Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 23 November 2014

From brat to wurst: Banbridge Oktoberfest cancelled after unionists say 'nein' to alcohol sales at Solitude Park

'To have a beer festival with no beer, what a laughing stock, absolutely ludicrous'

MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 20:  A reveller dressed in traditional Bavarian clothing `Dirndl` holds a beer mug at Schottenhamel beer tent during the opening day of the 2014 Oktoberfest at Theresienwiese on September 20, 2014 in Munich, Germany. The 181st Oktoberfest will be open to the public from September 20 through October 5 and traditionally draws millions of visitors from across the globe in the world's largest beer fest.  (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 20: A reveller dressed in traditional Bavarian clothing `Dirndl` holds a beer mug at Schottenhamel beer tent during the opening day of the 2014 Oktoberfest at Theresienwiese on September 20, 2014 in Munich, Germany. The 181st Oktoberfest will be open to the public from September 20 through October 5 and traditionally draws millions of visitors from across the globe in the world's largest beer fest. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 21: Traditional Bavarian folk dress march in the Parade of Costumes and Riflemen (Trachten- und Schuetzenzug) on the second day of the 2014 Oktoberfest at Theresienhoehe on September 21, 2014 in Munich, Germany. The 181st Oktoberfest will be open to the public from September 20 through October 5 and traditionally draws millions of visitors from across the globe in the world's largest beer fest. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 20: Young girls chat together sitting on the floor outside a beer tent during the opening day of the 2014 Oktoberfest on September 20, 2014 in Munich, Germany. The 181st Oktoberfest will be open to the public from September 20 through October 5 and traditionally draws millions of visitors from across the globe in the world's largest beer fest. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 20: Revellers chat together sitting on the floor outside a beer tent during the opening day of the 2014 Oktoberfest on September 20, 2014 in Munich, Germany. The 181st Oktoberfest will be open to the public from September 20 through October 5 and traditionally draws millions of visitors from across the globe in the world's largest beer fest. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 20: Revellers reach for the first beer mugs at Hofbraeuhaus beer tent during the opening day of the 2014 Oktoberfest on September 20, 2014 in Munich, Germany. The 181st Oktoberfest will be open to the public from September 20 through October 5 and traditionally draws millions of visitors from across the globe to the the world's largest beer festival. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 20: A reveller dressed in traditional Bavarian clothing `Dirndl` holds beer mugs at Schottenhamel beer tent at the opening day of the 2014 Oktoberfest at Theresienwiese on September 20, 2014 in Munich, Germany. The 181st Oktoberfest will be open to the public from September 20 through October 5 and traditionally draws millions of visitors from across the globe in the world's largest beer fest. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 16: Women dressed in traditional Bavarian clothing Dirndl attend the annual beer tasting prior to the 2014 Oktoberfest in the cellar of the Munich Beer and Oktoberfest Museum on September 16, 2014 in Munich, Germany. The men meet every year shortly before Oktoberfest to sample and discuss the merits of the Oktoberfest brews of Hacker-Pschorr, Spaten, Loewenbraeu, Paulaner, Augustiner and Hofbraeu, which are the six Munich breweries and the only breweries allowed to participate in Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest is the world's biggest beer bash and draws millions of visitors. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 20: General view of the Theresienwiese on the first evening on the opening day of the 2014 Oktoberfest at Theresienwiese on September 20, 2014 in Munich, Germany. The 181st Oktoberfest will be open to the public from September 20 through October 5 and traditionally draws millions of visitors from across the globe in the world's largest beer fest. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 21: People enjoy a fairground ride during day 1 of the Oktoberfest 2013 beer festival at Theresienwiese on September 21, 2013 in Munich, Germany. The Munich Oktoberfest, which this year will run from September 21 through October 6, is the world's largest beer fest and draws millions of visitors. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 21: People enjoy a fairground ride during day 1 of the Oktoberfest 2013 beer festival at Theresienwiese on September 21, 2013 in Munich, Germany. The Munich Oktoberfest, which this year will run from September 21 through October 6, is the world's largest beer fest and draws millions of visitors. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 21: Visitors in bavarian style clothes raise their glasses after getting their first Oktoberfest-beer in the Schottenhamel-tent at the Oktoberfest 2013 beer festival at Theresienwiese on September 21, 2013 in Munich, Germany. Shortly before Munich mayor Christian Ude (SPD) had tapped the first barrel with the traditional "O'zapft is!" ("It's tapped!") to launch the festival. The Munich Oktoberfest, which this year will run from September 21 through October 6, is the world's largest beer fest and draws millions of visitors. (Photo by Joerg Koch/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 21: People enjoy a fairground ride during day 1 of the Oktoberfest 2013 beer festival at Theresienwiese on September 21, 2013 in Munich, Germany. The Munich Oktoberfest, which this year will run from September 21 through October 6, is the world's largest beer fest and draws millions of visitors. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
Oktoberfest - the world's biggest beer festival
