Stage is set for Portsmouth's version of Oktoberfest spectacle

Swallowing up the bulk of Guildhall Square, this is the massive beer tent set to stage Portsmouth's version of the internationally-renowned Oktoberfest.

Preparations for the Oktoberfest in Guildhall Square 

Picture:  Malcolm Wells (161025-3050)
Preparations for the Oktoberfest in Guildhall Square Picture: Malcolm Wells (161025-3050)

Work is well under way on the construction of the attraction where thousands of spectators fired up for some Bavarian-inspired fun will congregate, drink and sing.

It will be a hub of German entertainment as the widely-regarded Oompah Brass perform their own blend of ‘oompop’ across all three of the festival’s sessions.

And 30,000 litres of German beer have been ordered in to ensure no-one goes thirsty.

The spectacle has been put together by the organisers of Portsmouth’s Victorious and Mutiny Festivals.

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    Victorious director and Oktoberfest co-organiser, Andy Marsh, said he can’t wait to see the occasion get started.

    The action starts tomorrow between 6pm and 11pm.

    Saturday afternoon’s session takes place from midday to 5pm, and the final session happens that evening from 6pm to 11pm.

    It is anticipated 10,000 people will pour through the doors over both days.

    Mr Marsh said: ‘Just going down there and seeing how far we’ve got with it is amazing.

    ‘The whole thing will cover the civic office steps and completely take in the Queen Victoria statue.

    ‘Nothing like that has happened down there before.

    ‘We went along to the Brighton version, which is on a smaller scale, and the atmosphere was electric. It was so much fun.

    ‘The Oompah band was fantastic and everyone gets to sing along and has a great time.’

    Spectators to the Portsmouth Oktoberfest will be given sheets to guide them through a sing-along and an abundance of German food will be on offer.

    Plus there’s other drinks available for people who don’t fancy a beer.

    There will be a main German session beer as well as a specialist Oktoberfest brew for those who want to get in the spirit of the occasion, the city’s version of the 
world-famous Munich spectacle.

    Mr Marsh said: ‘For us, it’s another way of showcasing Portsmouth and putting it on the map.

    ‘We’ve got music and beer festivals here, the Spinnaker Tower and a football team which is doing pretty well.

    ‘It’s all helping to boost the city.

    ‘Hopefully people who have been to the Oktoberfest in Munich will come along and be impressed.’

    Tickets are still available for the Friday evening and Saturday day-time sessions.

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    AN IMPRESSIVE time-lapse video has been created documenting the construction of the Portsmouth Oktoberfest beer tent.

    Footage of a huge crane fitting into place the skeleton of the structure has been rolling from the Big Screen at Portsmouth Guildhall Square – and broadcast on Facebook for people to see.

    The 30-second clip shows a crane positioned in the square moving beams towering above the steps leading up to the Portsmouth City Council civic offices and the Queen Victoria statue.

    Workers are then shown on a platform slotting extra parts of the beer tent structure into place.

    Organisers have also released the following information prior to the event for visitors:

    n Proof of age will be required on entry to the event and at all bars when alcohol is being purchased.

    n A Challenge 25 policy will be forced.

    n Last entry will be two hours after each session opens – for the day sessions that’s 2pm and for the evening sessions it’s 8pm.

    n Once you have entered the event site you can not leave and re-enter again.

    n Anyone found dancing on tables, benches and chairs or acting inappropriately may be asked to leave.

    n Visitors are being advised to wrap up warm as part of the event is outdoors.

    n Spectators are being encouraged to come in fancy dress – but no offensive or inappropriate costumes will be allowed.

    n Travel arrangements should also be made ahead of the event.

    Anyone with further questions can check the FAQ and terms and conditions pages at