Glasgow Oktoberfest beer festival cancelled

PLANS for a Munich-style beer festival in the heart of Glasgow have fallen flat after organisers cancelled the event.

The event had been planned for later this month.
The event had been planned for later this month.
The event had been planned for later this month.

Licensing chiefs in the city had refused to grant the Oktoberfest an alcohol licence following police complaints which included details of violence, drunkenness and disorder at the event last year.

Organisers had tried to find a new venue in the city where they would be allowed to sell beer after their original application was knocked back but they have now cancelled the whole event.

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An Oktoberfest spokesman said: “After a long fight for a licence which got rejected at several potential venues we now have no chance to come to Glasgow this year. Be assured we did all possible to make it.

“We refunded all ticket holders in full and they should receive the money back on their card within 5-10 working days.

“We are so sorry this is happening but hope to be back 2017.”

Costing around £35 for a seat, two large beers and a snack and up to £800 for a corporate table ticket, Oktoberfest was scheduled to take place in Blythswood Square between October 19 and 23.

As well as serving beer, the event includes German food and Oompa bands in a tent with a capacity for 1800 people.

But Police Scotland raised concerns about the location and alerted the city’s licensing board to a string of major failings at last year’s Glasgow Green event.

As part of its objection, a statement on behalf of Police Scotland Chief Constable Phil Gormley, included details of last year’s Oktoberfest where it was claimed the majority of 2,200 revellers were heavily under the influence of alcohol by 4.30pm.

The force said it warned staff about serving alcohol to intoxicated customers, adding: “The event continued, however the atmosphere soon changed and a number of fights broke out, approximately 25 persons were ejected by stewards for being too drunk.”

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The complaints included details of a Dutch soldier who was arrested for fighting with other festival-goers after he fell off tables at the event.

Officers told organisers they should not allow anyone else into the tent and limit sales to one drink per person but despite this “allowing the atmosphere to settle down” two public order vans were required to quell growing disturbances. The bar closed at 9.45pm and the event shut by 11pm.

Police also objected to a bid to allow children into the Blythswood venue, saying they could be subject to harm from drunken revellers.

Fears over traffic congestion and public safety on roads and pavements were also highlighted as concerns.

Revellers took to the Oktoberfest Facebook page to express their disappointment at the event being scrapped.

Dave Cosworth wrote: “Beer festival cancelled in Glasgow, due to worries about people getting drunk, in Glasgow. So does this mean every pub in Glasgow is now closed going by this logic?”

Colette Hamill added: “No beers and sausages”, while Lyndsey Dodwell said: “Gutted.”

An Oktoberfest event will go ahead in Edinburgh this week and Aberdeen next week.