Springfest Allows Young Travellers Another Opportunity To Act Like Homeless Alcoholics
Germany’s Springfest, held in Munich ever April-May, offers young backpackers and students yet another opportunity to behave like complete pissheads without compromising their professional nor familial relationships.
The festival, held in the same showgrounds as Oktoberfest, features much of the same atmosphere and spectacle as its better-known cousin, just on a smaller scale. And while the festival isn’t yet on the radar of aspiring boozehounds world-wide, it soon will be with its offering of judgement free binge drinking sessions.
“I’d done Oktoberfest before and loved it – loved living like a tramp for a few days, with the sleeping in tents and going to sleep drunk and waking up without a hangover because you just keep drinking – so I was super happy to discover that there was another Munich beer festival that I could come and pretend to be destitute at,” explained Barry Collins, 29. “Thing is, I’m probably never going to properly be a bum. I have a good job, a solid safety net beneath me with friends and family and no history of mental illness. It’s nice for me to pretend to be a problem drinker for just a few days.”
Stoke Travel’s Toby Paramor admits that the company is trying to corner the sought after “temporarily destitute” travel market. “Not many operators out there really give their customers the chance to act out their fantasies of destitution, but we do. We offer travellers a €10 all-you-can-drink deal, meaning that there is no financial barrier to full-time intoxication. We don’t judge them when they want to have a beer before breakfast – heck, we even encourage it. Most of these guys have pretty good jobs and never really get the chance to wear the same clothes for five days straight. We offer them that experience and create an environment where it’s encouraged.”
Munich lord mayor, Andrew Blonk is grateful for the temporary injection of vagrancy that Stoke Travel brings to the Bavarian city. “We’re a pretty well-off city, one of the few places in Germany where the hard-working and serious German stereotypes really apply, so we don’t have many homeless people here. It’s nice that we can put on events like Springfest and Oktoberfest where mass consumption of alcohol is encouraged, and then Stoke Travel can fill them with young people who look like they’ve been living on the streets for years. It’s amazing! Sometimes they have odd shoes on, sometimes none at all, and I even once saw one of them pissing under a table! Can you believe it? The only people who are so brave with their bodily functions are the homeless, out of necessity, and Stoke Travel’s guests because they’re just out of control. And they don’t ask anybody for money, they bring their own and spend it on beer! It’s really a win-win situation.”
Paramor was open to how far guests could go in living out their hobo fantasies. “We’ve had people piss their pants, fall asleep on the toilet — one girl who was so drunk she thought she was the second-coming of Jesus, I mean, as far as tramp fantasies go we accommodate all of them. I like to think of Stoke Travel like Westworld, but in real life, kind of like Westworld is supposed to be real life in the show. You know Westworld, on HBO? Great show, you’ve just got to watch it. Anyway, Stoke Travel is like Westworld, but instead of allowing travellers to live out their cowboy fantasties, we give them the experience of being really down and out for a few days, just like they’ve hit rock bottom and everything’s falling apart, but their spirits are high. It’s really quite the thing, you should try it sometime. Everyone should try it – come and be homeless with us! Is that a new slogan? Stoke Travel – you’re never alone when you don’t have a home. Got a nice ring to it, no?”
Springfest is Oktoberfest’s little cousin, with the same beer, food and fun, just with less people. Come and join us for the temporarily alcoholic where you and your friends can sleep almost rough, get loaded on booze for almost every waking hour and smell pretty bad too! It’s a real hobo-themed hoot.
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