Ocean Beach party is ‘not your traditional Oktoberfest’

Ocean Beach Oktoberfest bills itself as "more of a party with an Oktoberfest flair."
Ocean Beach Oktoberfest bills itself as “more of a party with an Oktoberfest flair.”
(Jared Gase)

A rap concert and a drag show will help make this year’s festival different from the rest.


Ocean Beach’s Oktoberfest is gearing up for another year, but the 21st renewal Oct. 6-7 will offer some twists on the traditional German festival.

“This is not your traditional Oktoberfest; it is more of a party with an Oktoberfest flair,” said Heather Hudson, director of marketing and partnerships for OB Oktoberfest. “We appreciate the tradition, but there is room to do something different and to capture a younger audience.”

To that end, the festival will have heavy sponsorship from Jägermeister, as well as musical performances from rapper Afroman, cover band Paging the 90s, Ocean Beach power trio Band of Gringos and others, an Oktoberfest-themed drag show, a beer garden, contests and more.

Proceeds from ticket sales benefit the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association, The Peninsula Alliance and the Warrior Foundation. The festival raises more than $50,000 annually.

“Tickets are essentially a community donation going toward these organizations,” Hudson said.

Ocean Beach's 21st Oktoberfest is coming Friday and Saturday, Oct. 6-7.
(Sydney Prather)

A drag show and rap may not be at the top of mind for what people traditionally envision at Oktoberfest. But for Hudson and her team, it’s all a testament to the non-traditional fun that makes OB Oktoberfest different from the rest.

“We wanted to find artists that resonate with our fun, crazy vibes,” she said. “We wanted to lean into the area we are located, and we wanted to find people that represent our vibe and mission. This is our chance to display a different Oktoberfest experience.”

Oktoberfest revelers get in the spirit in Ocean Beach.
(Sydney Prather)

Band of Gringos, originally scouted while playing at another local venue, is “looking forward to playing in our hometown,” band member Spence Noble said. “We usually play at Winstons or The Holding Co., which fits around 200 to 400 or so people, and Oktoberfest fits thousands, so the energy will be really high.”

With other large sponsors such as Stella Artois, Passion Tree Hard Seltzer, Beyond Meat and more, “we are really excited,” Hudson said. “Everyone loves to come party and it is a really fun community event. It is always so great to see San Diego come together and support and celebrate Oktoberfest.”

Ocean Beach Oktoberfest

When: 4 to 11:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6, and noon to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7

Where: Ocean Beach Pier parking lot, 5099 Newport Ave.

Concert schedule:

• Oct 6: King Julian, Electric Waste Band, Afroman, Vokab Kompany (Beastie Boys tribute)

• Oct 7: The Gravities, Paging the 90s, Lady Dottie & the Diamonds, Ballyhoo, Band of Gringos, Strawberry Disco Circus

Cost: $10 general admission at the gate; $49 VIP available online



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