Oktoberfest comes to Hertforshire Oans, zwoa, drei, g’suffa!

Hertford, Hertfordshire

Time to dust off those Dirndl and Lederhosen, says Hannah Bridgett

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Following the undisputed success of the Oktoberfests of the past two years, Hertford is back and better than ever for 2023.  

What is Oktoberfest?

Oktoberfest is a traditional experience held in Germany every year. The German Bavarian festival is held in Munich, and has been held since 1810 – so this is quite a historic event. Many cities all over the world hold celebrations that emulated it, but Hertford’s Oktoberfest is the UK’s most awaited. What makes this one different is the variety of authentic music, as well as how popular it is. Alongside that, there is the absolutely delicious Bratwurst served and the German Beer you can purchase. Being an event mostly centred around beer, this celebration is strictly 18+ and will require ID upon entrance.  

Things to Do

Following the vibe of traditional Oktoberfests, this UK rendition of the tradition has some exciting activities in store this year.  

Oompah Band and Live Music

Now, have you ever heard of an Oompah band? Whether you have or haven’t, it is bound to impress you. Oompah is an accumulation of tradition German music, and embrace different forms of horn-centric music across Eastern European countries. Hertford have excitedly announced they will have live Oompah band performing at this year’s Oktoberfest. This just adds to the authenticity of this celebration.

Alongside the Oompah band, this experience will have local bands performing, which supports the community.

Food and Drink

One of the most anticipated aspects of Oktoberfest is, of course, the beer! Authentic German beer is set to be served, with German Pilsner Lager being the main beverage. While other beers and spirits will be available, you definitely want to at least give the traditional drink a try. Who knows, maybe you’ll find a new favourite drink?

When it comes to food, Oktoberfest keeps in-line with the energy of the rest of the event. There will be a traditional schwenkgrill serving a variety of foods, including the very popular German Bratwurst. Alongside this, there will be many different German food trucks so don’t feel like you’ll be limited by choices – there will be plenty to choose from.

Meat isn’t your kind of thing? That’s fine! There will be plenty of vegan and vegetarian options.


Music, food and beer are great, but what about something more fun? Well look no further – axe-throwing is a key part of this Oktoberfest. In a completely safe environment, you will get to have some fun hurtling axes at the wooden targets. If you have never done this before, it is something you don’t want to miss out on.

Dirndl and Lederhosen

These are words you’ve likely heard in passing before if you have talked about Oktoberfest. Dirndl and Lederhosen are traditional Bavarian wear. Dirndl comprises of a blouse, bodice, high-waisted skirt, and of course, an apron. The masculine counterpart is the Lederhosen – which are short or knee-length leather breeches. You can find many different designs of these online, with Lederhosen being still available on this events website currently. This isn’t compulsory, and you can wear whatever you like, but the fancy dress is a huge part of this event.

If Hertford isn’t to your fancy, a week later, this particular Oktoberfest moves to St Alban’s for another two days of fun.  

Otherwise, there are various Oktoberfests held across the country – notably in Belfast, Newcastle, Manchester and London. Each one has their own unique merits just like Hertford.

How to get there


Hartham Common has a car park with pay and display with an abundance of spaces as well as street parking with the same stipulations – of course this is an alcohol event so public transport would be best.

The closest train station is Hertford East, with a ten minute walk to the Common. It follows the GreaterAnglia line so it is easy to catch just one train from Liverpool Street. Other routes from London include one change from St Pancreas International and London Victoria to Hertford North. Coming from elsewhere like Cambridge? Hop on a Thameslink train to Stevenage and change there!

Where to eat


This event is centred around the food and drink culture of traditional German cuisine, so there are plenty of stalls for refreshments on site, including vegan and vegetarian options.



This event has catered to those with accessibility issues, with disabled toilets wide enough for wheelchairs. Entrances and walkways are also abiding by the correct width for wheelchairs and accessibility needs.

The event does warn that it takes place on the grass so there is a risk of uneven ground that may cause a bit of difficulty to get to the marquee. However, if this applies to you, you should contact the event organisers as they are more than happy to assist in any way possible to make your experience as enjoyable as possible.

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