Where it all began...1990
13th of May: The first Marksenfest was held in 1990 and all started as a very small scale affair where the event was modelled off a German Oktoberfest. To get a ticket you needed just $25 dollars, giving you access to different home-crafted designer beers described as 'mind altering'. Even back in 1990, you received a free stein on entry and the Oompah Band (aka Adelaide German Band) belted out some epic beats to keep the crowds entertained!
14th of April: The weather was perfect and sunny, but unfortunately the crowd was not enough to make a profit. Despite that, 22 kegs of beer were consumed, a few spit roasts and table sliding was in full swing! Records state that a bouncer broke a table, presumably whilst attempting a table slide! 'Doughnut Draught' stole the title of 'Best of the Homebrew'.
25th of October:The decision was made to target a smaller audience of around 150 people in 1992 and the vision to move the event to October, closer to final exams was a positive one although a profit was still not recorded. Again the Oompa Band was a highlight and their rendition of the chicken dance was well-received on the day! Two lamb spits and many steins of beer were consumed. The day was recorded as 'a wild time' and The Lion report from 1992 finished with the line: "Thank you to those who set up, got up, messed up and cleaned up after."
Our current Property Manager was President in this year, Foss! Best to ask him in person what it was like in 1993...
Again about 150 people attended the event some dressed in Bavarian attire, others armed with colourful beer steins. There were three competitions in 1994: 'Most Original Bavarian Costume,' 'Most Original Stein' and the 'Best Home Brew.' Most Marksenfesters finished up at around 6pm, however some continued into the night with intent to empty the remaining kegs and the home brews. They apparently made it till midnight, but the success of this was not recorded...
The success started to catch on as allegedly 500 people joined Marksenfest, apparently consuming 18 kegs over 7 hours and I quote, "as far as we can recall we didn't lose money". We think these figures are a little off though - we're not sure if they counted the number of people wrong, or the number of kegs consumed, but it all seems a little off. Adding to this, the Committee accidentally purchased double the amount of beer they required, giving them little choice but to recruit big! Old Collegians, return by the hundred and it turned out that the amount of beer they had purchased was actually just right. The day had a 'festival like atmosphere' with arm wrestling, tug of war, beer spitting was attempted (but failed) and the Master judged the 'Best Home Brew' awarding it to 'the Dodgy Mexicans'. The highlight remains to be the table sliding!
With 1,000 litres of beer averaging 5 litres per person a good time was guaranteed! There were 7 entrants in the 'Best Home Brew' competition, the winner being Kyam Maher. Arm wrestling was in full swing with Sarah Crouch (a St Ann's girl) proving herself for the second year running. Apparently the exotic beers were Coopers and West End, which proved to be a hit... oh how the times change! The dunking machine was introduced and a huge success as many Marksenfesters were dunked into the icy water, including Reverend Susan Straub (the College Chaplain at the time). What a legend!
26th of October: This was the year the date was delayed, relatively last minute to ensure that the home brew was ready for the day. The priorities of 1997 included the return of the dunking machine and ticket prices of just $14 for collegians and merely $16 for non-collegians! They also had merchandise in 1997 purchasing 80 shirts and selling them for $25 - not much has changed in this area! The manual stated that the only thing that let them down was the weather. 17 kegs were consumed on the day, with the colder weather reducing the thirst of collegians.
11th of October: Again 1000 litres of glorious liquid to keep the 280 people at the event well-hydrated. There was a bouncing castle with play boxing gloves, the security doubled as DJs and there was a jukebox to keep everyone entertained. The Committee only found out on the morning that the kitchen were not going to cook the BBQ, and thus they scouted the crowd for potential chefs! The kegs were served through numerous miracle boxes and beers included Guinness, Southwark, Coopers, West End, St Tropez and an 'Original German Punch'.
12th of October: Around 330 people made it out to Marksenfest to drink 25 kegs and get around a nice German lunch with the Oompa Band! Rain clouds were threatening on this day, but that did not stop the usual 'Best Home Brew' competition, spudding contests, boxing competitions and the awesome arm wrestlers. DJ Jess made sure all were entertained as the day drew to a close. Drinks stopped at 6pm, although many people kicked on until the early hours of Monday morning.
