Three hours before Reiter tapped the first keg, revelers rushed to secure seats in the huge beer tents as the gates to the festival opened.
They will need significantly deeper pockets than at the last Oktoberfest, with brewers and visitors facing pressure from inflation.
A 1-liter (2-pint) mug of beer costs between 12.60 and 13.80 euros (dollars) this year, which is an increase of about 15% compared with 2019, according to the festival's official homepage.
This year’s Oktoberfest, the 187th edition of the event, runs through Oct. 3.
Soeder told the daily Muenchner Merkur newspaper in comments published earlier Saturday that the number of coronavirus infections would probably rise following the Oktoberfest but “at the same time, thankfully, we aren't measuring an undue strain on hospitals anywhere.”
“That speaks for us being in new phase of corona,” he said, adding that authorities would try to protect vulnerable people but not prevent celebrations.