Fermines you are going to get a real superabundance
of all kinds of music. There will be music sounding
at all hours of the day all over the place.
Local regional music, txistularis and gaiteros,
the brass bands of the "Peñas",
The municipal brass band - The Pamplonesa. Then
there are buskers in the street of all kinds
- Peruvians, Rockers or Jazz or whatever. Then
there are the official shows - open- air concerts
with salsas, Brazilians, etc. (Lately, the tastes
seem to widen year by year - are we getting
too sophisticated, perhaps ? ).
there are the open-air dances in several
places round the town. And of course,
in practically all the bars there is all
sorts of canned music from all sorts of
contempory music styles from basque radical
rock to tecno or electronic music, etc.
Although it is going to hit you when you
arrive in town the following is an attempt
to put the music scene in some sort of
PEÑAS AND CHARANGAS
Music during the San Fermines is, above
That is to say, the typical loud wind instruments
and the big drum.This is the music of the "Peñas".
When you come, you will get an overdose of this
continual "Thump-thump" beat. Even
days after the Fiesta is over, you will have
that sound echoing round your head.
The hymns of the "Peñas" are
the best pieces from this limited "repertoire"
of the brass bands. They play them day and night
at all hours and in all sorts of places, but
mainly in the street But they are at their most
characteristic during the bull-fights
and immediately afterwards when they parade
out of the ring. All the old traditional
tunes of San Fermines are of a similar style:
the riau-riau, the ice-box cart, the squad gets
up, the boss is a bollocks..... etc, etc. This
music is bellowed out without inhibitions.
The "Peñas" can be seen every
day and night except the 6th. and especially
in the old quarter of the city- around Jarauta
street. They are continually instigating impromptu
dances in the streets, which are one of the
best things about the whole Fiesta. A good session
of wild dancing with one of them will leave
you feeling as good as new.
Then there are other brass bands who have been
contracted by the Town Hall to enliven the
of the town day and night. They play a similar-type
of music, but without the same spontaneous
even though the quality may be a little better.
The best of them by far is a band called Jarauta
69, who usually gather
night in Descalzos street [map]
in front of the bar
"Lambroa" where they create
a great atmosphere where an impromptu
dance gets off at about one in the morning.
After that they make every day a different
parade through the streets of the old
part of the city.
mention must be made of La
Pamplonesa, the official brass band
of the Town Hall. These are real professionals
who make up a band and who play at all
the big official events. Every day at
6'45 in the morning they play the "dianas"
in front of the Town hall and they also
are to be seen at the Procession
and at the "Mulillas".
But there are more
things than just bugles and drums to be heard
during these days. Perhaps the most characteristic
instrument is the Basque "Gaita".
Here is the authentic sound of San Fermin, the
music which makes the Giants
dance, the music which rings out at decisive
moments in the bull-fight, the music which sets
off the "era" dance in the main square
at 9.00 in the evening. This is a kind of bagpipe
but without the bag of air and its traditional
sound is enough to lift off the traditional
beret from the head of the locals. MUSIC IN
Nowadays, of course there is music to suit all
tastes. And that includes all types of modern
imported music. In the bars all kinds of canned
music can be heard from Rock to Reggae and with
a hundred variations thereof. It could local
Basque rock, it could be international folk
music, it could be traditional "Jotas",
(local traditional Navarran music who can be
danced to as well as sung),it could be sedate
waltzes, it could be jazz, or it could simply
be whatever pop music is within fashion at that
particular moment. All these different sounds
can be hitting the ears depending on where you
are at any given moment. Some bars have a clear
tradition of always playing a certain type of
music, like the "Zagit"
in Jarauta street which always plays "Reggae"
music or Ertz and Nicolette (Tejeria street),
which play electronic music. This place attracts
a lot of the black street vendors who meet up
here to dance, which can be a spectacle in itself.
At all hours of the day
and especially at night spontaneous groups
are forever playing just for fun. But
the quality is usually good. It’s
not something you will find in the programme.
It just depends on when and where you
Of course, there are also admission
concerts at night and open-air dances.You
can have a look at the official programme. In the mornings
there are also singing
concerts on offer.