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 21: People enjoy a fairground ride during day 1 of the Oktoberfest 2013 beer festival at Theresienwiese on September 21, 2013 in Munich, Germany. The Munich Oktoberfest, which this year will run from September 21 through October 6, is the world's largest beer fest and draws millions of visitors. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 21: People enjoy a fairground ride during day 1 of the Oktoberfest 2013 beer festival at Theresienwiese on September 21, 2013 in Munich, Germany. The Munich Oktoberfest, which this year will run from September 21 through October 6, is the world's largest beer fest and draws millions of visitors. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 21: A young woman enjoys drinking the first beer during day 1 of the Oktoberfest 2013 beer festival at Theresienwiese on September 21, 2013 in Munich, Germany. The Munich Oktoberfest, which this year will run from September 21 through October 6, is the world's largest beer fest and draws millions of visitors. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 21: A woman enjoys the first beer at the opening day of the Oktoberfest at Hofbraeu tent on September 21, 2013 in Munich, Germany. The Munich Oktoberfest, which this year will run from September 21 through October 6, is the world's largest beer fest and draws millions of visitors. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 21: A woman enjoys the first beer at the opening day of the Oktoberfest at Hofbraeu tent on September 21, 2013 in Munich, Germany. The Munich Oktoberfest, which this year will run from September 21 through October 6, is the world's largest beer fest and draws millions of visitors. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 21: Revellers attend the opening day of he Oktoberfest at Hofbraeu tent on September 21, 2013 in Munich, Germany. The Munich Oktoberfest, which this year will run from September 21 through October 6, is the world's largest beer fest and draws millions of visitors. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 21: Revellers attend the opening day of he Oktoberfest at Hofbraeu tent on September 21, 2013 in Munich, Germany. The Munich Oktoberfest, which this year will run from September 21 through October 6, is the world's largest beer fest and draws millions of visitors. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 21: A Visitors in bavarian style clothes ("Dirndl") go to the Oktoberfest 2013 beer festival at Theresienwiese on September 21, 2013 in Munich, Germany. Many visitors arrived early to the festival to secure good places in the beer tents. Munichs mayor Christian Ude launches the Oktoberfest at 12.00 o'clock in the Schottenhamel-tent by tapping the first barrel of beer with the traditional "O'zapft is!" ("It's tapped!") The Munich Oktoberfest, which this year will run from September 21 through October 6, is the world's largest beer fest and draws millions of visitors. (Photo by Joerg Koch/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 17: A waitress brings glasses of beer to the heads of the six Munich breweries meeting to taste their special Oktoberfest brews in the cellar of the Munich Beer and Oktoberfest Museum on September 17, 2013 in Munich, Germany. The men, along with Oktoberfest beer tent owners, meet once a year shortly before Oktoberfest to taste each others' beers, which are specially brewed for the Oktoberfest season. At Oktoberfest, which has a tradition going back 202 years, only the six breweires, namely, Hacker-Pschorr, Spaten, Loewenbraeu, Paulaner, Augustiner Hofbraeu, that brew their beer within the city limits are allowed to participate in the annual event that draws millions of visitors (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - OCTOBER 07: Thomas Mueller of FC Bayern Muenchen attends with Lisa Mueller the Oktoberfest beer festival at the Kaefer Wiesnschaenke tent on October 7, 2012 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - OCTOBER 07: Philipp Lahm of FC Bayern Muenchen attends with his wife Claudia Lahm the Oktoberfest beer festival at the Kaefer Wiesnschaenke tent on October 7, 2012 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Thomas Niedermueller/Bongarts/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - OCTOBER 07: Daniel van Buyten of FC Bayern Muenchen attends with his wife Celine van Buyten the Oktoberfest beer festival at the Kaefer Wiesnschaenke tent on October 7, 2012 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Thomas Niedermueller/Bongarts/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - OCTOBER 07: Manuel Neuer of FC Bayern Muenchen attends with Katrin the Oktoberfest beer festival at the Kaefer Wiesnschaenke tent on October 7, 2012 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Thomas Niedermueller/Bongarts/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - OCTOBER 07: Anatoliy Tymoshchuk of FC Bayern Muenchen attends with Nadiya the Oktoberfest beer festival at the Kaefer Wiesnschaenke tent on October 7, 2012 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Thomas Niedermueller/Bongarts/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - OCTOBER 02: Grigoris Makos of 1860 Muenchen attends with his wife Athena Makos the Oktoberfest 2012 at Hacker Festzelt on October 2, 2012 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - OCTOBER 02: Robert Schaefer, CEO of 1860 Muenchen attends with his wife Karin Schaefer the Oktoberfest 2012 at Hacker Festzelt on October 2, 2012 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 23: Revellerds, dressed with traditional Bavarian clothes celebrate at Schottenhamel beer tent during day 2 of Oktoberfest beer festival on September 22, 2012 in Munich, Germany.This year's edition of the world's biggest beer festival Oktoberfest will run until October 7, 2012. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 23: Revellers, dressed with traditional Bavarian clothes celebrate at Schottenhamel beer tent during day 2 of Oktoberfest beer festival on September 22, 2012 in Munich, Germany.This year's edition of the world's biggest beer festival Oktoberfest will run until October 7, 2012. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 18: Gitta Saxx attends the Oktoberfest beer festival at Kaefer Schaenke beer tent on September 18, 2011 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Hannes Magerstaedt/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 18: Verena Kerth attends the Oktoberfest beer festival at Kaefer Schaenke beer tent on September 18, 2011 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Hannes Magerstaedt/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 20: A traditionally Bavarian dressed young woman enjoys drinking beer at Loewenbraeu beer tent during day 2 of the Oktoberfest beer festival on September 20, 2009 in Munich, Germany. The riflemen's parade marks day 2 of the Munich Oktoberfest beer festival. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)
