Spain’s cancelled bull-running fiesta leaves streets empty

San Fermin bull-running festival

San Fermin bull-running festival. Image - Baltasar García, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The streets of Pamplona were empty today, July 7, as the San Fermin bull-running festival was cancelled.

The streets of Pamplona would usually be packed today, July 7, as people celebrate the famous San Fermin bull-running festival. However, authorities cancelled the fiesta for the second consecutive year because of Covid concerns.

The eight-day festival attracts hundreds of thousands of people from around the world each year, where people would drink, dance and run with bulls. After last year’s fiesta was cancelled because of the health crises, it was also decided in February that to hold the fiesta this year would be too much of a risk.

Veteran bull-runner Antonio Manzanera, 55, from the southeastern region of Murcia said he felt an “immense sadness” at the cancellation, according to Reuters.

“Running is what we like the most…But we understand that due to the pandemic it has been cancelled, and we came with the same hopes this year and next year we will continue.”

The cancellation is also causing many local businesses, some of which rely on the fiesta for nearly a fifth of their annual income, to struggle.

“The streets are empty, the balconies are empty,” said Roberto Bueno who owns a traditional cafe in the old town of Pamplona.

Although, for others, another bull-free San Fermin is a cause for celebration.

“There will be no bullfights in the city, which fills us with satisfaction. We believe they are not necessary to enjoy the festival,” said animal rights group AnimaNaturalis.

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Written by

Laura Kemp

Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at