An Oktoberfest in the desert – the announcement sounded good. But sand got in the way several times, the festival has not yet taken place. A legal dispute has now been settled: Only Munich has the real Wiesn.

The Munich Oktoberfest, which was canceled due to corona, after Dubai: This was the impression the organizers of a festival in the desert state gave last year and caused a sensation.

But so far there hasn’t been the announced folk festival in Dubai – and if it should really happen this fall as recently announced, the organizers must not advertise that the real Wiesn is moving to Dubai.

On Thursday in the trial before the Higher Regional Court in Munich, they undertook to refrain from phrases such as “Oktoberfest goes Dubai” and “Oktoberfest Dubai” or “The traditional Oktoberfest at the site of the EXPO 2021 world exhibition” – if they are coupled with a similar statement, the Munich one Oktoberfest is moving to Dubai.

Photos may no longer be used either

The organizers had submitted an extensive cease-and-desist declaration to the city of Munich, after which the legal dispute was declared settled, an OLG spokesman said. The organizers of the event, which has been postponed several times, are no longer allowed to use photos of the real Wiesn, for example with lettering such as “The largest folk festival in the world in Dubai”, if the impression is given that it is the original Oktoberfest.

The district court in Munich I had already ruled last summer that this type of advertising was based on the world-wide reputation of the Wiesn. With announcements such as “Oktoberfest goes Dubai”, the organizers gave the wrong impression that the traditional festival was moving to the Arab Emirate, the court decided at the time at the request of the city of Munich. The organizers of the Dubai event had appealed against this decision.

“It’s a clear message to free riders. The Wiesn is not suitable for this,” commented the head of the Munich Wiesn, economics officer Clemens Baumgärtner, on the cease-and-desist declaration.

Oktoberfest is often imitated

The Oktoberfest is known around the world – and is often imitated. Before the pandemic, Bavarian cosiness was booming under palm trees in the Caribbean and in the far north. There were a good 2,000 folk festivals around the world that were also called Oktoberfest. “But they didn’t give the impression that they were the Munich original,” explained Baumgärtner. The difference to Dubai is that these other folk festivals had their own identity.

Of course, the organizers of the Dubai event see things differently. “We’re not taking anything away from the Oktoberfest,” said lawyer Manfred Zipper. “These are two completely different folk festivals.” That was different a year ago, at least in public.

The organizers of the event in Dubai initially announced the festival for October 2021, but then postponed it – and justified this with the pandemic. Then the festival was supposed to take place in 2022, but nothing has come of it either.

According to new plans by the makers, the desert Oktoberfest could now begin on October 15 and last three months. With 400,000 square meters, they even want to top the Munich Wiesn with almost 350,000 square meters. But even now, “nothing is fixed,” says Zipper, again justifying this with the pandemic. Everything is “still relatively vague”.