Young women seen with their beer steins while riding a decorated coach to the opening of the famous Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich, southern Germany, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2009. Some six million visitors from around the globe are expected to come to the Bavarian capital, until the end of the world famous beer festival on Oct. 4, 2009. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 19: A young woman waits for the opening of the Oktoberfest beer festival on September 19, 2009 in Munich, Germany. Oktoberfest is Germany's and the world largest fair. About six million people attend the sixteen-day festival during late September and early October. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)
Norbert Dobeleit and Tamara Sedmak attend the Boris Becker Oktoberfest Golf trophy party at the Hippodrom tent on September 28, 2008 in Munich, Germany
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 18: Sabine Lanz attends the Oktoberfest beer festival at Kaefer Schaenke beer tent on September 18, 2011 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Hannes Magerstaedt/Getty Images)
Women in traditional dress pose with beer mugs at the Oktoberfest beer festival
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 18: Verena Kerth attends the Oktoberfest beer festival at Kaefer Schaenke beer tent on September 18, 2011 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Hannes Magerstaedt/Getty Images)
Two barmaids serve up the beers at an Octoberfest event in Belfast
Revellers at the Hofbraeuhaus beer tent during day 1 of the Oktoberfest 2013 beer festival at Theresienwiese on September 21, 2013 in Munich, Germany. The Munich Oktoberfest, which this year will run from September 21 through October 6, is the world's largest beer festival and draws millions of visitors.
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 21: Revellers attend the opening day of he Oktoberfest at Hofbraeu tent on September 21, 2013 in Munich, Germany. The Munich Oktoberfest, which this year will run from September 21 through October 6, is the world's largest beer fest and draws millions of visitors. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
People celebrate the opening ceremony in the "Hofbraeuzelt' beer tent of the 180th Bavarian "Oktoberfest" beer festival in Munich, southern Germany, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013. The world's largest beer festival, to be held from Sept. 21 to Oct. 6, 2013 will attract more than six million guests from around the world. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 21: People enjoy riding on a merry-go-round at the Oktoberfest on September 21, 2013 in Munich, Germany. The Munich Oktoberfest, which this year will run from September 21 through October 6, is the world's largest beer fest and draws millions of visitors. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 21: Revellers dressed in traditional Bavarian clothing attend the Oktoberfest on September 21, 2013 in Munich, Germany. The Munich Oktoberfest, which this year will run from September 21 through October 6, is the world's largest beer fest and draws millions of visitors. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 21: Visitors in Bavarian style clothes raise their glasses after getting their first Oktoberfest beer in the Schottenhamel-tent at the Oktoberfest 2013 beer festival at Theresienwiese on September 21, 2013 in Munich, Germany. Shortly before Munich mayor Christian Ude (SPD) had tapped the first barrel with the traditional "O'zapft is!" ("It's tapped!") to launch the festival. The Munich Oktoberfest, which this year will run from September 21 through October 6, is the world's largest beer fest and draws millions of visitors. (Photo by Joerg Koch/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 21: Revellers reach for the first beer mug at Hofbraeuhaus beer tent during day 1 of the Oktoberfest 2013 beer festival at Theresienwiese on September 21, 2013 in Munich, Germany. The Munich Oktoberfest, which this year will run from September 21 through October 6, is the world's largest beer fest and draws millions of visitors. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 21: Waitresses wave beer mugs during the opening parade of the Oktoberfest 2013 beer festival at Theresienwiese on September 21, 2013 in Munich, Germany. The Munich Oktoberfest, which this year will run from September 21 through October 6, is the world's largest beer fest and draws millions of visitors. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 21: A Visitors wait for the start of the Oktoberfest 2013 beer festival at Theresienwiese on September 21, 2013 in Munich, Germany. Munichs mayor Christian Ude will launch the Oktoberfest at 12.00 o'clock in the Schottenhamel-tent by tapping the first barrel of beer with the traditional "O'zapft is!" ("It's tapped!"). The Munich Oktoberfest, which this year will run from September 21 through October 6, is the world's largest beer fest and draws millions of visitors. (Photo by Joerg Koch/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 21: Visitors in bavarian style clothes pose in front of the main entrance of the Oktoberfest 2013 beer festival at Theresienwiese on September 21, 2013 in Munich, Germany. Munichs mayor Christian Ude will launch the Oktoberfest at 12.00 o'clock in the Schottenhamel-tent by tapping the first barrel of beer with the traditional "O'zapft is!" ("It's tapped!"). The Munich