Oktoberfest Brisbane

MY FIRST TIME: impressions of an Oktoberfest Brisbane newcomer

What CAN you say to someone who’s never sampled the delights before? How can you convey a sense of that vibrant, happy party atmosphere which awaits returning friends and newcomers alike? Words and website pictures can only go so far – you have to walk through those gates yourself and leave the outside world behind for a few fun-filled hours to truly know what it means.

My first time was in 2012 – and I’m sorry only that it took me so long to get around to doing it. Walking from Gregory Terrace into the Showgrounds, and hearing the music and the buzz of the crowd get louder as I approached only sharpened my anticipation. The heady aroma from the multitude of food stalls wafting through the evening air was deliciously to die-for, and it seemed like I wasn’t the only one walking more briskly approaching the gates.

Ticket sorted, wrist-band on – and a word from the friendly gate staff that I could get a stamp out and then come and go as I wished – and I was in. Greeted by the spectacle of the huge illuminated Oktoberfest Brisbane tent behind a fairy-tale wonderland of coloured lights strung through the trees and above the outdoor seats and benches,  I had to pause (literally) for a moment and pinch myself (not quite literally) – this is Brisbane with its beautiful Spring evening sky; I’m standing in the Showgrounds at Bowen Hills – not Theresienwiese in Munich!

Where to turn first? Options abounded: lots of whizzing rides, flashing lights and excited voices that way, flanks of brightly-lit tents and enticing stalls over there (okay, stomach, your turn is coming!), but it was a no-brainer – everyone was gravitating towards that magnificent central tent. Making our way through circling currents of laughing people clutching Brezels and Bratwurst (stomach, I’m not going to tell you again!) all we new arrivals found our way to the giant structure’s many entrances.

Readers of a certain age might remember the days of department store windows decked-out in elaborate German Christmas decorations, yes?  Well, it was like walking into one of those windows. Only more.  An absolute full-on, delectable assault on the senses:  lights, music, decorations, foods, crowds of conversation – and music, did I mention the music? (I can’t, to be honest, recall whether it was dancing, yodelling, cow-bells, or good ol’ oom-pa-pah – it felt like the night had it all – and it probably did, at different times.)

I’m standing in a gigantic blue-and-white decorated tent that could comfortably accommodate a Boeing 737 (or two). Above me is a breathtaking array of streamers and Bavarian bunting (how long did all that take to hang?) accented by massive 3m-wide wreaths (yes, just like a German Christmas!). Right in front, directly across the wooden dancefloor (exactly like in Munich, you’re kidding?!), is a stage which is barely visible beyond the crowd of bopping heads and hats and waving arms. Can’t quite see who’s actually on stage – they all seem to be performers even if they’re not in the band! – but the lights are flashing off lots of polished, sparkling musical instruments.

On the right must be where the drinks are because, threading through the dancefloor throngs are people heading one way with their purchased drink tickets, mingling with and passing people coming the other way, heading back to their tables with a couple of foaming steins each. (I certainly wouldn’t be spilling a drop of that specially-brewed amber fluid!)

But to the left is my destination for, on my first time, I was lucky enough to be a guest of one of the Bavarian VIP tables.  Spanning the width of this fabulous tent is the ornate wooden balustrading of the elevated Bayrisches Eck – the Bavarian Corner – backdropped by a jaw-dropping panoramic landscape that leaves you momentarily breathless: are you absolutely sure you’re not looking out from a window in that magical castle Neuschwanstein …?

Alright, stomach, alright! Would you readers please excuse me? I’ll tell you more about my first time in another post, but want to leave you with just one tip for now: if you haven’t booked your own Oktoberfest Brisbane Bavarian VIP table yet, you’ll want to make sure you’re really, really good mates with someone who has!

Bis bald, Tschuess!

Schnucki

Stock up on stylish German fashions from Schnucki

Katja-81-RAW-edit1If you’re planning on dressing in the Oktoberfest Brisbane spirit – and, let’s face it, that’s a fun festival spirit to be in! – it’s time to think about your Dirndl or Lederhosen.

Schnucki Dirndl and Lederhosen is your fashion destination for everything Trachten (that’s German traditional costumes) with stunning new arrivals just in. The only authentic Dirndl and Lederhosen shop in Australia, Schnucki was new to Oktoberfest Brisbane in 2013, and almost instantly sold out. These authentic creations are sure to be in hot demand again this year, so best you don’t leave it to the last moment!

In Germany there’s been resurgence in Lederhosen for men and Dirndls for the ladies – and not only at festival time. With exquisite designer Dirndls available, German girls have taken to wearing their one-of-a-kind outfits for many occasions, including parties, weddings or just a night out with friends.

Katja-73-RAW-edit1The Dirndl has come a long way from its origin in Bavaria in the 16th Century, when only peasant women wore them. They are now beautiful, well-made, flattering additions to your wardrobe and you can complement your Dirndl with exquisite German blouses (they also look fantastic with jeans), must-have t-shirts and unique jewellery to accessorise every outfit.

Schnucki also has a great range of men’s traditional German shirts as well as Lederhosen to suit every bloke … even a cheeky shorter version (Plattler) for all those fellas who want to show a bit of leg!

For our very important smaller visitors, there are dainty Dirndls and Lederhosen for children, so they can enjoy the full Festival spirit too.

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For those who truly want to stand out from the crowd this year, why not top things off with an original, hand-made Schnucki German hat? You’ll be the envy of all your friends – and much easier to find in the crowds! More than half of Oktoberfest Brisbane visitors dressed German to party last year, and we’re looking to see even more colourful costumes in 2014.

Get kitted-out with Schnucki for a complete German experience and you too can become a Prinz oder Prinzessin for a day! Check out the online store for lots of pix and info here.