages and towns scattered around the place, with most of the older crowd not knowing a word of English. Only the younger crowd could understand what I was saying. Many a time I had people come up to me and ask ‘is this seat taken’ in German and I would just point to my German translators (Anna and Adrian).

Throughout the day and night I was being told various different Bavarian traditions and things I should be doing. Such as how to hold the beer stein properly (yes there is a proper way). How to eat my quarter chicken and roll (with your hands). How to sing ‘im prosting’. How to cheers someone the right way. This is very important because everyone is constantly cheersing everyone else at the table. As the day went on as well more and more time seemed to be spent standing on the benches singing along to the songs the band was belting out. Later in the night they switched from traditional Bavarian songs to popular English songs and everyone in the tent is standing on their seat dancing along which was cool. There was also never a time when I had an empty glass. At one stage I finished my beer and one of the guys at the end of the table passed me a new one straight away.

So yea pretty happy with how the day went, the photos can explain the atmosphere a bit better. It’s kind of like I got to go to Oktoberfest but without all the tourists, especially all the stupid drunk Aussie ones.