It is 5am, 20th September, 2014: the city of Munich is already up and about. From every corner women and men, girls and boys, all dressed in traditional Bavarian clothing gather at the “Wiesn”; creating a state of emergency in the city for the upcoming 14 days. With the unique smell of beer and roasted almonds in the air, and cotton candy everywhere – the subway feels like a steam sauna with one too many people – men tend, now more than ever, not to look into women’s eyes, as there is only ONE place to be – the Oktoberfest!
In Bavaria we have the saying: After the Oktoberfest is before the Oktoberfest! Which means Munich’s waited for 351 days and 12 hours for the 20th October 2014 to come! And then the BIG DAY – the “Anstich”. This year was super exciting, as it was the honour of the new mayor of Munich to tap the first keg and drink the first Maß of Oktoberfest 2014 beer at 12pm. The whole city of Munich held its breath – 1, 2, 3 (“Loser!!!”), 4 beats were necessary to tap the opening. Some curses, and a lot of beer foam, later, the waiting crowd got the beer they had been longing for since 5am. Doesn’t that sound like fun? You have no idea – and of course, STYLIGHT wanted to join the fun!
Sunday, 28th of September: Each and every STYLIGHTer meets dressed up in various traditional Bavarian clothing (making fashion statements in Dirndl and Lederhosen in all colours and shapes) by the big ferris wheel at the Oktoberfest. Being greeted with goodie bags containing various sweets, liquid nourishment and vouchers has its perks. But try meeting up with over 60 people at Oktoberfest without losing each other: so–surprise surprise–we lost a few people on our way. Luckily we found everyone in time to have our ride together on the big ferris wheel: The view was breathtaking! Everybody started taking a massive amount of photos of the view of the crowded Oktoberfest on a sunny Sunday afternoon (“It didn’t happen if it isn’t on Instagram!”).
Afterwards everybody waded through the masses to the “Teufelsrad”, a local fair ride where all of our employees joined the fun to stay onto the moving platform – screaming and adrenalin included of course. Holding onto your team mates for your dear life is the only way not to get thrown of the platform. The crowd watching and the moderator mocking our poor efforts just doubled our fun!
Afterwards on our way to the Schützen tent we–surprise!–lost some people again. But in the end, after stumbling upon several places to have a little pre-drink, everyone found our reserved box in the best tent. Our tables had already been prepared with delicious “Obazda” and “Brezen” to accommodate every famished STYLIGHTer. We promptly ordered the first round of beers for everyone, to satisfy their overwhelming thirst, and do what is expected of you at Oktoberfest: enjoy the amazing specially brewed German beer. The one beer turned into another and we began to alternate between the amazing German food, like “Hendl” or “Kaiserschmarren”.
As the music turned up the whole team soon started dancing on tables and benches, singing along to each and every song. All of this combined, lowered people’s inhibitions to talk to team members they don’t often work directly with – it also lowered the inhibition to talk amazingly good English, and actually also really good Spanish, Italian, Russian, French… no matter where everyone was from.
The evening progressed further after a few more beers and some more dancing and singing. So, after last orders was called, the team was excited to go to the P1 club, where we were welcomed in the VIP area with massive bottles of our favourite drinks. Due to the awesome music, everybody soon joined together on the dance floor to dance the night away.
Only a few short hours later, it was time for work. Coming into the office the following Monday morning was a hilarious sight! Hungover and tired but with a huge smile on our faces, and having made some new friends, everybody was praising our trip to the Oktoberfest: It was not only a fun team event for STYLIGHT, but also an awesome way of including all of our amazing employees in a huge traditional festivity, visited by millions of people every year.
There is no better team building for STYLIGHTers than falling down from the benches and tables on the Oktoberfest, helping each other up again and having a laugh about it the next day at work. More than ever, we are so very proud to bleed purple!