Oktoberfest: Bye, bye puke hill – how Munich wants to prevent the wild hustle and bustle

In 2014, the puke hill was still heavily frequented at the Oktoberfest.Image: imago stock&people / imago images

Helen Kleinschmidt

The Oktoberfest, which is taking place again this year in Munich, is above all a beer festival, where one or the other drinks a beer too much. For this reason, on the hill behind the festival tents, year after year, alcoholics who slept off their intoxication and drunks who threw up cavorted. These scenes caused the meadow to be nicknamed “Barf Hill”.

The city of Munich wants to prevent crime

But just throwing up and sleeping off the intoxication is not enough: in the past, drug deals and sexual assaults have increasingly taken place on the slope, clouding the image of the Oktoberfest. In addition, heavily intoxicated people who urgently needed help were overlooked.

For this reason, the city of Munich has now set itself the goal of using cameras and the police to take tighter action against the wild goings-on on the hill.

A visitor to the Oktoberfest sleeps off his intoxication on the puke hill.

A visitor to the Oktoberfest sleeps off his intoxication on the puke hill.Image: imago stock&people / imago images

In addition, a “slope patrol” is used to keep an eye on the puke hill. As early as 2018 and 2019, the employees of the security service “Securitas” took on the task of ensuring security on the Theresienwiese.

After two years of pandemic, this year they are once again making sure to check the health of visitors and to take preventive action against crime.

Head of the Oktoberfest speaks of “quality Oktoberfest”

In previous years, pictures of the puke hill went around the world and caused bewilderment. Foreign visitors couldn’t believe the scenes they saw on the hill. Wiesn boss Clemens Baumgärtner wants to put an end to the associated negative image of the Munich Oktoberfest. To the picture he said:

“We want a quality Oktoberfest. This also means that we focus on the so-called puke hill, so that the Oktoberfest doesn’t get the wrong image.”

Wiesn boss Clemens Baumgärtner

A special cleaning service will also be provided to the residents of the Festwiese this year. Even private paths to the front door and driveways should be cleaned with high-pressure cleaners to spare residents the sight of faeces or vomit.

The puke hill is still an issue on Twitter

But despite all these special measures, the puke hill is still being made fun of on the internet. A Twitter user revealed that the slope is actually a place where dogs do their business.

The comedian Aurel Merz also published a tweet in which he made fun of BMW drivers who apparently would sooner or later end up on the puke hill and therefore make other German inner cities look nicer.

Another user was interested in a live stream from Kotzhügel to be able to watch some German culture at home on Sunday.

“O’zapft is!”

Exactly at 12 noon last Saturday, Mayor Dieter Reiter opened the Wiesn and tapped the first keg of Oktoberfest beer in the Schottenhamel marquee.

After two years of a corona-related break, the festival can finally take place again. Until October 3rd, people from all over the world have the opportunity to visit the famous folk festival and see the so-called puke hill for themselves.

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