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Oktoberfest, the annual Bavarian beer festival, is known for its Pilsener- and Hefeweizen-induced revelry. But the fête, which this year began on Sept. 19 and ends on Oct. 4, has been tamed in recent years by the rules enforcing quiet hours that aim to increase its appeal to families and curb a spike in brawls.
But back in 1961, when LIFE dispatched photographer Stan Wayman to document the drunken debauchery, the party atmosphere was unmistakably intact. His photos, which never ran in the magazine, depict a carefree camaraderie: merrymakers dancing on tables, raising giant beer steins high, shout-singing songs between sips. The only evidence of quiet is a photo of two men, one man’s hat covering his face, who appear to be rethinking the number of steins they’ve just consumed.
Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter @lizabethronk.