Bavaria Nixes Oktoberfest

Public health risk will still be too high in 5 months, authorities say

Since social distancing and Oktoberfest go together about as well as beer and milk, this year’s festival in Bavaria has become the latest COVID-19 casualty. This is the first time the beerfest has been cancelled since World War II and Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter says it is a “bitter pill to swallow,” Bloomberg reports.

Last year’s festival attracted around 6 million visitors. This year’s event had been scheduled to run from Sept. 19 to Oct. 4, but authorities said that with no coronavirus vaccine available, the public health risk was simply too high, the Guardian reports.

This isn’t the first disease-related cancellation in Oktoberfest’s 210-year history: It was called off amid cholera outbreaks in 1854 and 1873. Other iconic events including the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain have also been called off, reports the AP.