Editor’s Note – We all know the Oktoberfest can be a fun outing together with friends and family, and even with kids, but what do you do when the controlled-chaos spins out of control? A few top tips from someone who has seen it all…
22:00 hours and you’ve left your friends singing on the table for a quick run to the bathroom. You’ve gone through the surprisingly complicated maze and come out again on the other side but… wait! Where’s your table?
It’s only 16:30 but you’ve already enjoyed 2 Maß and barely half a Brez’n. Your head is spinning as you walk out into the sunlight. You wander around for half hour before realizing you don’t know where your purse it. You try to go back to the tent but you’re not sure it’s the right one and it’s closed anyway and no amount of pleading will convince the security guard to let you back in. Help!
You’re sitting in a daze in the First Aid clinic, head pounding and knee bleeding. You’re grateful to the strangers who helped you get there after the bench tipped but are wondering what happened to your friend. The medic asks if you can get home on your own but you’re not sure where that is or how to get there. What do you do?
Fortunately, help is available!
Located in the same building as the Red Cross First Aid, the Sichere Wiesn (Safe Oktoberfest) Security Point offers a peaceful women-only sanctuary where women and girls are welcome to come for help and support. No matter what has happened out on the Wiesn, the Sichere Wiesn Team provides non-judgemental care, a keen detective-like sense of the city, and creature comforts such as a cup of tea, a listening ear, and a place to charge your phone.
Women find the Security Point with help from the Polizei, BRK (Bayerisches Rote Kreuz), and security personnel and tent staff but also from others who know that it exists. On an average evening, the Sichere Wiesn Team will help women and girls who have lost their friends, lost their stuff, lost their address, or are simply lost find their way home safely. Support is offered in any language spoken by the team members who are on duty at the time but is reliably available in German and English.
The Sichere Wiesn is a cooperative project by AMYNA e.V., IMMA e.V., and the Frauennotruf München. It is supported with funding from the Landeshauptstadt München through the “Hänsel + Gretel” Foundation and the Landratsamt München. You can reach them here:
089 8905 745 188
The Security Point is open daily 1800-01.00 Uhr and every Saturday from 15.00-01.00 Uhr.
During the 2017 festival, find it here:
Top tips for a safe Oktoberfest
We’ve all seen the guys with the “please return to: xyz address” signs around their necks and giggled, right? Turns out there’s a bit of wisdom in that…
• Write a contact phone number and/or the address where you are staying on a piece of paper and put it somewhere you’re not likely to lose it (pin it inside your dirndl or stick it in your bra). If your phone battery dies, you are not stranded.
Tourists: if your hotel offers a wristband with the hotel address on it, wear it. If you don’t want it on your wrist (don’t want people to see it) fix it to your bra strap or otherwise secure it where you can find it later if you need it.
Kids: local parents often write their phone numbers on their kids’ arm in case they get lost. This can be the fastest way for your child to find you if they get lost (teach them to ask another parent or Polizei to help them call you if they can’t find you).
• Designate a meeting point where you can find your friends if you get separated.
• Always carry your purse with you. If you find yourself outside the tent (maybe you’ve gone out for a moment of fresh air, a phone call, or a cigarette) and it closes, you’ll have difficulty finding your way back in. Sometimes even coming back from the toilets requires a map!
• Know where the Sichere Wiesn is and tell your friends! We are here to help.
Celina Criss, PhD is a sex coach and educator. She invites her clients to bring playfulness to their encounters while encouraging them to take it s.l.o.w.