It would appear that the once-a-year bullfights in Felanitx, on the occasion of the annual Sant Agustí festivities, will not be happening this year, or possibly ever again.
The Felanitx Macarena or Plaza de Toros is an archaic bullring dating from 1914. The 95-year-old installations may have been modernised once, perhaps fifty years ago, but frankly, the whole setup does not seem to be up to scratch. Whilst the ring is a photographer’s dream scenario in terms of it being like a time capsule, and an historian’s delight as an insight as to how mankind lived some fifty or a hundred years ago in this Mallorcan town, contemporary safety standards seem to be lacking in a big way in Felanitx’s coliseo, especially when the combination of blood sports with a consumption of large amounts of alcohol evokes concerns for health and safety.
It appears that the Consell de Mallorca imposed some severe safety measures upon the organizers of the corridas in Felanitx, a company called Grupo Balañà. The licence to hold this year’s event on August 28th has been withheld by the Island Council pending the implementation of the requested improvements. The proprietors have asked the Felanitx townhall for a contribution towards the hefty sum needed to implant the necessary safety means. The batle of Felanitx (the mayor) has declined any extra help, citing La Crisis. The citizens of Felanitx, according to him, have more pressing woes at these times of rising unemployment than bullfights. He does not want to be seen as wasting taxpayers’ money on an event that occurs for only one day every year, and for only two hours at that.
Seeing it this way, the financial meltdown may have some positive side effects, after all. The young bulls will rejoice, and the Plataforma Antitaurina de Felanitx must be delighted. Let’s see what the citizens of Felanitx will say. Many Felanitxers seem to be sadened by the news, in particular, El Coso and other penyas.
The photo was chosen from my archive. It was taken in Felanitx, Mallorca, Spain. The date: August 28th, 2008. The time was 13:14:25.