The world’s biggest beer festival has been enclosed for the first time in its history amid fears of a terror attack. Backpacks and large bags have been banned at Munich’s Oktoberfest, which has opened with long queues to get into the beer tents. Fencing off the 75-acre Theresienwiese site means that every visitor has to go through security checks, carried out by a team of 450 guards. During peak periods, 600 police officers will also be on duty - about 100 more than last year. The number of security cameras has risen from 19 to 29.
We don’t see any special risk for Oktoberfest, but it’s clear such an internationally known festival would naturally be a possible attack target.
Bavaria’s interior minister Joachim Herrmann
Security services remain on high alert after Bavaria was hit by three attacks in a week in July, two of which were claimed by Islamic State. In one instance, a 17-year-old, who had sought asylum in Germany, was shot dead by police after running amok with an axe and knife on a train near the city of Wuerzburg, wounding five people, three of them seriously. Bavaria’s interior minister Joachim Herrmann told the Associated Press there remained a “fundamentally high risk” of terror attacks in Germany overall. Deputy head of police Werner Feiler said the authorities would try to ensure the atmosphere was not affected by the extra security. There are 14 halls at this year’s event, which dates back to 1810. Despite wet weather, people began queuing at 4:30 am, keen to see the mayor of Munich Dieter Reiter tapping the first keg at noon.