Oktoberfest hailed a huge success as 10,000 drinkers make it a smash hit

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ORGANISERS have hailed this year’s Oktoberfest a ‘great success’.

The Bavarian-style beer festival welcomed over 10,000 people across two days and Andy Marsh, who co-organises the event with Luke Betts and Ben Miles, said: ‘People absolutely loved it.

From left, Chris Girgis, Luis Goncales and Charlie O'Callaghan  (171222-1)

From left, Chris Girgis, Luis Goncales and Charlie O'Callaghan (171222-1)

‘Friday night was a lighter session but it didn’t take long for people to get into the spirit of it all across the weekend.’

Sarah Kattenhorn came to the event in Portsmouth’s Guildhall Square with friends.

The 50-year-old said: ‘This year is my first time and it has an amazing atmosphere.

‘The Square is such a good place to hold Oktoberfest.’

From left, Louisa Mackintosh, Gilly Wiley from Waterloovile and Kate Whettingsteel (171222-1)

From left, Louisa Mackintosh, Gilly Wiley from Waterloovile and Kate Whettingsteel (171222-1)

This year sees the return of the festival after its inaugural event last year.

Andy said: ‘This is our second year and hopefully we have improved on last time as we learned a lot from the first year.

‘The council seems really happy with it as well as it is promoting the city and the Guildhall.’

Andy, who also organises Victorious Festival, hoped the event would continue for at least another decade.

Drinkers toast the occasion (171222-1)

Drinkers toast the occasion (171222-1)

He added: ‘We would love to keep it going as long as people want it.

‘It has got to be one of the biggest on the south coast and we hope the best.’

The spectacle created over 500 temporary jobs including bar staff, caterers, security and clean-up teams.

Andy said: ‘It took a week to get the tent and all the bars and stalls up and it will take a day to get it all down again.’

Revellers at Oktoberfest in Guildhall Square  Pictures: Ian Hargreaves

Revellers at Oktoberfest in Guildhall Square Pictures: Ian Hargreaves

The tent which covered Guildhall Square for the weekend was specially-designed for the event.

Andy said: ‘The roof was clear, which gives a different vibe to the daytime session and it had to be high enough to fit over the Queen Victoria statue in the middle.’

The main tent served 35,000 pints of beer across the weekend and hosted live bands to entertain crowds over the three sessions.

Andy added: ‘We have live bands such as Oompah Brass and they do all the classic wedding and party songs with their instruments and make sure all the crowd are up and getting involved.’

Many of the crowd got into the spirit of the event by dressing up in traditional lederhosen.

One group of revellers who styled the Bavarian look was friends Georgina Lofting, Becky Davage and Kyle Needs.

Sophie Bennett and Alex McGeorge  (171222-1)

Sophie Bennett and Alex McGeorge (171222-1)

Georgina, 25, said: ‘The music is really good and its a great game to guess which pop song they are playing.’

Becky, from Portsmouth, said: ‘We came to have some fun and we came last year as well and it was good so we booked our tickets for this year as soon as they were released.’

The 23-year-old added: ‘It’s nice to have an event in the build-up to Christmas and we will definitely be back next year.’

Kyle, 22, said: ‘It is a good place to hold the event because it is so 
easy to get to and everyone knows where it is so it’s easy to meet up with friends.

‘Portsmouth people like to have fun and it is so nice to do something a little bit different at the weekend.’

The festival was inspired by the original Oktoberfest which has been held in Munich since 1810.

Andy said: ‘We have tried to keep it the same as the original Oktoberfest in Germany and everyone gets to take home a traditional Stein.’

Friends James Lynch and Roy Heartfield went to the festival to enjoy their favourite drink.

Roy said: ‘We live locally and we thought this is a fun way to enjoy beer and something different to do with friends.’

The 39-year-old added: ‘We came to the day session and the evening one will probably be a bit more lively but there is still a nice vibe.’

James said: ‘I think all these events round Portsmouth like Oktoberfest and Victorious are replacing the dance scene we used to have in the city.

‘People in Portsmouth like having fun.’

Andy added: ‘Portsmouth people love a good party and I think with Victorious and Mutiny as well people are beginning to the see Portsmouth as a great place for events.’

Revellers enjoy their time at Oktoberfest.

Picture by Woodland

Revellers enjoy their time at Oktoberfest. Picture by Woodland

The Oompa Brass Band got everybody into the spirit of the festival.

Picture: Keith Woodland

The Oompa Brass Band got everybody into the spirit of the festival. Picture: Keith Woodland