Germany's Oktoberfest is canceled.
Markus Söder, Bavaria's minister president, and Dieter Reiter, Munich's lord mayor, announced the news together Tuesday, citing the coronavirus pandemic as the reason for the cancellation.
"It hurts, it's such a pity," Söder said, as noted in comments shared on the Oktoberfest website from the press conference. "We have agreed that the risk is simply too high."
The German beer festival, scheduled to take place beginning Sept. 19 and running through Oct. 4, expected nearly 6 million guests to attend in 2020. According to Reuters, Oktoberfest brings in 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) into the city of Munich.
Coronavirus could spread rapidly through beer tents, streets and alleyways as guests crowded Munich for the festival.
Germany has seen upwards of 147,000 cases of coronavirus and 4,862 people have died in the country, according to Johns Hopkins data.
"A decision that saddens us all: It affects me, deeply and personally. A festival for millions, which stands for Munich, for the joy of life, for Bavaria, cannot take place," said Clemens Baumgärtner, the head of Oktoberfest.
But Baumgärtner stressed it was the right decision as they could not promise a festival that would not pose danger.
Oktoberfest is not a celebration that can be postponed or moved, according to Baumgärtner.
"The Wiesn (Oktoberfest) is a total work of art that you either do completely or not at all – and this work of art cannot be moved backwards or made in a smaller form," he said.
Reiter called it a "sad day."
"I hope that in 2021, no, I'm sure that we will see another Oktoberfest in 2021 – hopefully under different conditions by then," Reiter said. "Until then, I must beg your indulgence that there was no other solution."