Wandering down Market Street whilst bearing a striking resemblance to an extra from The Sound of Music, I felt it was safe to say that Oktoberfest had arrived in St Andrews. It was sure to be an evening of steins, dirndls, pretzels, and good old Bavarian joviality. The 10th annual St Andrews Charity Oktoberfest filled a sizeable day-drinking gap in the Fife calendar, and from 2pm until well after 10, it was a day requiring an impressive show of stamina.
Paulaner, the Bavarian chief Brewer, stocked the bars with litre steins, each for a respectable £5. For those that were wary of consuming innumerable pints of Bavaria’s finest, Jagermeister was on tap. The huge inflatable bottles hanging from the ceiling certainly encouraged revellers to indulge in this earthly delight. Bratwurst, pretzels, and shredded pork were also available from various stalls to keep party-goes in high spirits all day. Fairy lights, coloured garlands, and traditional Bavarian tablecloths decorated every inch of Kinkell, yet it was the colourful lederhosen and dirndls that transported guests to the beer halls of Munich.
Entertainment, aside from the antics of those who had consumed one too many steins, came in the form of “Stoaback Buam”, a traditional Bavarian oompah band who kept everyone on their feet with a mixture of classic German songs, alongside the best of Robbie Williams. For the more adventurous types, La Bamba, the infamous May Ball fairground ride, kept guests entertained. Surprisingly, the mixture of copious amounts of beer and aggressive rotating did not result in chunder-gate, a resounding success formerly unheard of at a St Andrews event.
The mixture of students, both current and returned, the who’s who of German society, and the occasional moustached tatler photographer made for outstanding company on a glorious day, and an even better evening. The promotional video boasted 5000 litres of beer, and I’m pretty sure that the Oktoberfest Komity got rid of it all. The number of lederhosen spotted around town the morning after certainly showed that I was not the only one to enjoy the evening.
For better or for wurst, this was a night to remember. I cannot wait for next year.
All photography is courtesy of Lightbox Creative St Andrews.