Twenty minutes from the Oktoberfest fairground lies Campingplatz Obermenzing, the campground The Stoke Travel Co. invades every September to host thousands of international travellers coming to Munich for the annual beer festival at Theresienwiese. After 8 years of invasion, Stoke Travel is officially the biggest party outside the party with around 2500 guests continuing the revelling back at camp after the beer halls close each night.
Oktoberfest in Munich attracts over seven million visitors annually and in 2016, Stoke Travel is poised to host over 8000 revellers at its campsite just outside of town. Stoketoberfest, as it is affectionately known, is the biggest campsite package provider by a German mile (kilometer actually, they are Germany after all). Stoke provides camping accommodation in pre-erected tents with mattresses and sleeping bags provided, breakfast and dinner every day, massive campsite parties, onsite DJs, live radios shows and a few other surprises, including unlimited beer and sangria.
The Stoke Travel Co. started hosting Oktoberfest revellers seven years ago. Initially they began with a handful of customers left over from their summer surf camp, a few tents and a single food grill. Fast forward a few years and the company has a volunteer staff of over 130 people to help their permanent staff ensure a smooth-running and exceptional festival campsite. Stoke believes this is because their ‘festival within a festival’ provides more than just accommodation.
Chairman of the Board, Wade ‘Gravy’ Davis comments, “Stoketoberfest is more than just tents and teepees. It’s where all of your new best friends are, it’s an open bar and two cooked meals a day, daily entertainment and bands and dance parties. Stoketoberfest is a couple of thousand people having the times of their lives.”
On September 15, 2016 over 2000 keen beer (or sangria) drinkers will converge upon Campingplatz Obermenzing to kick off the proceedings and experience the other side of Oktoberfest. The side where fairies and circus performers prelude and follow-up the celebration of all things beery. Jamie Turner, festival manager at Stoke Travel notes, “This is the type of Stoke festival where travellers can’t wipe the smile off their faces. No matter how cold or wet Munich may get this time of year, it does not stop them or us from having a good time. It is so much more than just a beer festival. You can’t explain in words, you need to come visit to see for yourself.” The camping is open for nearly three weeks, closing the day after the halls officially close (October 2). Conveniently located on an easy public transport route, Stoke provides guides to lead guests on local transport to the festival. Toby Paramor, CEO of Stoke notes, “We accept the fact that people aren’t just here to party with us, no matter how cool we think we are. So we guide them into the beer halls of Munich and showcase this cultural phenomenon.”
If punters want to join the madness, they can get onboard with a Stoke bus departing from Europe’s biggest cities including Barcelona, London, Budapest, Prague, Paris, Amsterdam via The Hague and Turin via Milan. They can also travel there independently and meet at the campsite on any date. Davis concludes, “From humble beginnings Stoketoberfest is no longer just another Oktoberfest accommodation option, it is now its own unique beast, a breathing, snorting, gyrating monster of a party for everybody”.
Some of the stats:
Biggest number of guests on one night – 2500
Total number of guests – 8000
Different nationalities – 65
Stokie staff to look after good times – 130
Litres of beer and sangria served at campsite – 72,000