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Moorgate: How London Oktoberfest offers a German party on the Elizabeth Line

Formerly on the Isle Of Dogs, the event is in Finsbury Square a short ride from Canary Wharf

London Oktoberfest will take place in Ealing and Moorgate in 2023

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I have some sympathy with TfL.

Trying to cover all the places that Liverpool Street station now connects to is no easy task, with the Elizabeth Line now meeting the Circle, Hammersmith And City, Metropolitan and Central lines as well as the Overground and National Rail at the interchange.

That there’s a direct exit from the Liz Line and connection to Moorgate, often gets lost in the mix – but it makes for a whole range of extra possibilities for those using the link, including onward journeys via the Northern line and northbound rail services.

It’s more than that too, of course. It also puts everything that part of the city has to offer within easy reach of Canary Wharf – a seven-minute ride from the estate’s station.

For Carsten Raun, this alteration in the physical infrastructure of the capital means pitching the London Oktoberfest tent at Finsbury Square makes all kinds of sense.

“We actually started in the UK at Cambridge this year and now we’re coming again to London – first in Ealing and then at Finsbury Square near Moorgate,” said the event director and organiser.

“We’ve been on the Isle Of Dogs in previous years and, in 2023, we’re a little closer to Canary Wharf again.

“The transport is really great in this location, so I think it’s easy for people to get there.

“It’s great to be back – we have been running in the capital for more than 10 years. 

“Of course, we will be offering the bratwurst, pretzels and schnitzel that people love and the beer imported directly from our brewery in Bavaria.

“They make two different wonderful draught beers for us, one is the FestBeer, which is a sweet lager and then a craft beer.”

The beer served is from Ebermannstadt in Bavaria

Specifically, the beer hails from the small town of Ebermannstadt, located to the north of Nuremberg.

Located beside the river Wiesent, the Bavarian FestBeer Brewery dates back to 1776 and originally operated as a communal facility for the local population.

Its flagship brew uses malt from Vienna and Hallertauer hops for a pleasant level of bitterness combined with floral and herbal aromas.

“We’ll be having a band from Germany again, playing throughout our run inside the tent,” said Carsten. 

“I call it Oktoberfest music – traditional music as well as songs that people can sing along with.

“The capacity of the venue is 1,800 people and that makes for a really great party. We’re very much back to pre-pandemic times, people just want to have a great night out.

“We’ll also be bringing our outstanding Halloween Party back on October 28, where people are welcome to dress up to have some spooky fun.

“The last weekend in November will be focused on a luxury experience for companies and corporate clients who would like to celebrate. 

“There will be a special lunch for businesses from noon-5pm on November 2 and 3, where they can bring clients to entertain them.

“Personally, I’m looking forward to Halloween.

“Each year we do it I’m really surprised by how much effort people put into their costumes, although you don’t need to be dressed up to get in, of course.

“Some are very terrifying. It’s also worth mentioning that any size of group can be seated together if they book at the same time and for the same package.”

Standard entry starts at £5 although there are a number of packages available as well as the option to buy or rent traditional leather lederhosen and dirndl dresses.

Bavarian Tickets cost between £25 and £32, with seating in the middle part of the tent, a 1.5 pint measure of FestBeer, bratwurst in a roll and a German snack.

Costumes are available to hire for the event

The Oktoberfest package includes the food, two beers, seating in the front part of the tent and a shot of Underberg – an alcoholic digestive distillation from Germany. These tickets cost £45-£50.

A further £15 per head buys a VIP package with seating in front of the band, a glass of German sparkling wine, two beers, Underberg and schnitzel with Bavarian potato salad.

Corporate packages are flexible with various food and drink options on offer and dedicated table service for parties of eight or more. Prices per person start at £100.

l London Oktoberfest typically runs on Thursdays and Fridays from 5pm-11pm and on Saturdays from 11am-4.30pm and 5.30pm to 11pm. Tickets for general admission start at £5.

The event runs at Walpole Park in Ealing from October 19-21, 2023, and at Finsbury Square near Moorgate from October 26-28, 2023, and November 2-4, 2023.

Find out more about London Oktoberfest

Read more: Sign up for the Santa Stair Climb at One Canada Square

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via
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Canada Water: London Oktoberfest pitches up in Dock X on the Rotherhithe Peninsula

Event promises to blend German traditions with British atmosphere in an all-weather venue

In previous years London Oktoberfest has been held in tents

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Event venue Dock X is set to reverberate with the sounds of a party that started more than 200 years ago. The Canada Water warehouse space will host London Oktoberfest for three weekends this autumn. 

The tradition has its origins in a wedding party held in 1810 for the crown prince of Bavaria (who later became King Ludwig I), which lasted five days culminating in a horse race. Having got a taste for celebration, the following year an agricultural fair was tagged on with food and drink stalls for visitors.

By the 20th century these had become vast beer halls with each local brewery hosting up to 6,000 people a day over the last two weeks in September.  

Its something former banker Carsten Raun knows all about. It’s a tradition he’s successfully been bringing to London since 2011.

“It’s the 10th anniversary since we first brought the authentic Oktoberfest to London, which is a celebration in itself,” he said. 

“First of all, we’ll have the original beer and sausage from Germany, just as we always have, despite Brexit. The mood in the hall is always fantastic with live oompah music.

“The Brits and Germans share a love of beer, it’s a common theme between the two countries – we brought it to London and found people really love it. The German traditions and the British attitude fit together perfectly.

“This time we have some different ideas too. Dock X is a new venue for us and it means the weather won’t affect the event.

“In many ways it’s like the tents in Munich which are really permanent structures laid out like beer halls.

“There is no Oktoberfest there this year because they’ve decided it’s not the right time to hold an event that sees six million people come from all around the world. 

“We can do this in London because it is a local event with a capacity of 1,500 people and we’ll be following all of the government rules with hand sanitising available throughout the venue.”

Dancing and singing are encouraged at London Oktoberfest

For those quick off the mark, tickets are still available for the October 1-2 sessions at the Canada Water venue before the event returns to Rotherhithe from November 4-6 and 11-13.

For those prepared to travel to west London, there will be a chance to sup from a stein under canvas when London Oktoberfest pitches its traditional tent for Halloween from October 28-31. 

Those visiting the pop-up in Ealing’s Walpole Park are invited to dress up for a spooky session, with families also welcome on the Sunday.

Carsten said: “In addition to Halloween, we will also be hosting Pink Oktoberfest when we’re back in Canada Water on November 5.

“This started some years ago and now we’re hosting it for the LGBTQIA+ community to show there is some Oktoberfest for everybody – it will be very welcoming.

“While it is a new world since Brexit and the pandemic and it hasn’t been so easy to organise, we have found a way to bring the beer, the food and all our stuff to London.

“It’s something we want to keep doing. For all of our events, I hope people come and experience the same great atmosphere that we always had before Covid. It’s time to raise those steins again.

“It’s so exciting to be coming back to London again and it will be a really wonderful feeling to see people enjoying themselves. 

“We hope that the events we are hosting will act as a second freedom day so that people can have a chance to celebrate.”  

Prices for Oktoberfest start at £5 for general entry, with a multitude of options available including VIP and corporate packages. Dock X is located within easy walking distance of Canada Water station.

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