Entry of the Hosts & Breweries

The Einzug der Wiesnwirte und Brauereien (Entry of the Hosts and Breweries) festive prelude signals the official start of the Oktoberfest is the arrival of the Wiesnwirte and breweries. This folklore procession, which has regularly taken place since 1950, has turned into an eminent Oktoberfest event and is broadcast live worldwide by German channel 1. About 9,000 participants walk from Maximilianstraße through downtown Munich to the festival grounds and present a colorful variety of traditional attire, customs and folk dances, which is traditionally led by the Münchner Kindl.

Around 10:45 a.m. the current Münchner Kindl starts her first official Oktoberfest act. Seated on her horse she leads the parade starting from Josephspitalstraße – on to the Wiesn via Sonnen-, Schwanthaler-, Hermann-Lingg-Straße and Bavariaring, finally arriving at the Theresienwiese. Behind her follows the Munich Mayor and the Wiesn hosts in brightly decorated carriages . The smartly dressed waitresses in dirndls also made their way to the sounds of the halls music bands, the showmen, the market traders and the highly polished carriages of the Munich breweries. Of course always present on board the breweries horse drawn carriages is the most important part of Oktoberfest, the drink of the Wiesn, beer stored in wooden barrels – festively decorated with flowers and garlands.

The parade comprises the magnificently decorated horse-drawn drays of the six large Munich breweries, the 16 carriages of the landlords of the larger tents, showmen, the landlords of the smaller tents, the landlords of the Oide Wiesn, brass bands and Trachtler. Since 1935 the parade has been lead by the Münchner Kindl (Munich child), originally it was a boy on a pony, today a young woman on horseback. Even more important is a person in the following carriage: The mayor of Munich, sitting in the carriage of the Schottenhamel tent, once arriving on the Theresienwiese the Mayor is dropped off at the Schottenhamel marquee. Armed with a mallet and a tap, he taps the first beer keg at the Wiesn and proudly yells the well-known “O’zapft is” at the thirsty crowd. That’s it: the official starting signal for the Wiesn and the official permission for the Oktoberfest landlords to open the taps in their tents. Cheers!

In 1887 the legendary Hans Steyrer, also known as the Bavarian Hercules who missed no opportunity to attract attention to his businesses, had the idea of moving from his restaurant in the Tegernseer Landstraße to his Oktoberfest tent together with his staff, the first supply of beer and of course his brass band in festive carriages. As he did not care about a license for his undertaking, police stopped him long before reaching the Theresienwiese. Today, the parade is even lead by the police riding team.

Despite the initial disapproval of the authorities, Steyrer succeeded in attracting the interest of both the public and also his colleagues, who began themselves imitating his idea. But not before 1925, the Löwen, Pschorr, and Thomas breweries orchestrated the first combined opening parade – still without official authorization. The first landlord to actually register the parade was Augustiner host Hans Schattenhofer. Therefore, its starting point since 1931 is the Herzog-Spital-Straße, where Schattenhofer’s restaurant was located. Sadly, today most hosts forgot about the tradition of moving together with their staff to Oktoberfest and prefer filling their staff carriage with free beer enthusiasts also known as friends of the family.

Sources Referenced: München Betriebs-GmbH & Co. KG - Mit and Wiesnkini Project
Oktoberfest Pferdegespanne (Horse Teams)

The horses of the brewery teams take days to be prepared ready for their use in the Oktoberfest landlords Entry. The horses are groomed including shampooing of the coat, trimming of the mane and special care of the hooves. The horses’ working day typically begins at 5:30 in the morning and usually ends after 5:00 p.m. The ornate harness of the horses weighs around 300 kg (661 lbs). However, the preparation for the Oktoberfest technically begins much earlier, a few weeks before the start of the Wiesn, when the horses are familiarized to working in the six horses procession teams, and getting used to the streets.

Berittene Polizei

Cavalry Squadron of the Bavarian Police.
The Bavarian Cavalry Police are at the head and at the end of the parade.
As part of the general patrol service, the officers of the cavalry squadron pursue and prevent criminal and administrative offenses. In addition, they are used at events, missing person searches and especially at football games.

Festhalle Schottenhamel

Fanfarenzug Graf Toerring Gernlinden e.V.

The Graf Toerring Gernlinden  is a 30 person natural-tone fanfare band from Upper Bavaria. This means that there are no valves on their instruments to produce semitones. They have both a historical and a Bavarian costume, which they have appeared in at the Oktoberfest since 1964.

