Oktoberfest Brisbane | An Authentic German Experience for Families
Update: This is the wurst! Oktoberfest 2021 has been postponed to Oktober 2022.
Dust off your dirndl and don your lederhosen, Oktoberfest Brisbane is back for its 13th Festival year in October 2021. With six huge festival days across two weekends, the bold tastes, sounds and spirit of one of the world’s most iconic festivals will transform the Brisbane Showgrounds, bringing together stein-raisers from across the country.
No matter which day you visit you can expect to take in the flutter of colour of swirling dirndls, the smell of warm, salty pretzels in the air, and to move to the beat of the legendary Oompah band… it will be like Munich to your ears!
Treat your taste buds to a formidable feast of pretzels, pork knuckle, the best wurst, and of course traditionally-brewed world-class German Bier. Prost!
What’s the history behind Oktoberfest?
The festival that celebrates all things German, takes the lead from the world’s largest Volksfest (People’s Fair) held in Munich each autumn. Most people are familiar with Oktoberfest and its association with the consumption of lots-and-lots-of beer, although historically, the traditional 16-day festival incorporated much more than beer drinking. Two centuries ago, families were invited to enjoy an array of agricultural events at Oktoberfest with horse racing, game playing and musical entertainment.
Modern day Oktoberfest’s around the world such as Oktoberfest Brisbane have changed a fair bit over the past 200 years; there is no horse race nor agricultural celebration, but there is much merriment for the whole family, and yes there is beer.
Oktoberfest Brisbane 2021
Oktoberfest Brisbane is the largest of its kind in Australia, and the largest German Festival in the country. Held at the Brisbane Showgrounds, Oktoberfest Brisbane is held over two October weekends. Voted one of the top ten Oktoberfest’s in the world, Oktoberfest Brisbane introduces the very best of Deutsch culture to South East Queenslanders, transforming a corner of Brisbane’s inner suburb Bowen Hills into a makeshift German township.
When is Oktoberfest Brisbane?
This year’s Oktoberfest Brisbane event will run over two weekends on 8-10 and 15-17 October 2021. This years Oktoberfest Brisbane program incorporates plenty of thigh slapping good times for people of all ages. There’s no need to leave your children at home either; kids under 18 are free and there is plenty of child-friendly fun to be had.
On Fridays & Saturdays the Festival is open from 12pm to midnight. On Sundays, the festival is open from 12pm to 8pm.
What is on at the Oktoberfest Brisbane?
Friday & Saturday
Following century-old Bavarian tradition, Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner will tap the first keg of beer at the festival’s Anzapfen ceremony on the first Friday, signalling the flow of bier, good cheer, entertainment and cultural indulgence.
The Bavarian Oompah Band will have everyone swaying and chinking steins along with their catchy tunes. Heidi’s yodels lift the audience into the Alpine treetops, and the frenetic energy of the Alpenrosen Dance Group never fails to get everyone shoe-slapping. Join the roaring crowd as the search is on for the most German at heart with the Miss Oktoberfest competition and cheer on the Bavarian Strongmen battling it out for the title!
Sunday sessions at Oktoberfest Brisbane have never been better with the Bavarian Village open from 12pm to 8pm and all the entertainment favourites back for another day. New to 2021, is the introduction of more rides to the festival that everyone can enjoy for free all day! Sundays also see additional entertainment, games and activities for all ages added to the program! Take a ride through German automotive engineering, innovation and luxury with over 20 vintage, classic and late model German cars on display at the exclusive Autoshow.
What can (and should) you wear?
Clothing plays an important role in German national identity. If you’ve been to Oktoberfest Brisbane before, you’ll know that most people dress the part so you may feel disappointed if you don’t wear traditional German clothing (aka Tracht), because everyone else will be!
If you want to join in authentic German dress, you can find exquisite traditional German Dirndls, Lederhosen and accessories, for ladies, men and kids. Have a look at the official traditional clothing partner Schnucki Dirndl & Lederhosen for options.
Is Oktoberfest Brisbane Suitable for Families?
Grab the family a real taste of Germany in the bustling ‘Marktplatz’ Market Square, filled with food stalls serving hearty fare. Introduce mouth-watering German flavours to your little folk with schnitzels, sausages and Black Forest cake, Schweinshaxe (baked pork knuckle), sauerkraut and strudels, washed down with non-alcoholic beverages, and a beer or two for you.
Just like in a real German Festival there’s lots to keep the kids entertained from the minute you enter. Sundays are the best days for families, as they have a relaxed and chilled out atmosphere. Oktoberfest has plenty of kid-friendly entertainment including singing and dancing plus fabulous yodelling and German dancers, always a favourite – the youngest dancer is only five. Kids can join in the Hat Dance or groove along to the Chicken Dance.
Outside, there are rides, baby farm animals to pat, a real German-style puppet show with heaps of other fun thrown in, goal kicking, a photo wall, roaming musicians, fashion shows (with kids in them too) and lots more to be announced not to mention heaps of delicious food and drink for those hungry tummies.
How much does Oktoberfest Brisbane cost?
Food & Drink
Drinks range from $9-$16 and food ranges from something smaller like a pretzel at around $5 to a pork knuckle to share for around $26.
A General Admission ticket to Oktoberfest Brisbane will grant you access to the Bavarian Village. Children 17 years and under are free of charge but they must be accompanied by an adult (18+).
- General Admission Friday & Saturdays: $40 online | $50 at the gate
- General Admission Sundays: $25 online | $30 at the gate
What’s the best way to get to Oktoberfest Brisbane?
Due to the Cross River Rail construction works at the Brisbane Showgrounds, the Oktoberfest Brisbane Festival entry has moved to O’Connell Terrace (Gate 5).
- Parking: Parking is available at the Brisbane Showgrounds.
- Taxi: O’Connell Terrace (Gate 5) – supervised taxi rank.
- Rideshare: O’Connell Terrace (Gate 5) – dedicated drop off and pick up zone.
- Bus: Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital or Wickham Street (Fortitude Valley) stations.
- Train: Bowen Hills (except Ferny Grove line) or Fortitude Valley.
Families Tip: Oktoberfest Brisbane is a cashless Festival and cash will not be accepted as payment for anything inside the Festival. Card payments will be accepted at all purchase points, meaning you can tap and get back to the party quicker than you can say Bezirksschornsteinfegermeister (actually a word.) There will be no ATMs at the festival.
Looking for more family fun? Check out list of all the family friendly festivals around Brisbane here.
Thinking of travelling to Germany when the borders open? Check out our article on a great German theme park.
Looking for more family fun in October?
Halloween just happens to also fall in October and we’ve got your ultimate guide to Halloween in Brisbane here.