If you want to listen to authentic traditional German polka music; sing along with dueling piano; groove to smoky, soulful original music; or enjoy standard rock ‘n’ roll cover songs, Oktoberfest has you covered.
Four bands will headline this year’s German festival, September 16-18, with two music stages offering the proverbial something for everyone.
The King Guys Oktoberfest brass band, originally from Orlando, will open the weekend Friday in the Festhalle tent with the “authentic sounds of Munich’s beer halls.”
Offering a repertoire of traditional polkas, waltzes, marches and more, the seven-piece band will be decked out in lederhosen in true biergarten spirit.
Jim Luce, music director, said the group consists of two trumpet players, a trombonist, an alto player, a tuba player and a drummer who either currently or have previously worked as musicians at Walt Disney World.
The band has played German festivals across the country, Luce said, but this will be their first performance at Redstone Arsenal.
Flying Ivories Dueling Pianos is, as the name suggests, two pianists playing rock singalong music in an informal “all requests” format.
Adam Knauss, a representative of the Flying Ivories, said the pianists coming to Oktoberfest are from New Orleans and Nashville and do not have a set list.
“It’s an all-demand show, so the guests choose the set and that way every show is different,” he said. “Anything popular on the radio over the last 60 years is fair game – rock, country, pop, hip-hop, TV themes, Disney songs; the sky is the limit. We will have the crowd singing along, clapping and having the time of their lives.”
Flying Ivories will offer shows on Friday on the Craft Biergarten stage and Saturday evening in the Festhalle.
On the Craft Biergarten Stage, two North Alabama acts will perform both nights.
Buck’d Up, a three-piece rock band based in Huntsville, plays a variety of musical genres, said singer and bassist Alexander Mercieca.
“Our music is very diverse,” he said, noting that the band covers artists such as Metallica, Michael Jackson, Bruno Mars, Pink Floyd, Charlie Daniels, Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Buffett.
“Country, rock, rap, metal, R&B. We do it well and stay true to the style of music we play. People think we’re a country band, then they think we’re a metal band, then they think we’re a dance music band,” Mercieca said.
Rob Aldridge and the Proponents, a band based in Muscle Shoals, will offer original smoky, blues and rock music on both Friday and Saturday nights.
In a recent al.com article on local music, writer Matt Wake described the band as “American rock ‘n’ roll in the tradition of the great ‘and the’ bands like Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers.
The group also evokes the sound of the Drive-By Truckers, Wake noted, adding that Proponents lead guitarist Rob Malone was once part of that group, as was Florence music icon Jason Isbell.
Also on the Craft Biergarten stage on Saturday will be a “Battle of the DJs” featuring three popular regional disc jockeys.
Oktoberfest will be held September 16-18 at the Aerobee Street Activity Field and is open to the general public.
Featuring a Ferris wheel and other carnival rides, German cuisine and beer, craft beer and live entertainment, the three-day festival is being held in person this year for the first time since 2019 due to the pandemic.
Admission is $15 per person (includes parking and entertainment) or $25 per person (for parking, entertainment and unlimited carnival rides), with additional charges for food, beer and other beverages, all on a cash-only basis hand”.
Festival goers without access to Redstone Arsenal are asked to enter through Gate 10 on Patton Road by 4:30pm on Friday and be prepared to show identification, proof of car insurance and registration.
Hours are Friday from 5:00 p.m. to midnight, Saturday from noon to midnight and Sunday from noon to 6:00 p.m.
For more information on Oktoberfest, visit redstonemwr.com.