Musikkapelle Otto Schwarzfischer

Musikkapelle Otto Schwarzfischer was founded by Wolfgang “Gangerl” Schwarzfischer just after World War II. From 1956 his grandson Otto Schwarzfischer played with him, and took over control in 1959. In 2010 Otto retired, and Christian Sachs was promoted to conductor. Sadly in 2021, Otto died aged 81.

Münchner Kindl – Viktoria Ostler

First a monk, then a boy, then a gender-neutral child, a girl, and finally a young woman on a horse leading the way to Oktoberfest. The Münchner Kindl sure has evolved since it first appeared on Munich’s coat-of-arms over 800 years ago. The symbol stems from Munich’s first inhabitants, an order of monks.


Festkutsche mit Bgm Manuel Pretzl, Bgm Christine Strobl, Wiesn-Stadtrat Otto Seidl… Fixed Carriage with Bürgermeister Manuel Pretzl (r), Bürgermeister Christine Strobl,  Wiesn City Councilor Otto Seidl (l)


Prachtgespann Spaten

The Spaten horse team pulling the barrels.

Festwagen mit Bedienungen

Schottenhamel float with waitresses

VMS - Schausteller & Marktkaufleute
Feisingers Kas und Weinstub’n
Pferdegespann mit Schaustellerfamilien und Marktkaufleute auf dem Festwagen mit Schaukel…Horse-drawn carriage with showman families and market merchants on the float with swing.
Käfer Wiesn-Schänke
Vorreiterin…. Pioneer or Trailblazer for the Käfer Wiesn-Schänke

Spielmannszug Bad Wiessee

The Spielmannszug (Marching band) Bad Wiesse was founded in 1952 by the Veterans and Reservists Association of Bad Wiessee and currently has 38 members.

Festwagen mit Familie Käfer

Festwagen mit Familie Käfer & Musik Dreirad.  Michael Käfer is the elder of the two sons of the gastronomy entrepreneur Gerd Käfer joined the company at the end of the 1980s. Since 1995, he has been the sole shareholder and chief executive of Feinkost Käfer.

Festwagen, Musik Gary & Gerry

Munich-based party band led by Gerry & Gary are more than ‘just a band! For 18 years, the front singers, have performed with their four musical comrades (The Used Underwear) and have developed over time to be an international top act performing classics from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and current hits from the charts.

Festzelt Tradition
Gebirgs Schützen Compagnie Audorfer e.V.
The Audorf Company belongs to the Association of Bavarian Mountain Rifle Companies. Founded in 1951 it comprises of 5 battalions or districts. There are a total of 47 companies distributed along the chain of Alps between Garmisch-Patenkirchen and Bad Reichenhall.

Sensenschmied-Kapelle Mühlbach

Sensenschmied Musikkapelle Mühlbach has been around for over a hundred years. It was originally a works band of the Bavarian and Tyrolean Scythe Union, founded in 1902 by seven music-loving and musically talented scythe smiths.


Faßkarre….Barrel Cart

Festwagen mit Familie Winklhofer & Wieser

As well as the Oktoberfest Festzelt Tradition tent, Peter Wieser and the family Winklhofer run the Ratskeller located under the New Town Hall directly on Marienplatz , which is a Munich institution that contains a wine bar, many different rooms, a bistro and a pub.

Spielmannszug Hörgertshausen
The Hörgertshausen Marching Band.  In the fall of 1951, 12 men from Hörgertshausen and Nandlstadt re-established the older club. In 1963 they became the official marching band of the Bavarian Sportschützenbund (Sport Shooting Association).

Marktkapelle Au in der Hallertau e.V.

The lawyer and writer Dr. Josef Maier-Krafft founded a youth brass band in Au in January 1985. The brass band has become an integral part of the events of the Bavarian Shooting Sports Federation (BSSB) and performs at all its official occasions.

Festkutsche mit Familie Reinbold

The family Reinbold. Claudia and Eduard Reinbold and son Ludwig Reinbold. For personal issues Ludwig may be stepping aside and letting his parents return to running the tent.

Musikkapelle Die Niederalmer

Walter Bankhammer with the Niederalmer Musikanten became an Oktoberfest band and, subsequently, the acclaimed party stars in the Schützenfest tent. Their repertoire ranges from traditional brass band music to pop, rock ‘n roll and the current hit parade stormers. Ten times the Niederalmer have been selected as the Best Wiesn Band.

