The bullfight season runs from April (although some fights now start in March) to early October. In Madrid it is fashionable to take the family to see the first important fight on the city’s holiday, 2nd of May, when the bullfighters dress in 18th century period clothes. The big fight of the season however takes place on the 15th of May which heralds the San Isidro Feria which now runs for three weeks with bullfights every afternoon.
Ventas bullring holds 20,000 plus and tickets are in great demand from stalls at Ventas, Calle Victoria and from scalpers. Our friends in the bullfighting fraternity have never let us down even when the greatest fight of the year is about to take place in Madrid!
Seating arrangements in the bullring are very complex with the ring divided into 10 sections and those in turn divided into even more sections. Buying an expensive ticket does not always guarantee a good view. Many visitors are mystified by the crowds roar and waving of white or sometimes, green hankies. Indeed the whole process of the fight with the fighters using different capes, trumpets and drums echoing around Ventas causes even more confusion. Cries of “Fuera, fuera!” or “Torero!” and “Oreja!” are often intimidating to the uninitiated. Whistling and clapping resounds (but no booing!) and you wonder what on earth you have just missed.
Not so when you sign up for a bullfight and have expert play by play with our Chairman who saw his first fight at Ventas in 1975. Your tickets are obtained beforehand and we meet at a famous Hemingway tavern (where else?) in the afternoon. The journey to Ventas before the bullfights start provides time to take in a tour of the outside of the famous bullring.
Play by Play at Bullfights
Inside we have a view from one balcony to see the toreadors arrive and enter the chapel to pray. Once in our seats the Chairman points out where the President is and what is about to unfold before you. There are six bulls to be killed and three bullfighters and all is explained with the play by play from the Chairman, only pausing to teach you how to drink from his veteran wine skin!
“Without Stephen’s help, I would never have learned to truly appreciate the bullfight. It was Stephen who revealed the mysteries of the bullfight to me. What I want to know is how did he know what handkerchief the President of the Corrida was going to drop before he dropped it. Stephen is a true expert on bullfighting. He showed me death in the afternoon both in the arena and in the abattoir where the remains where skillfully prepared for the poor.” – Brian Gordon Sinclair, Playwright
Includes first refreshment stop and expert play by play with our Chairman
Pricing upon request