Calling all beer lovers
After its successful debut in 2013, Munich Oktoberfest is returning to Beijing from Aug 15 to 30 for a celebration of beer and Bavarian culture at the Olympic Forest Park.
In addition to German beer and food, festivalgoers will also be treated to authentic Bavarian music and dance performances, all housed under an 11,000-square meter beer tent— the largest in the world. Chinese rock band Black Panther, rock singer-songwriter Zheng Jun and pop star Jike Junyi will perform at the opening ceremony on Aug 15.
Li Tong, a guitarist for Black Panther and co-founder of the band, says this will be the group’s first performance at Munich Oktoberfest. “I can still recall a beer festival we performed at in Qingdao, Shandong province, around 1993, which was very impressive. The audience was very energetic and with music and beer, we had a great party that night,” says Li.
Black Panther will perform four songs, mostly new works from their album Who We Are, which was released last year after a nine-year hiatus. The album introduced a new singer, Zhang Qi, the band’s 10th leading vocalist in 25 years.
“We’ve performed at music festivals and participated in variety shows since we released the new album,” Li says. “I am glad to see that the feedback from audiences has been feverish.”
Pop singer Jike Junyi, 25, who recently released her debut album and held her first concert in Beijing in March, will perform popular hits such as Summer Time, which she recorded with US hip-hop legend Snoop Dogg.
“I like summer. My English name is Summer, my skin is tan andmy music style fits in the atmosphere of summer,” says Jike, who hails from a small mountain village of the Yi ethnic group in Sichuan province.
Jike rose to fame overnight after finishing third in the first season of the reality talent show, Voice of China, in the summer of 2012. “All the people from my village are good at singing and dancing. After working, they drink and have dinner with friends, which is a big party. I am looking forward to the show, with beer, dance and music from a different culture.”
As the world’s largest beer festival with a history of more than 200 years, Munich Oktoberfest is held in Munich, Germany, from late September to the first weekend of October, and usually lasts 16 days. The festival in Beijing is the only Oktoberfest authorized by the Munich Oktoberfest Committee to be held outside Germany.
More than 200,000 people attended last year’s Munich Oktoberfest in Beijing, and around 300,000 people are expected to visit the festival this year, says Tang Dongmin, CEO of BeijingWenhua Star Cultural Industry Co Ltd, which organized last year’s festival.
“Since its first year in Beijing, the festival has become a popular choice for many night life goers in Beijing. It also promotes the integration of ethnic cultures through beer culture between the two countries,” Tang says.