Prachtgespann Löwenbräu
The Löwenbräu horse team pulling the barrels.

Festwagen mit Bedienungen

Float with waitresses

Kleine Wiesnzelte
Wielenbacher Blasmusik mit Trommlerzug
The Wielenbacher Blasmusik mit Trommlerzug e.V. is a  traditional Bavarian Brass Band with Drummers from the small, tranquil village of Wielenbach, which lies in the beautiful Pfaffenwinkel between Ammersee and the district town of Weilheim.

Festwagen mit Wirten der Kleinen Wiesnzelte

Festwagen mit Wirten der Kleinen Wiesnzelte  (floats with innkeepers of the small Oktoberfest tents)

Festwagen Wirten der Kleinen Wiesnzelte

Festwagen Wirten der Kleinen Wiesnzelte  (Festival wagon hosts of the small Oktoberfest tents)

Kufflers Weinzelt
Since 1984, a cheerful group of vintners from Sommerach has performanced in the Munich Oktoberfest. The Franconians march at the head of the festively decorated carriages and horse-drawn carriages of Kuffler’s wine tent.

Festkutsche mit Familie Kuffler

The Kuffler family, own the Kuffler Group, which is a privately run hospitality company with more than twenty individual restaurants, catering, a hotel and of course the Kuffler Weinzelt Oktoberfest tent.

Festwagen mit Bedienungen

Float with Waitresses

Sektkellerei Nymphenburg
Sektkellerei Nymphenburg Festwagen
Paulaner Festzelt
Bundesmusikkapelle Going am Wilden Kaiser
It is commonly believed that there was a band at least as early as 1880 under the leadership of teacher and organist Rieser. In 2014 the 22-year-old Josef Hetzenauer who played the flugelhorn took over and was appointed honorary conductor.

Festkutsche mit Familie Pongratz

Festive carriage with the Pongratz family.  Since 2004, the Paulaner Festzelt has been run by Arabella Schörghuber and Peter Pongratz, the former owners of the traditional Paulaner restaurant on Nockherberg.

Festwagen mit Bedienungen

Paulaner float with waitresses

Festwagen mit Bedienungen

Paulaner float with waitresses

Festwagen mit Bedienungen

Paulaner float with waitresses

Löwenbräu Festhalle
Aubinger Trommlercorps
February 13, 1921, the GTEV “Almfrieden” Aubing was founded. The twelve founding members set themselves the task of maintaining and passing on Bavarian customs, traditional costumes. Although the Dachau traditional costume used to be worn by the farmers in Aubing, it was agreed on the Miesbach traditional costume for the boys and the red festive costume for the young ladies of the association.

Braskapelle Heldenstein

Today’s formation of the Braskapelle Heldenstein emerged from the former youth band Musikverein Heldenstein e.V., which was founded by Rupert Kamhuber. In 2015 the band was opened to adult musicians and now consists of around 30 musicians.

Faßwagen, Gezogen von 2 Ochsen

Wiesn landlord Wiggerl Hagn and his daughter, Stephanie Spendler, or his wife, Christa, and occasionally with one of the grandchildren Johannes or Lukas, ride in the Löwenbräu Barrel wagon, pulled by 2 oxen. Also on the wagon: A beer keg with 4000 liters of Löwenbräu Oktoberfest beer.

Festkutsche mit Familie Spendler

In the northern part of the English Garden, the Hirschau is located, run by the Hagn and Spendler family. In summer there is an adventure playground for the children, and those who want to meet up in larger groups or for a party.  In winter there are curling rinks and a cosy alpine hut.

Prachtgespann Löwenbräu
Prachtgespann Löwenbräu…Magnificent Team Löwenbräu

Festwagen mit Bedienungen

Festwagen mit Bedienungen…Floats with waitresses

Festwagen Die Damischen Ritter

Hans-Peter Stadler and the board of the Turmfalken association, known as the Damischen Ritter (Damian Knights). The Turmfalken association meets every Thursday in the Löwenbräukeller. The men’s charitable club was founded in 1928 in the tower of the inn – hence the name Turmfalken.

