By Alex Bird
Having just come back from a gap year where I’d been travelling…Well actually, to be perfectly honest, I more or less took several separate alcohol fuelled holidays. I unfortunately lack the organisational capacity to visit various destinations in quick succession. I did parts of Europe and Scandinavia and then subsequently ran out of funds, very much re-enforcing the drunken gobby stereotype England has along the way. One place where this stereotype may have even began was in Munich’s Oktoberfest, a place which unfortunately (or fortunately) I didn’t get to visit. Luckily Manchester being the vibrant city it is does also boast a wild Oktoberfest.
Lectures had finished and we students being the masters of procrastination, decided to head down to First Street where the festival was located. I bought a bag of peanuts on the way to line my stomach – my stomach knowing it was going to be a heavy one.
We entered the beer tent where we were greeted by rows and rows of tables and benches, which to my surprise were left fairly vacant. Then looking at my phone I realised it was about 4 o’ clock in the afternoon. At the back were the die hard festival goers, dressed head to toe in Bavarian clothing; some blokes in lederhosen, some dressed as Bavarian beer maids, all stood on tables dancing to the schlage band playing behind them. I quickly realised this was a place that you could not enjoy sober.
We got the first round of steins (2 pints) in, my mate eagerly trying to impress the bar maid with his German muttered, ‘Zwei steins por favour’… I hung my head in shame. We waddled, tails between our legs, to our seats and quickly downed the 2 pints worth of beer we just ordered, costing us £11.50. The place was not cheap!
The Hall quickly began to fill up. We got a couple more rounds of steins in and we soon found ourselves on the tables getting down to ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’. The DJ who took over the schlage band played some absolute bangers, only pausing to tell us to drink up.
We were about 14 pints in and about £80 down. The atmosphere was amazing. The guests and the staff were incredibly friendly, but it was time to leave, I was told, due to me dancing vulgarly on a table whilst giving the bouncer the middle finger then sloshing a pint over my wigged head. I picked up a blonde platted pig tail wig somewhere at some point in the night. It also had little ribbons at the end of each pig tail – I LOOKED GORGEOUS!
I got home, crucified between two mates as they dragged me along. We were nearly there before peanuts and beer pebble dashed my friends shoes. I apologised and carried on being dragged. I was home by 10pm.
Manchester’s Oktoberfest for any first years is a must. Even though it’s expensive you’re also paying for the experience as well as the beer. Id highly recommend it to anyone who didn’t get round to attending this year – just make sure you eat more than a bag of peanuts before you go.