ISLAMIC TERRORISM IS. Fears of even more Muslim terrorist attacks in Germany have seen the world’s biggest beer festival fenced off for the first time. The number of stewards and armed police have increased and backpacks and large bags are prohibited, in most cases.
EuroNews The Oktoberfest will run until October 6 and is expected to draw millions of beer lovers to the tented festival grounds that have been fenced off by a protective barricade and equipped with surveillance cameras.
This will be the first year since the event’s founding in 1810, that there will be security check points at all points of entrance. Law officials of the area say the increased security is a result of the terrorist attacks around the globe and also the recent events in Cologne where some were victims of rampant sexual assaults.
Security personnel will also screen visitors for explosives and weapons at entry points, keeping backpacks at the door. Local officials said the tight security is due to fears the dense crowds at the festival could be targeted by Islamic terrorists, according to Deutsche Welle.
Control of luggage at the Oktoberfest is enforced by prohibiting any bags with a capacity of more than 3 liters. Exceptions will be made for justified causes like for example waitresses, handicapped people, competitive marksmen and members of the parades. Small handbags remain legal in general. There will be luggage depositories around the fairground.
Security at the entrances will take care that prohibited luggage won’t be brought to the fairground. This means that the number of stewards will be significantly increased. During peak times, up to 450 security wardens will be on duty. By that, the city of Munich significantly increases their contribution to the Oktoberfest safety partnership.
To keep uncontrolled luggage off fairground limits, the slope at the Theresienhöhe will be closed off by a mobile fence. The security fence can be removed in less than a minute.
The area at the Theresienwiese subway station will be reorganized. Visitors will be guided to the Bavariaring by stewards, signs and a fence. From there, the usual entrances can be accessed.
The ban of backpacks will be added to the Oktoberfest regulations. As before, baby strollers / buggies are not allowed on the festival grounds on Saturdays, “German Unity Day” and past 6pm on any other day. Still prohibited: Glass bottles, pressurized cans with potentially dangerous, corrosive or coloring contents and items that could be used as a thrusting, cutting or clubbing weapon.