A new feature in 2000 was a face painter, with numerous lions, Fella (the College dog), dragons and Marksenfest logos running around the tennis courts within the first few hours. The band was 'Biting Bee Quintet with Adam Page' ensuring crowds rolled in early to enjoy some funky tunes. Sumo suits, keg races and a bouncing castle which was deflated within the first 10 minutes (due to about 20 people). The weather had looked threatening all week, but turned it on for the day and the support from Old Collegians was again appreciated.
7th of October: The weather proved drizzly and overcast (although the picture say otherwise), however the drinking gods from Santos provided a glorious marquee for the day! No casualties from the sumo suits (perhaps implying them in past years), Adam Page's band was back and the inclusion of a human fly trap. Face painting continued and Marksenfest's favourite Oompa Band was back in action using the acoustics of the Santos tent to their advantage. The day was said to have the largest attendance in the event's history.
A year where cable ties were used as wristbands! No Lion Report that we can find.
12th of October: Just $40 for this blockbuster, which was packed with arguably more attractions than any other Marksenfest! From the old favourites like the Home Brew competition, sumo suits, arm wrestling, keg races, face painting and the bouncing castle, along came laughing clowns and cyclotron.
Over 300 people ascended (pun not intended) upon Marksenfest and many more than 20 kegs were 'conquered'. Bands again featured the Oompa Band, followed by George Dixon and the Rest'. The keg race was won by a group of randoms from Mildura. Western Bulldogs player Will Minson was the winner of the arm wrestling competition. The jelly wrestling event proved to be entertaining as many clothes were 'ruined forever'. Those covered in jelly chose the Pond to wash themselves and it turned a deep shade of purple. DJ Ben James provided the excellent sounds of the afternoon and Mother Nature was to be commended on some fantastic weather. This was the year of the new Marksenfest shield:
9th of October: The year that the Marksenfest Committee took the event to a new level. The radical decision to fly in New Zealand band, EVERMORE certainly drew some recognition with a record 550 strong crowd, and some post-Marksenfest short-term criticism as they made a loss (of around $3,000). Perhaps it had something to do with them investing $16,500 to have Evermore perform between 1:30pm and 2:30pm; that's at a rate of $4.60 per second! They did play a little longer on the day proving the punters wrong who only thought they would play for 10 minutes. Additionally, the contract required the Committee to organise various types of alcohol, a fruit platter with kiwi fruit and nectarines, right down to some tic-tacs and chewing gum! This decision and foresight is well-known as one of the key reasons for the success of the event as it stands today. 65 kegs of beer were consumed to the tune of other live entertainment including The Embassy, DJ Liam Somers and DJ Keegan Lee. The legacy of this Marksenfest lives on.
8th of October: Details pending. 600 tickets were sold.
14th of October: Returning to the profit books, Marksenfest hosted 750 people in 2007 and turned over a $12,000 profit. Committee tirelessly promoted the event, so there was no way it was going to disappoint. 60 kegs + 350 cans of Red Bull + 4 bands = 750 happy uni students, 1 awesome dance floor and the 'Best Marksenfest Ever'! The after party continued at the Oxford Hotel. Some people were so hungover that they didn't make it out of bed for the start, but still happily parted with their $50 as late as 3pm! Marksenfest Merchandise was everywhere from some very classy polos shirts to some t-shirts; many appreciated the fashion of Marksenfest.
12th of October: The success continued with more than 1000 people attending and the tickets were sold out on the Friday before the big day. The lineup included: E'Nuf Said, Behind These Walls, Two Stroke Johnny and Four Knuckle Shuffle. The Marksenfest tradition of a Home Brew competition was revived. Shandoor from the Oxford judged the entries and the winners were Robbo and Conor - apparently they donated the prize as welll! Ascendi Bibui Victus Sum (ABVS) was used frequently. Profit was proudly announced to be $18,000 for the College Club. Record breaking.
