The international break seems to have consumed half of October, leaving very little time for the month’s two big (if confected) festivals: Oktoberfest and Halloween.
In fact much of the UK celebrates Oktoberfest in September, being in a different time zone to Munich. But a handful of big cities (and one smaller town) stick to the calendar. If you have an away game coming up in those places, take your lederhosen:
Saturday 19 October Birmingham Oktoberfest Brunch
Visiting teams in the vicinity are Brighton at Villa and Cheltenham at Walsall. Leeds
By a happy coincidence, Birmingham City fans missing their own Oktoberfest can enjoy Leeds’. Wolverhampton
Southampton are at Wolves that day.
Saturday 26 Colchester
It’s quite a trek for Newport County fans but a stein or two might help. London has an Oktoberfest at Olympia on this Saturday. None of the West London clubs is at home, but London Overground means Olympia isn’t the backwoods destination it used to be from the rest of the capital.
England’s game being on Friday night leaves Saturday afternoon free for you to watch live football.
Have you looked at League One or League Two recently? True, there’s some very poor football played at that level, but you’ll see an occasional flash of promise and a good young player in the making. It can also be strangely calming to watch a match in which you don’t have anything invested in the outcome.
And if the worst comes to the worst, you can leave 10 minutes before the end with an easy conscience, and beat the traffic.
If the football itself isn’t enough, here are some of the other attractions to be found in places with league football this Saturday:
Blackpool Illuminations, Ghost Walk and Rotherham United. Bristol At the theatre, a dramatisation of One Hundred Years of Solitude; at galleries, an Aardman exhibition, the Royal West of England Academy Open and films by Yoko Ono; at Rovers, MK Dons. Ipswich v Wycombe: Schumann, a craft fair, quirky automata and an Ed Sheeran exhibition. Oxford United v Doncaster: Bill Bryson has sold out and the Lieder Festival (Tales of Beyond) may be tricky to dip in an out of, but there’s something intriguing round every corner in Oxford. Peterborough v Lincoln: a craft market, a Glow event, and exhibitions on hoards and fabrics.
Portsmouth v Gillingham: take the kids to Horrible Histories: The Exhibition. Or call in at the Oktoberfest; for gentler pleasures follow the Open Studios trail. Rochdale v Accrington: Music before the match in the town and after it with an Amy Winehouse tribute act at Spotland. Also a chance to see the Protest & Peterloo exhibition. Southend v Wimbledon: Foreworks on the front; and a last chance to see Day Tripper, a show featuring the work of Liz Arnold and contemporary artists. Sunderland v Fleetwood: Vaguely seasonal diversions – a Christmas craft fair and, for the kids, a Halloween Trail and Elmer.
Carlisle v Crewe: Tech Fest, singing in the Cathedral, and a Cumbrian perspective on Japanese art. Cheltenham v Newport: literature in Cheltenham, plus John Ruskin and Tatty Devine. Crawley v Colchester: a bomber special at the Wings Museum: hear an RR Merlin engine from a 1943 Halifax. Exeter v Forest Green: music in the Two Moors Festival and The Sixteen’s Choral Pilgrimage, plus song and storytelling in Gothic Dartmoor.
Leyton Orient v Walsall: take a stroll through the many environments of the Olympic Park. Macclesfield v Port Vale: Nature Walk in West Park. Mansfield v Oldham: Mind, Body & Spirit Show, and a charity soul & Motown night at the football club – for guide dogs. Morecambe v Bradford: Lancaster Music Festival, a Gin event, jazz for children and the Morecambe Camera Club exhibition. Salford v Cambridge: Ordsall Hall Ghost Hunt, plus all the resources of Manchester and Salford. Scunthorpe v Northampton: Northern Soul, plus Lego. Stevenage v Grimsby: British Inclusive Dance Festival and Design Icons. Swindon v Plymouth: Anniversary events at Lydiard Park, plus a vintage sale at the Steam Museum. Argyle’s second visit to Swindon in four days.