Pschorr Bräurosl
Spielmannszug Schleißheimer Schloßpfeiffer
The “Schleißheimer Schloßpfeiffer” were founded in 1979 by Manfred Pfanzelt. The marching band currently has 70 active players between the ages of 8 and 65. More than half are girls. The “Schleißheimer Schloßpfeiffer” always appear in their historical uniforms that originate from the 2nd Line Infantry Regiment Electoral Prince 1805.

Ludwig Thoma Musikanten

Rainer Hernek & Ludwig Thoma Musikanten’s orchestra was founded in 1963 by young musicians who had outgrown the Dachau boys’ band. After the 2013 Oktoberfest, the management of the band was passed on to the  long-standing trombonist, Rainer Hernek, who himself has been a regular musician since 1989.

Festkutsche mit Familie Heide

The Heide family is said goodbye to the Oktoberfest after 83 years and will no longer runs the Bräurosl tent. According to the company, the intention was to restructure and realign the restaurant in Planegg, a suburb of Munich.

Prachtgespann Bräurosl

Pschorr Bräurosl horses pulling barrels

Festwagen mit Bedienungen
Float with Waitresses
Spielmannszug Ebersberg
The Ebersberg marching band was founded in 1959. Today’s marching band began as a pure drummer’s band with six drummers. After a short time, fanfares and flutes were added. In 2009 the marching band celebrated its 50th anniversary and today’s costumes were reintroduced.

Festkutsche mit Familie Roiderer

The Wiesn host family Roiderer has for four generations owned the Gasthof zum Wildpark in the Upper Bavarian village of Straßlach south of Munich. What’s special is that meat and sausages come exclusively from the in-house butchery which is why they also have a separate changing meat menu.

Festwagen mit Bedienungen

Float with Waitresses

Prachtgespann Hacker-Pschorr Brau

Hacker-Pschorr Brau horses pulling barrels

Augustiner Festhalle
Trachtenverein Waldfrieden Großhadern
Traditional costume association was formed in 1934, by nine boys and one girl. With the forest nearby and wanting a ‘peaceful’ association the name Waldfrieden (forest peace) was selected.  January 1935 they were accepted as a member in the Isargau under the name Waldfrieden in Munich-Großhadern.

Spielmannszug Grafing

The Grafing marching band has a classic line-up of whistle, also called minstrel flute, lyre, marching and parade drums, bass drums and cymbal, the ensemble plays classic pieces such as the “Bozner Bergsteigermarsch” or the “Yorkscher Marsch” through to more modern pieces such as “Puppets on a String ” or “Roses from Malaga”.

Augustiner-Festhalle Kapelle Rainer Hagitte

The Augustiner Kapellmeister (Festival Chapel) can trace its roots back to 1949, under the Kapellmeister (conductor) Schirmer, and since 2001 under Reinhard Hagitte. This is one of the few bands that get together only at the Oktoberfest. The musicians are from all over the south, from Freilassing to Stuttgart.

Die Münchner Schäffler

Die Münchner Schäffler…The Munich Schäfflertanz origins date from 1517, when Munich was ravaged by the plague when community life almost succumbed entirely. The Coopers (barrel-makers) performed a round dance to the sound of music, with arches decorated with green leaves. 

Festkutsche mit Familie Vollmer
The Vollmer family from the Augustiner Festhalle own the Augustiner Bräustuben, located Just around the corner from the Theresienwiese, in a historic brick building in Landsberger Straße where you can not only eat and drink well and cheaply, but the malt used in brewing beer is still produced here in the traditional way.

Festwagen mit Bedienungen

Float with Waitresses

Prachtgespann Augustiner

Augustiner horses pulling barrels

Festkutsche mit Familie Steinberg
Silja Schrank-Steinberg and her brother Ricky Steinberg also he Hofbräukeller on Wiener Platz in Haidhausen. This is not only popular for the good Hofbräu beer and its Kaiserschmarrn, but also for the beautiful beer garden in summer. Also owned by the Steinberg family is the the Harlachinger Jagdschlössl   located In the middle of the beautiful Munich district of Harlaching.

Festwagen mit Bedienungen

Float with Waitresses

Spielmannszug Holzkirchen

Spielmannszug Holzkirchen is part of the Musikzug Holzkirchen e.V. from the Upper and Lower Bavaria district association Isar/Mangfall. Founded in 1969 by Franz Grad and a handful of dedicated men. His brother Fritz Grad now runs the club.

