Time to dust off your lederhosen...

No longer simply a traditional annual Bavarian celebration of bonhomie, bratwurst and enormous beverages hosted in Munich, Oktoberfest is now another excuse for Brits to do what we do best; cultural-hijacking for hi-jinks.

Much like Halloween and Christmas have now become an excuse for otherwise conventionally-clothed adults to regress to a childhood love of dressing up and revelling in fine style, except this is a slightly more adult-themed indulgence, with the gents exchanging chafing-remedy advice in stiff leather garments and knee high socks, and the ladies in pigtails and Dirndl dresses.

Germany’s official Oktoberfest originates from the royal wedding in Munich, in October of 1810, which was a public celebration where the National Guard staged an innocent horse race. Celebrating its anniversary became an annual tradition with bigger crowds and more festivities every year, with huge beer tents arriving in 1892. Skip a few years to 2017 and it now attracts over five million people to Munich, consuming more than seven million litres of beer over 16 days between mid-September and the first week of October.

We might never know what it is that attracts us Brits to the festival of heavyweight drinking, drunk food, and near-indecent exposure, but with the 2017 Oktoberfest season fast approaching here's five events to provide you an arm-numbing number of steins, Bavarian dumplings and potatoes to soak them up with, and bands with more brass than a billion bedknobs.


The “official” Leeds Oktoberfest has enjoyed a nomadic existence, already swapping the delights of Elland Road’s Centenary Pavilion for The Tetley last year, and is now looking to settle at a brand new events venue on Globe Road, the South Bank Depot.

Over 12,000 people are expected over two weekends, and a unique collaboration with Hofbräu – one of the last traditional breweries in Munich – is bringing the right kind of authenticity in 2017. With traditional Bavarian food and an in-house Oompah band guaranteeing ritual thigh-slapping and much fist-banging on tables, expect a lively occasion over the four sessions that spread across each weekend. With a variety of ticket options and VIP packages available you might want to start hollowing your legs out now.

Fri 6 - Sun 8 & Fri 13 - Sun 15 October. South Bank Depot, 16 Globe Road, Leeds, LS11 5QG, Website

We're ready for the second round of today! #OktoberfestLeeds
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North Bar

In a typically faithful homage to Oktobersfest traditions, North Bar is lending its knowledge and beer-worshipping respect to the annual celebrations across all its bars in Leeds.

All five venues are pairing up with a different Munich brewery – Oktoberfest criteria states only beer brewed within the Munich city limits can be served at the festival – between 16th September and 3rd October, to offer their loyal following some great offers and unique collaborations to commemorate this special time of year for Europhile Pilsner lovers.

Sat 16 September - Tue 3 October. 24 New Briggate, Leeds (Plus Cross Keys, Further North, Alfred & Preston) Website

Hello, Sunday.
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Okay, so you’d be hard pushed to notice the difference if you are a regular Bierkeller acolyte, as well-fitted Lederhosen is pretty much the dress-code down the well-trodden steps to one of Leeds’ more eye-opening basement bars.

Of course though, the Bierkeller isn’t going to miss the opportunity to celebrate what it’s been thrusting on thirsty hordes for a number of years now: expect great drinks offers on steins and bottles, festive décor and live performances with guaranteed jovial stomping, from the world famous Amazing Bavarian Stompers Oompah Show, just to make those ceiling tiles rattle a little bit harder.

Sat 16 September – Sun 1 October. 123 The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 5RD, Website

O2 Academy

You wouldn’t expect an occasion that celebrates fancy dress, industrial drinking, and sausages with curry sauce to escape the attentions and delicate palates of the student fraternity, and an Oktoberfest event at the O2 Academy is certainly geared towards them.

A one-off occasion on Friday October 13th this promises lots of drinks offers, live acts and DJs and, perhaps unwisely, bouncy castles and a ball pit. Bring a mop.

Fri 13 October. 55 Cookridge Street, Leeds, LS2 3AW, Website

Headrow House

Already famous for its communal beer hall atmosphere, convivial bench-style seating, and its signature Pilsner beer tanks, it was a natural step for Headrow House to take the quite effortless step into the world of Oktoberfest reverence. Offering an awe-inspiring range of Munich-brewed beers – Hacker Pschorr, Paulaner, Schneider Weisse, Fruh Kölsch and Augustiner Helles – over four consecutive Saturdays between 16th September and 7th October.

Headrow House is just doing what it already does very well, except there will be extra delicious food options available, such as Spitz Bavarian Sharing Fries and Gerwurz curry ketchup. It’s a combination that doesn’t require much thinking - and that’s probably just as well - but it works. And kids and dogs are welcome between 12-8pm, after which dogs won’t like the foot stomping and hearty singing that will inevitably follow, and the kids will be far better getting tucked up in bed by a babysitter, than witnessing what has become of mum and dad.      

Sat 16, 23, 30 September, 7 October. Bramleys Yard, 10 The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 6PU, Website