Written By: Eliza Berman

Oktoberfest, the annual Bavarian beer festival, is known for its Pilsener- and Hefeweizen-induced revelry. But the fête has been tamed in recent years by rules enforcing quiet hours that aim to increase the festival’s appeal to families and curb a spike in brawls.

Back in 1961, when LIFE dispatched photographer Stan Wayman to Germany to document the drunken debauchery, the party atmosphere was unmistakably intact. Wayman’s photos, which never ran in the magazine, depict a carefree camaraderie: merrymakers dancing on tables, raising giant beer steins and shout-singing songs between sips. The only evidence of quiet is a photo of two men, one man’s hat covering his face, who are, perhaps,rethinking the number of steins they’ve just consumed.

Liz Ronk edited this gallery for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter @lizabethronk.

Oktoberfest in Germany, 1961.

Oktoberfest in Germany, 1961.

Stan Wayman The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Oktoberfest in Germany, 1961.

Oktoberfest in Germany, 1961.

Stan Wayman The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Oktoberfest in Germany, 1961.

Oktoberfest in Germany, 1961.

Stan Wayman The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Oktoberfest in Germany, 1961.

Oktoberfest in Germany, 1961.

Stan Wayman The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Oktoberfest in Germany, 1961.

Oktoberfest in Germany, 1961.

Stan Wayman The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Oktoberfest in Germany, 1961.

Oktoberfest in Germany, 1961.

Stan Wayman The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Oktoberfest in Germany, 1961.

Oktoberfest in Germany, 1961.

Stan Wayman The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Oktoberfest in Germany, 1961.

Oktoberfest in Germany, 1961.

Stan Wayman The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Oktoberfest in Germany, 1961.

Oktoberfest in Germany, 1961.

Stan Wayman The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Oktoberfest in Germany, 1961.

Oktoberfest in Germany, 1961.

Stan Wayman The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Oktoberfest in Germany, 1961.

Oktoberfest in Germany, 1961.

Stan Wayman The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Oktoberfest in Germany, 1961.

Oktoberfest in Germany, 1961.

Stan Wayman The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Oktoberfest in Germany, 1961.

Oktoberfest in Germany, 1961.

Stan Wayman The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

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