Munich. The smoking ban in tents at the Oktoberfest has been working this weekend. However celebrities seem to think they are an exception.
In the middle of "Kaefer's" tent, Ralf Moeller puts a cigarette in his mouth. He lights it, inhales and then exhales the smoke, laughing confidently into the camera. A waiter gives him a red card, while laughing himself.
What seems a joke for the two men, is not so for economic consultant Dieter Reiter, who doesn't find it funny at all. "I find it very distressing and I am very upset that so called celebrities are being photographed while smoking cigarettes", he says. "To show an actor smoking a cigarette at the Oktoberfest, only receiving a red card is not funny at all." Reiter warns the people responsible that they shouldn't look away: "I can only recommend to the Wiesn hosts not to support such behaviour."
Ralf Moeller is not the only VIP who smokes in the tent of Michael Kaefer. Ex-footballer Stefan Effenberg was seen with wife Claudia while happily smoking a cigarette. He apparently didn't get into trouble because of it.
An exception for celebrities seems to exist in the Hippodrom as well. Visitors complain that they themselves have to leave the tent or go to the balcony every time they want to smoke while some VIPs simply smoke inside the tent. Amongst others, Boris Becker's wife Lilly was seen multiple times lighting a cigarette inside the tent. Host Sepp Kraetz has not seen any celebrity smoking. "I haven't seen them smoking", he said, and "I'm sure I would have noticed."
Just like the other hosts, Kraetz says: "The smoking ban works fantastic. There is no problem at all." And as a matter of fact, in comparison to previous Wiesn's, the air in even the biggest tents is much clearer and doesn't smell of smoke. Waiting staff are meant to warn people smoking inside and occasionally security has to take force people out that are uncooperative.