LA Oktoberfest: German Beers, Wines, Music, and More
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The last date listed for LA Oktoberfest was Saturday October 10, 2009 / 1:00pm (VIP Admission at Noon).
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Featured review from McWB
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More like Oktober-Lot: a celebration of the month of October, held in an empty parking lot. Or perhaps they should call it Line-Fest: the most fun you'll ever have standing in a line... in the sun... in an empty parking lot.
The facts: I paid for the VIP (all you can eat, all you can drink) package. I received.... lines and asphalt. The line to get into the event was all the way around the block. That would have been forgivable if there had been a team of security officials working hard to keep it moving. In reality, there was one woman with a list of names that was no alphabetized (!?) and one security guard who didn't seem to mind that people were cutting the line and walking right past him. In his defense, he was clearly overwhelmed by the size of the crowd. His failure is (like all the others on this list) the fault of the event organizer.
The free stein with admission, wasn't exactly a stein. It was a stein for the first few hundred people. Then they downgraded it to a smaller stein. Then they downgraded that to a plastic boot. Then they downgraded that to a red cup. I'm sorry? A red cup!? How exactly did you expect that to fly?
Furthermore, the event was plagued with insufficiency. The food line was about 2 hours long. At the head of the line were two BBQ's. One of the BBQ's did not function, so there were two student chefs from the Condon Bleu chef academy working one grill. The event planner thought that 1 grill was going to crank out enough sausages to feed the hundreds of people standing in line!? The uncooked sausages and buns were sitting in a pile of boxes... in the direct sunlight... on the pavement... of the parking lot. That, by the way is not the appropriate way to store food.
Nor is it the appropriate way to store Oktoberfest celebrants! You can't just rent out a parking lot and tell them that it's a festival. I bought tickets to a festival, not a parking lot. There was no tent. What little shade there was was mostly occupied by the vendors. I would have been disappointed if a middle school had tried to call this a carnival.
The entertainment was utterly lacking. There was a small unamplified polka band who played one song about every half hour. There was a woman on stilts. And for about 10 minutes at, around 2PM, two women swung on trapezes about 8 feet of the ground. That's right, the woman on stilts was slightly higher off the ground than the women on the trapeze.
That's it. That's all. Unless you consider asphalt entertaining. In that case, it was one of the most "entertaining" events I've ever attended.
There was a beer pong tournament. The organizers are a bunch of college drop-outs who were promoting their "regulation" beer pong tables. They set up the brackets... and didn't do much else. The first round, no the first heat of the first round, took about 40 minutes (in part because of the unlucky fact that one table featured two teams of Asian dudes. It was an all Asian match-up, and it doomed the event. No offense to Asians in general, but these guys went 20 minutes without either team hitting a cup. They did try to keep it interesting by shouting at each other, accusing each other of cheating (?), and talking about how great they were at beer pong.) So finally the head of the beer pong tourney called off the tournament and announced "free play." I'd plug his website here, but their tables are inferior quality and way way overpriced. I think they believe that there is still a niche market for "regulation size" tables. Good luck with that business model.
Yet, the list of complaints continues. There was only ONE BATHROOM! One portable bathroom for hundreds of beer drinkers. Perhaps the event organizer reasoned that people wouldn't need bathrooms since there was no beer.
That's not true. There was some beer. If you were willing to wait in line for around 35 - 40 minutes, you could get a beer (mostly head) from a portable kegerator. That is to say that you could get some beer, for a while. Then around 4PM the even that is synonymous with beer consumption WENT DRY! The entire event was dry. The Jaegermeister tent was quite literally the only place to get any alcohol for about 45 minutes. Then a van from one of the breweries showed up with reinforcements and was promptly mobbed by 100% sober people. I, myself was so upset that I began to think about leaving.
In the end (or rather, in the middle) I was forced to leave by the LAPD officers who showed up and began to disperse the Oktoberfest's paying customers a full hour and a half before the scheduled ending of the event.
