Tell us about the Oktoberfest tradition in Germany.
Oktoberfest is a social event, celebrating Bavarian heritage and the Bavarian way of life. In Munich, Oktoberfest is an expansive family tradition, featuring an amusement park, live concerts and entertainment, activities for children and traditional food and refreshments, celebrating life. This is also the success of Oktoberfest abroad, as it is a genuine celebration, focusing on bringing people together in a relaxed and casual environment with good music, traditional German food and refreshment classics.
Were both of you always so passionate about performing traditional Bavarian music?
We were raised with traditional Bavarian music and learned very early on to play instruments and entertain people. It always has been an integral part of our daily lives, so we are very passionate about the music. Our passion transfers to the audience as people genuinely enjoy our performances.
What is Bavarian music all about?
Bavarian music or German folk music in general is all about transferring a positive vibe to the audience, gathering people and celebrating life together. The sway dance unites people and the overall good atmosphere is contagious, positively impacting on the entire audience.
Describe to us how a German person likes to party.
Germans are always described as very reserved and conservative in regards to partying. However, the truth is that we are very outgoing and enjoy partying, as long as it follows the three central tenets of being German – planning, preparation and process. First, we agree on the date we wish to go out and mark the date in everyone’s diary. Then, we prepare accordingly as we decide on the venue, think about the outfit we will wear and arrange transportation or at least agree on how we will get home. Lastly follows the process, where we just go out and enjoy ourselves, with good music, good company in a place that offers good food and refreshments. Germany is renowned for its nightlife scene in the big cities like Berlin or Hamburg but also offers a great variety of dining options. Whether you are seeking a premium dining experience in an exquisite restaurant or a great night out in an underground pub, Germany has it all.
So what is traditional Oktoberfest music?
It’s about passion and joy and should get people off their seats to dance or at least sway. Traditionally it is a full orchestra playing brass music that gets the people at Oktoberfest going, playing Polka music. As we are a two man band, we need to re-arrange the traditional playlist in order to deliver the same musical experience with the guitar and the accordion, which results in our own very unique music style. The results though are the same – the music gets to the crowd and they dance the night away.
Tell us about the instruments typically used and why.
Volksmusik is characterised by improvisation and variation, uncomplicated key melodies and simple harmonies. Typical instruments range from Alpenhorns to hackbretts, acoustic guitars, and even violas and harmonicas. Harmonised singing is frequent, but other pieces may require yodeling, while instrumental arrangements are particularly frequent for fast dances or brass pieces.
Do you find that this music is only popular during October, or is it popular throughout the year?
This kind of music is popular throughout the year and not only during Oktoberfest. Especially for large group celebrations, corporate events, traditional gatherings, and even for après ski, this music is thoroughly enjoyed by the audience and much sought after all-year-round.
Will your performance be all about Bavaria, or will you be adding some modern-day pop tunes into the mix as well?
When playing abroad, we have to consider our audience and its likings. Therefore we will complement our performance with international party songs to ensure everyone will enjoy Oktoberfest to the max.
Tschirgant will be performing from 5pm-2am daily on October 26-30 at Champions, Marriott Marquis City Center Doha Hotel, West Bay (4419 5000).
Other Oktoberfest events
German theme @ Radisson
For the whole month, Shehrazad is getting into the Oktoberfest spirit with German snacks and refreshments available.
Shehrezad, Radisson Blu Doha, Intersection of C-Ring Road and Salwa Road (4428 1555).
Tent @ InterCon
The famed InterCon party is on for four days with Oktoberfest music and plenty of food and beverages. This is a must-visit in the massive tent. It is priced at QR265 for entrance and food on October 7, 8, & 9, QR205 on October 10.
InterContinental Doha, West Bay Lagoon (4484 4444).