Yes, Oktoberfest is mainly lager, sacrilege I know. But it did promise to be a rather raucous, thigh-slappingly good time. Dirndls abound, massive steins of freshly brewed beer, bratwurst and live music all in one oversized tent? What’s not to love? Well, buggar all apparently .
We journeyed across London to Kennington Park, having bought tickets which got us a free half, sausage and fries (and a packet of crisps – this should have been the first warning). Upon entry (we were the last allowed in before the queue was halted) handed over our tickets and were provided with a packet of Walker’s each. How Germanic. Then a very jolly helper, pig-tailed and dressed in ‘traditional’ beer-hall fayre bounced over to us asking if we had booked a table. We replied with an honest “no” and that jovial smile disappeared, almost as quickly as we did.
“You get your food by sitting down and waving your seat number” she explained, I looked around and there were plenty of numbers in the air already. “Aaaand, yeah, this is the queue”. Queue was an understatement. I don’t think Apple had as many people lining up for the iPhone 5. I think there were less people outside the Vatican waiting for the new Pope. Not even Obama could summon a bloody crowd like this one. “It’ll probably take about an hour” she whispered, meekly disappearing.
So, gritting our teeth, we joined the queue, munching on the very British crisps we had been supplied. It was long and mostly immobile (see the banner, that thing in the right hand corner is the bar). I wasn’t best impressed. Throwing an event revolving around beer and having only one tiny bar to support a thousand+ people… Something was very, very wrong here. After 20 minutes (the point where the above photo was taken), we decided to leave.
Moral of the story folks, crisps only taste of disappointment and resentment when you’ve traveled across London and paid 20-odd-quid to eat them.
Second moral of the story – I should have scoped how tragic this was from the bad Photoshop of the beer in the guy’s hand on their website banner.