Goyesca bullfights cancelled 2024 in Ronda

Cancellation of Goyesca Bullfight and Pedro Romero Festival Events in Ronda 2024

The prestigious Goyesca bullfight and other events in the Ronda bullring, traditionally held during the Pedro Romero Festival, have been cancelled for 2024 due to necessary structural interventions in the historic Plaza de Toros. The decision was made following detailed technical evaluations highlighting safety concerns that arose after a particularly challenging weather year.

The Goyesca Bullfight

The Goyesca bullfight, a highlight of Ronda’s cultural calendar, is famous for its unique presentation and historical significance. Established by Antonio Ordóñez in 1954, the event is celebrated in the 18th-century Plaza de Toros, where participants dress in period costumes inspired by the painter Francisco de Goya. This bullfight draws enthusiasts from around the world, eager to experience its distinctive blend of tradition and artistry.

Pedro Romero Festival Activities

The Pedro Romero Festival, named after the legendary bullfighter, includes various activities that showcase Ronda’s rich cultural heritage.

Horse and carriage show Ronda Goyseca festival
Horse and carriage show in the Ronda bullring at the Ronda Goyseca festival

Aside from the Goyesca bullfight, the festival features flamenco performances, parades, and the crowning of the Goyesca Queen and her court. These events celebrate the town’s deep-rooted bullfighting history and its broader Andalusian traditions.

Reason for Cancellation

The decision to cancel this year’s events, in the bullring, was not taken lightly. Recent advanced diagnostic techniques revealed concerns about the structural integrity of the Plaza de Toros in Ronda, particularly its columns, which have withstood the test of time for over 250 years.

Continuous monitoring and a comprehensive investigation using non-destructive methods like seismic accelerometers and 3D laser scanning showed the need for immediate intervention to ensure safety.

Diverse Reactions to the Cancellation

While many locals and visitors are disappointed by the cancellation, there is a notable portion of the population that welcomes the pause.

Animal rights advocates and those opposed to bullfighting due to concerns about animal cruelty see this as a positive development. The break from tradition provides an opportunity to reflect on the cultural practice and consider its place in modern society.

Future Plans

The Real Maestranza de Caballería de Ronda has emphasized that this cancellation is a preventive measure to safeguard both the public and the historical monument. The planned interventions aim to preserve the bullring for future generations, ensuring that it can continue to host events safely.

The hope is to resume the full festival program next year with a renewed and secure venue.

Here is the English translation of the official press release from the Real Maestranza de Caballería de Ronda

See the original Spanish here: https://www.rmcr.org/en/2024/06/05/la-real-maestranza-plantea-una-intervencion-integral-en-su-plaza-de-toros-a-fin-de-asegurar-muchos-anos-de-festejos/

The Royal Cavalry Armory Proposes a Comprehensive Intervention in Its Bullring to Ensure Many Years of Festivities

June 5, 2024
10:43 am

The Royal Cavalry Armory of Ronda proposes a comprehensive intervention in its bullring to guarantee the safety and continuity of festivities. After a detailed technical evaluation, it was decided to preemptively cancel this year’s events to carry out the necessary works. The intervention will ensure the preservation of this historic heritage for future generations.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning, we would like to first thank you for your presence at the Royal Cavalry Armory of Ronda for this press conference. With me at the table are Ignacio Herrera, director of the Royal Cavalry Armory, and Isabel Serrano, architect of the CDC Architects Studio.

As you all know, the importance of the Royal Cavalry Armory’s bullring lies in its architectural delicacy. The bullring lacks a foundation, and the slender colonnade that gives it its unique character is its most sensitive part. Hence, it has always been subject to consolidation works, such as those carried out by Carlos Lamiable in 1880, Domingo Rute in 1897, Juan Antonio Benjumea in the first half of the 20th century, and the renowned architect Pons Sorolla in the 1960s. The last major work was carried out by this Governing Board about 25 years ago, with the CDC architecture studio and an engineering company. It was an important consolidation work.

After that work, our architectural team, the engineering company, and this Royal Cavalry Armory have been monitoring the structure of the building, especially the colonnade. Those shafts, which are over 250 years old, have been continuously cleaned, waterproofed, treated, and studied. Maintenance and repair tasks for the bullring have always been constant and scheduled.

According to this schedule, a more comprehensive investigation is carried out using the most advanced non-destructive and highly respectful diagnostic techniques for heritage. Among them, we can highlight the measurement of ambient vibration using seismic accelerometers, an experimental modal analysis on the columns based on wave propagation techniques, advanced structural behaviour analysis using the finite element method based on three-dimensional laser scanning of the entire bullring and its surroundings, etc., always led by our team of architects, the engineering company, and the Department of Building Structures and Soil Engineering of the School of Architecture at the University of Seville. A study of the bullring’s structure like never before, given the recent technical advances (previously conducted in laboratories, now done in situ).

A few days ago, on May 30, the Royal Cavalry Armory and its technical team received access to the unfinished report. And, as every year, we asked the technical team to guarantee one hundred percent safety with the bullring full. For the first time, considering that a rainy winter after several years of drought and two summers of extreme heat cannot fail to affect the monument and given the progress of the investigation, they expressed doubts about that safety guarantee we demand. Logically, an immediate meeting of the Governing Board of the Royal Cavalry Armory was called, which was held on June 3. In this meeting, it was decided that the most prudent and responsible course of action is to preemptively cancel events that would fill the bullring. Consequently, we regret to inform you that this year the Goyesque bullfight and its accompanying festivities cannot be held. Safety, as you can imagine, is our primary concern.

We deeply regret this decision, of which we are the first affected, as every year we carefully prepare all the events, and precisely this 2024 marks the 40th anniversary of the tragic goring of Francisco Rivera “Paquirri” and the 25th anniversary of the death of the Master of Ronda Antonio Ordóñez. To this end, we had organised a series of events and tributes with our empresario Francisco Rivera, including a round table with leading intellectuals, an attractive festival, publications, etc. All this months-long work with our empresario will not be carried out on such an important date, and we deeply regret it.

This cancellation is a postponement, as we hope that next year we can resume the usual schedule with a renovated bullring. These works aim to ensure many more years of festivities in this 18th-century venue. Like all historic and artistic monuments, improvement reforms are a constant that allows preserving the heritage and wealth of this unique monument.

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