Beer, bratwurst, Bavarian dress code, brass band and funfairs bound for Yorktoberfest

BEER, bratwurst and all things Bavarian are on course for York Racecourse this autumn at the debut Yorktoberfest.

Mounted by James Cundall’s Jamboree Entertainment and Johnny Cooper’s Coopers Marquees, the October 28 to 31 event will follow the traditions of the first Oktoberfest, staged in Munich in 1810, where citizens were encouraged to eat, drink and be merry at the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and his princess bride.  

So much fun was had that an annual tradition was born…and now residents of York and beyond will be invited to “eat, drink and be merry-go-round” at the Clocktower Enclosure on Knavesmire, where a giant Bavarian-styled beer tent and traditional funfair will set a festive scene.

Inside the marquee, authentic German beer and a range of German-inspired food will be served at an array of tables and benches, while York’s own Oompah Brass Band will add to the hearty fun with their “thigh-slapping, foot-stomping, feel-good music”.  

Dancing is encouraged, as it has been at such gatherings for more than 200 years, as is the wearing of Lederhosen [traditional Bavarian men’s short trousers], Dirndls [Bavarian women’s rural domestic clothing, made from grey or coloured linen, sometimes with leather bodice and trim] or any other fancy dress, with nightly competitions and prizes for the best dressed.

Prost! Friends drinking together Bavarian beer in national costume or Dirndl at Oktoberfest. Likewise, fancy dressing German-style will be encouraged at Yorktoberfest

The Bavarian Bar also will serve wines, prosecco, spirits and soft drinks for those who prefer not to ‘hop’. A variety of food stalls will provide such essential favourites as sausages, schnitzels and pretzels, as well as vegan and vegetarian options.

Funfairs are integral to German Oktoberfests, and so Yorktoberfest will have its own traditional funfair, with Dodgems, Twister, Speedway and Chair-o-Plane delivering thrills

Yorktoberfest will have a limited capacity, with specific opening times: October 28 and 29,  7pm to 11pm; two sittings on October 30, 1pm to 5pm and 7pm to 11pm, and one sitting on October 31, 1pm to 5pm.

Tickets for Yorktoberfest are newly on sale at, priced at £15 per person for unreserved seating; £90 for a reserved table of six, and £135 for a VIP table of six, situated closest to the stage and with table service. An Early Beer(d) offer of £5 off per person is available on all ticket categories until July 31. Tickets will be on sale at the entrance too, subject to availability.

Yorktoberfest is produced by CMJ Events, a joint venture between the two York family-owned companies of Jamboree Entertainment and Coopers Marquees. CMJ Events will be bringing the York Spring Fair & Food Festival to the Clocktower Enclosure at York Racecourse from May 28 to June 6, as well as Sounds In The Grounds concerts by Beyond The Barricade, Abba Mania and A Country Night In Nashville from June 25 to 27, again at the Clocktower Enclosure.  

Super troupers: Abba Mania will play at the Sounds In The Grounds concert at York Racecourse on June 26

Welburn producer James Cundall’s Jamboree Entertainment team brings 25 years of experience in producing live entertainment worldwide, and closer to home produces Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland ice rink and funfair, Sounds In The Grounds concerts at five venues around England and The Great Ryedale Maze at Sherburn.

Cundall also presented Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre on the Castle car park pop-up Elizabethan theatre site in York in 2018 and 2019.

Coopers Marquees was established in the 1990s and is now the tenth largest marquee company in Great Britain, supplying a range of structures to events large and small.

Co-producer Cundall, chief executive of Jamboree Entertainment says: “We’re determined to bring events to York that people can enjoy after the long months of Covid restrictions. Yorktoberfest promises to be an evening of jollity, with beer, bands, and bratwurst. Dust off the fancy-dress outfits and come along!”

Co-producer  Cooper, CEO of Coopers Marquees, says: “We’re looking forward to seeing one of our biggest marquees, at 160m long, installed on Knavesmire and themed with all things Bavarian, including a stage, bespoke thatched wooden barns, flags galore and generally everything needed for a great night out.”

Yorktoberfest will conform to all prevailing Government guidelines regarding Covid-19.