The origins of the festival go back to the founding of Landshut's Freyung district in 1338. To promote trade in the new district, the Bavarian Duke Henry XIV donated a fair to the citizens of Landshut:
"All years in the free time shall be eternally on St Bartholomew's Day before eight days and after eight days".
The Bartlmädult changed its location several times due to the constant increase in stalls. At first it moved from the Freyung to the Regierungsplatz in front of the Dominican monastery. Later it spread to the entire Neustadt and the Festwiese on Niedermayerstraße. It was not until 1949 that the showmen moved outside the city gates to the Grieserwiese on Wittstraße, and in 1979 the stalls followed there as well.