Oktoberfest, which this year will run from September 21 through October 6, is the world's largest beer fest and draws millions of visitors. (Photo by Joerg Koch/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 17: A female guest attending the annual get-together of the six Munich brewery heads compares glasses filled with different Oktoberfest beers as the men taste each others' breweries' special Oktoberfest brews in the cellar of the Munich Beer and Oktoberfest Museum on September 17, 2013 in Munich, Germany. The men, along with Oktoberfest beer tent owners, meet once a year shortly before Oktoberfest to taste each others' beers, which are specially brewed for the Oktoberfest season. At Oktoberfest, which has a tradition going back 202 years, only the six breweires, namely, Hacker-Pschorr, Spaten, Loewenbraeu, Paulaner, Augustiner Hofbraeu, that brew their beer within the city limits are allowed to participate in the annual event that draws millions of visitors (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 22: Girls dressed in Bavarian dirndl attend day 1 of Oktoberfest beer festival near Hofbraeuhaus beer tent on September 22, 2012 in Munich, Germany.This year's edition of the world's biggest beer festival Oktoberfest will run until October 7, 2012. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 23: Members of a brass band wearing traditional Bavarian clothes participate in the riflemen's parade during day 2 of the Oktoberfest beer festival on September 22, 2012 in Munich, Germany.This year's edition of the world's biggest beer festival Oktoberfest will run until October 7, 2012. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 23: Polish girls, dressed with traditional Polish costume enjoy drinking beer after participating in the opening parade during day 2 of Oktoberfest beer festival on September 22, 2012 in Munich, Germany.This year's edition of the world's biggest beer festival Oktoberfest will run until October 7, 2012. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 23: Polish girls, dressed with traditional Polish costume enjoy drinking beer after participating in the opening parade during day 2 of Oktoberfest beer festival on September 22, 2012 in Munich, Germany.This year's edition of the world's biggest beer festival Oktoberfest will run until October 7, 2012. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 23: Polish girls, dressed with traditional Polish costume enjoy drinking beer after participating in the opening parade during day 2 of Oktoberfest beer festival on September 22, 2012 in Munich, Germany.This year's edition of the world's biggest beer festival Oktoberfest will run until October 7, 2012. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 28: Revellers enjoy themselves as they drink beer outside the Braeurosl beer tent during day 7 of Oktoberfest beer festival on September 28, 2012 in Munich, Germany. This year's edition of the world's biggest beer festival Oktoberfest will run until October 7, 2012. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 18: Gina Lisa Lohfink attends the Oktoberfest beer festival at Kaefer Schaenke beer tent on September 18, 2011 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Hannes Magerstaedt/Getty Images)
Young women wave with their beer steins while riding a decorated coach to the opening of the famous Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich, southern Germany, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2009. Some six million visitors from around the globe are expected to come to the Bavarian capital, until the end of the world famous beer festival on Oct. 4, 2009. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 19: A waitress carries beer mugs at the Schottenhamel beer tent on September 19, 2009 in Munich, Germany. Oktoberfest is Germany's and the world largest fair. About six million people attend the sixteen-day festival during late September and early October. (Photo by Miguel Villagran/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 19: Brass musicians participate the opening parade during day 1 of the Oktoberfest beer festival on September 19, 2009 in Munich, Germany. Oktoberfest is Germany's and the world largest fair. About six million people attend the sixteen-day festival during late September and early October. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 19: Young women greet with beer mugs during the opening parade of the Oktoberfest beer festival on September 19, 2009 in Munich, Germany. Oktoberfest is Germany's and the world largest fair. About six million people attend the sixteen-day festival during late September and early October. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)
Sandy Meyer-Woelden arrives for the Boris Becker Oktoberfest Golf trophy party at the Hippodrom tent on September 28, 2008 in Munich, Germany
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 18: Lilly Becker and Franziska Knuppe attend the Oktoberfest beer festival at Kaefer Schaenke beer tent on September 18, 2011 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Hannes Magerstaedt/Getty Images)
Rachel McCarey, Kelly Masson and Maria McBride at Oktoberfest in Custom House Square, Belfast
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 18: Isabel Edvardsson attends the Oktoberfest beer festival at Kaefer Schaenke beer tent on September 18, 2011 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Hannes Magerstaedt/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 20: A traditionally Bavarian dressed woman enjoys drinking beer at Schottenhamel beer tent during day 2 of the Oktoberfest beer festival on September 20, 2009 in Munich, Germany. The riflemen's parade marks day 2 of the Munich Oktoberfest beer festival. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 21: Three women pose for a picture at the Hofbraeuhaus beer tent on September 21 2009 in Munich, Germany. Oktoberfest is Germany's and the world largest fair. About six million people attend the sixteen-day festival during late September and early October. (Photo by Miguel Villagran/Getty Images)
Aoife MacSherry, Holly Seymour, Laura McDonald and Maeve Browne at Oktoberfest in Custom House Square

