COVID-19 has been claiming lives, jobs, and events worldwide. The latest casualty? Germany’s famed Oktoberfest.
The annual event kicks off in September, attracting 6 million people from around the world. With no vaccine on the horizon, Bavaria state premier Markus Soeder has made the difficult decision to scrap this year’s festivities.
said the Prime Minister about the decision. We agreed that the risk is simply too high. The spread of the coronavirus would not allow any other option. “We want to continue to protect Bavaria,” said Prime Minister Markus Söder.
Germany is home to over 1,600 breweries, who, like breweries in the United States, has been forced to cut production and furlough employees.
The cancellation of the 2020 festival will increase financial damage the coronavirus pandemic has dealt to Germany’s 1,600 breweries. Many of the nation’s brewers have already cut back production and furloughed employees. Each year, the festival serves nearly 70,000 barrels (U.S equivalent) of beer to the millions of attendees.
This isn’t the first time a pandemic has forced the cancellation of Oktoberfest. The festival was canceled in 1854 after 3,000 residents died of cholera, and again in 1873 due to another cholera outbreak.
Since then, the festival was canceled in 1870 due to the Franco-Prussian War, 1914-1918 due to World War I, and from 1939 – 1945 due to World War II.
The next date for Oktoberfest is scheduled for September 16, 2021.