Prachtgespann Hofbräu

Hofbräu horses pulling barrels

Musikkapelle Mathias Achatz
The Oktoberfest chapel band led by trumpetier Mathias Achatz play from a 4-man line-up (trumpet, tenor horn, tuba, chords) to traditional high-quality brass music with solo performances by the individual musicians to classic party bands with light music, hits etc. in big band sound with vocals, current Mood music with singing.

Ludwig Thoma Musikanten

Rainer Hernek & Ludwig Thoma Musikanten’s orchestra was founded in 1963 by young musicians who had outgrown the Dachau boys’ band. After the 2013 Oktoberfest, the management of the band was passed on to the  long-standing trombonist, Rainer Hernek, who himself has been a regular musician since 1989.

Festwagen mit Bedienungen

Float with Waitresses

Spielmannszug der Feuerwehr Freising
The Freising fire brigade is particularly proud of its marching band, which was founded on January 3, 1963 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Freising volunteer fire brigade. It began with six whistlers and seven drummers under the direction of Georg Sandtner. The band has grown to over 40 members.

Platzl Oktoberfestkapelle

The origin of the band “Platzl-Oktoberfestkapelle” centres around the “Armbrustschützen” (cross bow men) tent. During the last 6 decades, the brass band “Unterbrunner”, conducted by Adolf Beham for more than 35 years, has provided the musical ambience in this tent.

Armbrustschützengilde München

The Crossbow Shooting Guild Winzerer Fähndl  combines tradition and modern sport in their club.  They combine tradition and modern sport in their crossbow riflemen’s guild. As a historical costume club, they  take part in events such as historical festivals and parades in Landsknecht garb. To them the shooting has the same importance as the tradition.

Festkutsche mit Familie Inselkammer

Already deeply rooted in several generations. Franz Inselkammer senior, 84, and his wife Angela, 60, as well as Franz Inselkammer jr., 36, and sister Ursula, 39, run a well-known brewery and inn in Aying near Munich – an institution in the seventh generation.

Festwagen mit Bedienungen

Float with Waitresses

Vorreiterin und Fischer vom Bayerischen Fischerei-Verband
Featuring fishermen marching with their rods from the Landesfischereiverband Bayern e. V. (the Bavarian State Fishing Association).  People along the route tend to greet the fishermen with loud calls of Petri Heil (Good Luck).

Sepp Folger und seine Münchner Musikanten

Sepp Folger founded his band, Sepp Folger und seine Münchner Musikanten in 1974 with colleagues. Their first appearance at the Oktoberfest was 1989 in the Fischer-Vroni tent performing at that time under the name the “Munich Musicians ” under Ltg.von Kapellmeister Josef Folger. 

Fischerkahn mit Familie Stadtmüller

Fischerkahn mit Familie Stadtmüller.
Text reads:  Schon als der Großvater die Großmutter nahm trafen sie sich am Fischer-Vroni Rahn…Even when grandfather took grandmother, they met at Fischer-Vroni Rahn

Fischer-Vroni Festwagen mit Bedienungen

Fischer-Vroni Float with Waitresses

Fanfarenzug Münchner Musketiere
The group was formed in 1978 when 5 trumpeters, 5 trombonists, 3 marching drummers and 2 Landsknecht drummers had the idea to found their own marching band, and thus today’s Munich Musketeers Association was born.

Historisches Prachtgespann Augustiner

Rainer Hernek & Ludwig Thoma Musikanten’s orchestra was founded in 1963 by young musicians who had outgrown the Dachau boys’ band. After the 2013 Oktoberfest, the management of the band was passed on to the  long-standing trombonist, Rainer Hernek, who himself has been a regular musician since 1989.

Marstall Festzelt
Blaskapelle Feldmoching
Blaskapelle Feldmoching e.V…The brass band Feldmoching e.V. The brass band was founded in 1965 in the north of Munich. The approx. 40 amateur musicians perform the repertoire consisting of Bavarian / Bohemian wind music, concert and church music

Festkutsche mit Familie Able

The Able host family, Sabine and Siegfried Able, daughters Vanessa and Verena, operate eight catering establishments in Munich that include the lake biergarten Lerchenau, and several stands in Munich Central Station , the Stachus basement, Hellabrunn Zoo, at the Tollwood Festival  and at the Christmas market at Marienplatz.

Festwagen mit Bedienungen

Float with Waitresses