Oktoberfest Banbridge was set for October 3-5 at Solitude Park but has now been cancelled after a licence to sell any of the amber nectar was refused.

It is understood the organisers ordered 330 kegs of special Paulaner Oktoberfest beer, but plans suffered an early hiccup in June when the DUP and some Ulster Unionists on Banbridge council took a stand against selling alcohol at the park.

Councillor Jim McElroy proposed at a meeting of the leisure and development committee of the council that the sale of alcohol not be permitted at the event.

Councillor Junior McCrum explained the DUP position: "We spent £1.5m on Solitude to turn it into a space for people to walk and enjoy the park without being subjected to verbal abuse.

"Does everything have to revolve around drink?"

Eventually, however, Alliance, Sinn Fein, SDLP and two Ulster Unionist councillors voted the beer ban down in June.

But UUP councillor Carol Black slammed the DUP stance as "laughable".

"To have a beer festival with no beer, what a laughing stock, absolutely ludicrous.

"Again, the DUP are bringing their religious views into the political arena," she said.

Ambitious organiser Neil Loy had promised the event would be about "more than beer", detailing plans for yodelling competitions, German singalongs, traditional Oompah-pah bands, a visiting performance from one of BBC's The Voice contestants and traditional German food such as bratwurst sausages from an open charcoal swing grill.

Mr Loy told a local newspaper that he got the idea to stage the event after visiting an Oktoberfest event in Munich and said he wanted it to become an annual event.

But despite finally receiving the council's go-ahead, the organisers were still unable to get an alcohol licence.

They needed an occasional alcohol licence for the event in the park.

Organisers of Oktoberfest Banbridge posted on the event's Facebook page on Sunday that is had been cancelled "due to circumstances beyond our control".

"The alcohol licence for this event was not granted to us, and therefore the event will not be able to go ahead," they said.

Ms Black, who had been a strong supporter of the initiative, said local people are very disappointed that the event had been cancelled.

But she vowed it would take place next year.

"It would have been an absolutely fantastic concept for the Banbridge area bringing in new tourism and footfall, which is badly needed in our district," she said.

BACKGROUND

The lively Oktoberfest beer festivals originated in Munich in southern Germany in the 19th century and traditionally ran for three weeks from late September to the middle of October.

But the event, complete with its traditional brass bands, lederhosen and bratwurst, has spread across the globe as a popular party every autumn. An Oktoberfest event is set to take place in Newry from October 3-6.

Meanwhile in Cambridge: Tea, biscuits, bondage and spanking 

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