11th of October: 96 kegs of beer and cider and an increasedprofit raised the yet standard again. The number of tickets sold increased to 1100 and the event was sold out more than a month before the big day; on the 11th of September in fact! The lineup included E'Nuf Said, Super Dry (a med band), Sex Panther (College band) and finished with Hairy Lemon. The weather leading up to the event was full of winter, but a sunny 28 degrees on the day made sure it was an epic one. As the final ticket holders stumbled through the gate, the heavens opened and a 'mini hurricane' hit North Adelaide. Perfect.
10th of October: The lineup featured The Happy Leonards, Little Rhino and of course the Oompa Band in their 20th year. Tickets were $60 before September 20 and then raised to $70 afterwards.
16th of October: A move to online ticketing in 2011 was innovative, but not all went to plan and along with some overselling of tickets and some difficulty collecting funds, it was decided that this was not a very smart idea. There were 1300 tickets available for sale, but including staff, there was 1400 people at the event. The ticket price were raised slightly to $68. The lineup included Hairy Lemon, Super Dry and the Oompa Band.
30th of September: The only Marksenfest on record to be held in September. It included a return to hard copy ticketing after some difficulties with the online system. It was decided that a scaling back of the number of tickets would also be a good idea to a capacity of 1100. The controversial inclusion of an expensive photo booth had a lasting legacy here and credit to those Committee members that advocated so strongly. The lineup included E'Nuf Said, Es Ist Super, The Salvadoors, Produkt & Stix and Transit. We consumed 108 kegs, which equates to 5,300 litres!
13th of October: Goodbye to Creswell and East House, as this was the final Marksenfest where attendees would pass these buildings on their way in and out of an epic day. The year of the inflatable stage as the Committee removed the tired and run down Wavals marquee and replaced it with a festival like stage cover like none other seen before at Marksenfest. The introduction of the 'Big M' and the Snapbacks were a big hit for the merchandise range. The lineup featured The Shiny Brights, Es Ist Super, Console Warriors, Produkt & Stix, Transit and the Adelaide German Band. 1275 attendees and 116 kegs consumed. A notable and growing trend of cider drinkers is emerging. Record profit was made this year!!
12th of October: Marksenfest expands throughout the College and access to the event returns to the front gates. The event has multiple areas, incorporating the pond as a key feature. The East Wing Construction resulted in a reduction in available space and serious thought was put into whether or not Marksenfest should be moved off-site. Food improvements involved popcorn, ice-cream and this was the year of 'Timberwolf'. Alongside Timberwolf was The New Yorks, Hungry Dreamers, Hockey Dad, Lazy Daze, The Cardinals and crowd favourite, Transit. There was even a College band! A return to online ticketing through the Eventjoy platform and a revamped merchandise range as the singlet included the Big M and we opted for bone and charcoal coloured singlets. Capacity was at 1300 attendees and the number of kegs consumed was 118 kegs!
11th October 2015: marked 25 years since St Mark’s first hosted the Oktoberfest inspired festival on the College grounds. 1500 enthusiastic attendees celebrated the anniversary on what was a perfect day. They were welcomed with egg and bacon rolls to start the morning, and the rest of the day was filled with hot dogs, sausages, ice cream, fairy floss and more. 2015 was the first year to have two stages providing quality tunes for the entire day. The music line up included headliner Jesse Davidson, SKIES, Problems, Lost Woods, Spanish Harlem, Transit, Faz, Jake Daulby and Adelaide German Band (for the 25th time!). Attendees were kept busy throughout the day with a Giant Slide, Sumo Suits, Boys Club Barber Shop who delivered #marksencuts, Photo booth, Face Painters, Airbrush Artists and Twisted Balloons. 120 kegs were consumed throughout the day from a range of premium beer and cider. Thanks for everyone who attended to celebrate Marksenfest’s 25th birthday!
9th October 2016: what a day to remember! The first year that the College Green was introduced as a third area for Marksenfest. The setup of DJ decks provided a fabulous arena for energetic attendees to hang out and dance. The day saw yet another sell out, with 1400 tickets sold almost instantly! Flamingo headlined, with support from Maggie Rutjens, Battlehounds and the return of the Adelaide German Band for their 26th year! The Red Bull mocktail station complemented the day extremely well, whilst copious jam donuts and sausages went down a treat! The after party topped it off, with attendees partying away into the night; a fantastic end to a brilliant day!