But on the countryside in the villages they celebrate Harvest festivals all from late July to early September - when the weather is right that you can party hard outside, of course. Why I do mention it NOW that the weather turns to shitty outside? Because I just uploaded my pics of the "Erntefest" in Rehren A/R (that's on the countryside where I grew up - sorry, no English description of that) on Flickr. If you ever want to experience Germany a different way, let yourself be invited by a friend/relative/pal to join an "Erntefest". First of all - the people will be drunk. In any scale from mellow drunkeness to totally pissed. That's why it could be easy to find friends or foes without being able to tell one from another. So better be guided by an old friend or close pal. Second: The people will be drunk. That could be a reason for great fun as well as heavy embarassement. Could be a reason why your friend never invited you to his annual local Erntefest by now.
You can't tell the difference between Oktoberfest and Erntefest by now? First of all, in a local Erntefest there's lots of layers of culture and tradition to discover, which would be hard to find in a big thing like Oktoberfest. I think even at other big fun fairs like Schützenfest Hannover or Brokser Markt that would be easier than in Munich. Secondly: You'll have a reliable privat accomodation when for sure the local hotels have temporarily closed for their once-in-a-season holiday. Everyone wants to party sometime. But if you really wanna discover something typical (Northern) German, than go there. No tourist did before, I'm sure!