Saturday, 27 July 2013

Spain to limit visitor numbers for 'La Tomatina' festival

Foreign party-people wishing to participate in the crazy La Tomatina festival in Buñol, Valencia in August will have to reserve a spot first through a newly introduced ticket-only system.

Buñol Town Hall has decided to restrict the number of international revellers at this year’s event by only offering 15,000 tickets to non-locals.

While previously organizers of this world-renowned and crazy event had allowed unlimited access to both locals and tourists alike, the whole La Tomatina festival has apparently become just too big for comfort. 

Crowds of up to 50,000 people partying in the narrow streets of this small Valencian town are just too much. When watching videos of the event, it does, indeed, look like an accident just waiting to happen.  

Estefania Palacios, organizer for the ticket distributor Spaintastic told The Local:  

"Although there haven’t been any incidents, it was starting to become unbearable for the locals and also potentially more dangerous for everyone."  

"As the tomato-pelting will only take place within one fenced off street, Buñol Town Hall has decided to halve the number of participants to ensure their safety and enjoyment."

For those who want to participate, but do not yet have a ticket, apparently 90 per cent have already been sold for this year's event. People will be traveling from as far away as Australia, India, Japan and the US to attend the madness on August 28th. 

The last tickets are avalable on this website, and cost €10. Attendees will be asked to show their ID before entering the “fight zone”. 

About the festival: 
La Tomatina is a food fight festival held on the last Wednesday of August each year in the town of Buñol in the Valencia region of Spain. Buildings in the street are lined with plastic as protection from the mess.

In exactly one hour, tens of metric tons of overripe tomatoes are thrown in the streets, with revellers slipping and sliding in the mess and throwing tomatoes at each other. Normally around 20,000–50,000 tourists come to find out more about the tomato fight, multiplying by several times Buñol's normal population of slightly over 9,000.

There is limited accommodation for tourists attending La Tomatina, and thus many participants stay in Valencia and travel by bus or train to Buñol, about 38 km outside the city. 

Most of these images courtesy flydime