It seems that the event organizer had not counted on a few things. Apparently, you can't continue to operate an event with dozens of people urinating in public because the line for the bathroom stretched half the length of the parking lot. Additionally, the police were apparently not pleased to learn that the event was, at that point, no longer serving any food, trickles of beer, and Jaegermeister. I would guess that this is a no no. The abrupt closure may also have had something to do with the fact that there was nowhere to purchase or otherwise acquire drinking water.
Are you getting the picture yet? This was a parking lot full of angry, sober people. That's all it was. They should have called it Oktober-lot.
To their credit, the LAPD handled the situation with expert restraint. There were no scuffles so far as I witnessed. Officers slowly but surely cleared everyone out... an hour before my "all you can eat/drink" was set to expire.
I am a reasonable person. I don't believe that some greedy bastard planned on taking advantage of me by hosting a crappy event. Regardless, the extreme negligence on the part of the event organizers constituted a breach of contract. I purchased tickets to an event that was grossly misrepresented.
You cannot hide behind the seemingly catch-all phrase "Entertainment and food/beverage lineups are subject to change." That does not empower the event organizer to intentionally or unintentionally under-stock the event, skimp on essential facilities (bathrooms, shade, seating) and close down with 1/3 of the event remaining. I am no legal scholar, but I believe that I am entitled to a refund and an apology.
Tell you what. Keep your apology. I'll settle for my refund.
UPDATE: I promptly received a full refund. Goldstar customer service was terrific about correspondence. The apologized, explained the situation, and provided a full refund in about a day.
I would happily buy tickets to another Goldstar event knowing that they stand behind their customers as they do. Thank you Goldstar.
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Worst event ever. Goldstar, you need to give a refund for this event. Got there at 1:30, waited until 3:00 to get in. Once in, there were maybe two or three vendors with beer left. The others were all out. Wait in line for 45 minutes to get a...continued
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A gigantic train wreck!!
Not enough food, not enough beer, not enough bathrooms. LONG LINES FOR ALL OF THESE THINGS!!!
LAPD shut it down a half hour before it was supposed to close.
The worst part was waiting for HOURS to get into the...continued
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Complete piece of trash event, should've been named Linefest instead. All the people that attended via Goldstar should be refunded their money. We arrived at 1:00 and didn't get in until 2:45. They ran out of the beer stein mugs that we were...continued
Put on your Lederhosen and get your stein ready for the first ever LA Oktoberfest. Sample traditional German Foods, Beers, Wines, Spirits, the hottest buxom beer maidens serving Bavarian brews; Bavarian bands playing lively tunes and leading sing-alongs of old time drinking songs.
Los Angeles Oktoberfest will be filled with the greatest of tunes and music by the largest and most well known Bavarian band in the city: The Alemannia Music Foundation.
Aerial Showgirls at the LA Oktoberfest has something hot up their sleeves for this amazing charity event. The Aerial Showgirls will be dressed up in their hottest Dirndl dresses and performing their amazing aerial acrobatics and floor show to entertain and wow the guests.
The music of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Romania, Banat, as well as the rest of eastern Europe, has deep roots in the folklore and traditions of its people. These cultures, through the music created by them, have had a profound impact on the development of music history.
Food and Drink:
Beers will include selections from Paulaner, Hacker-Pschorr, Warsteiner, Widmer, Firehouse, Firstone, and many other breweries. Jagermeister will also be serving mixed drinks. The menu of traditional German foods will include giant pretzels, German cheeses, popcorn, hot dogs, sausages, bratwurst, frankfurters, schnitzel and other German sausages.
25 Member Band – AMF
Polka Band & Bavarian dancers
Aerial Showgirls (a spectacular aerial and floor show by the best Cirque du Soleil ever had)
Tapping of the Keg
Beer Pong tournament
Silent Auction by sporThings
Entertainment and food/beverage lineups are subject to change.