Guten tag from Vancouver! If you haven't been to Munich's Öktoberfest, and don't foresee going anytime soon, visiting German Fan Fest is close to the real thing. A flood of memories of my time at Oktoberfest came back when I entered the venue last night. So what’s inside this miniature version of Öktoberfest? Well, the uncomfortable picnic bench style seating is all there just like a real beer haus. Like in Munich, they aren’t for sitting, but more as a horizontal surface for dancing (a little German efficiency in effect here).
A main stage with adequate lighting hosts live music performances by the haus band “Acoustica”. As with Öktoberfest party bands, you don't get a lot of stage presence but a lot of danceable hits. But who needs stage presence when you are drinking German beer? Acoustica sings cover songs from your favourites, ranging from Elvis Presley to Bryan Adams (sung in English or translated into German!).
One of the real joys of Öktoberfest was the challenge of drinking from a full stein (one litre beer glass). Sadly, in Vancouver we must contend with the not-so-friendly plastic cups (because of an onerous city bylaw, I bet). However, some Fan Festers when I was there came up with the brilliant idea of rebuilding the Berlin Wall using the plastic beer cups. With a little bit of engineering and a whole lot of inebriation, the used cups were stacked in a brickwork pattern. It was still going strong six-high when I left the place!
Dress to impress does not apply here. So leave the stiletto heels and the pressed collared shirts at home, and come in your finest casuals. There's a ten dollar cover charge for all the evening festivities. However, food and drink are not any less expensive as a result of that cover. Beers and bratwurst run you about seven bucks each.
- post by Darren Chung. Darren is checking out some of the party scene during the Games, and we hope that he has the stamina to last 17 days.