Especially because of the Running of the Bulls event, the Sanfermin fiestas get wide coverage from media outlets from all over the world. For a journalist from abroad, it is not easy to become familiar with the whole fiesta scene in a short time, unless you have a super production team to back you up. The best thing a journalist can do is to get some help from local media outlets who know what the scene is all about. Remember that here at Sanfermin.com we can help you find accommodation, a balcony from which to take photos, or to film the Running of the Bull or help with any other kind of need that you might have. Write us about any problem you may have.
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Ten pieces of advice
It is necessary to have a press pass to enter the area of the running of the bulls. Pamplona City Hall issue them. To register as a media worker and gain access to the fencing at the running of the bulls in order to take photographs, it is necessary to get in touch with Pamplona City Hall some weeks before the start of the fiestas. This entity organizes the fiestas and it looks after permissions for press passes. If you are not going to take photos, the best place for watching the Running of the Bulls is from a balcony.
Passes for the Chupinazo Opening Day and the Pobre de Mi Closing event can be got from Pamplona City Hall, Press Passes for the City Hall and Casa Seminario. Photos and Video work at the Chupinazo is usually carried out from the building known as Casa Seminario (photographic journalism only -left side from City Hall Building on Consistorial Square-) and the journalists are given passes for the third floor.
You can see more details about press passes on the Oficina Internacional de Prensa web page.
Take photos on Bullring. To get permission to take photos from the stands it is necessary to get permission from the Casa de Misericordia Old Folk’s Residence as this institution is the owner of the bullring. To use a video from the stands it is necessary to get in contract with the owners of the broadcasting rights.
During Sanfermin, apart from the classic reporting about the running of the bulls, if you have the time and space available, there are also some other interesting events taking place during fiestas which you might like to write or take photographs on .Here we outline some of these events.
The txupinazo. Along with the running of the bulls this is the event that attracts the most attention. This txupinazo or opening rocket sets off the fiestas at 12.00 midday on July 6th in front of City Hall. The best place to take photos and watch the event would be from one of the balconies around the square. But it is not so easy to get one.
Bull-fights. You need accreditation to gain admittance. They take place every afternoon during the fiestas.
Procession. The image of St. Fermin is carried through the streets of the old quarter of Pamplona. Impromptu songs are sung to the saint along the route. This event takes place on the seventh of July at 10.00 in the morning. It is very aesthetic and, unlike most Sanfermin events, very clean.
Sleeping. Thousands of people sleep out each night – or rather each morning – in the street. There is material there for a good report. The people sleep in the most unusual places and it could be found in any part of the city. But the location most used tends to be around the Vuelta del Castillo area.
Fountain-jumping. After the txupinazo opening rocket, some foreigners jump from atop a stone water fountain into the arms of their mates below. If they are not safely caught it is highly likely that they will more than hurt their heads on the cobblestone street below. This takes place in the Navarreria in the old part. Protect your camera; all sorts of things get thrown around.
All to know to a journalism in Sanfermin
1. The Language. Should you come from abroad, some knowledge of the Spanish language would be advantageous. Most of the people who have something to say about the fiestas will be using this language. Not everyone will be able to converse in English in our city.
2. Partying. Be careful that you don’t get too carried away by the festive spirit. Sanfermin could get you hooked in such a way that before you know it the fiestas will have come to an end. You will have had a good time but you will have nothing to publish. Work and partying can be combined with a bit of moderation in all things.
3. Be careful about what you hear. There are opinions on almost everything to do with the fiestas and often the opinions are wide and varied. Be care with what you hear. Check out different opinions before satisfying yourself about the validity of anything. In Pamplona the people have a habit of not agreeing about almost anything.
4. Jokes. During Sanfermin almost everyone is enjoying the fiestas, and at times the people take pleasure in telling tall tales or pulling the legs of some innocent visitors. If in doubt, double check with someone you can trust before accepting the truth.
5. Myths. Forget all your pre-conceived ideas or particular prejudices. If this is your first visit it would be best to see it as it happens. The myths going round about the fiestas are not usually the truth. Two examples: the bulls shouldn’t be touched during the running of the bulls and during the fiestas not just anything goes – order and authorities are still in force.
6. Plans. Sanfermin is not the best place for a journalist who is punctual and ordered. It is not easy to keep an appointment or reach a place on time. It is difficult to make plans in advance as these could easy go awry. There are a lot of people about, a lot of congestion and things don’t always work out as planned. Don’t let it get to you.
7. Risk. Be careful where you go. Going to the txupinazo opening rocket with a video camera or to Jarauta Street at three in the morning could be risky for the aforesaid video. Lots of stuff could befall both you and your camera although it is all done in good fun.
8. Before and After. If you have time and can afford it, the ideal thing would be to come a few days before the fiestas take off. That way you can see how the city transforms itself in a very short space of time. Don’t panic if you arrive on the 5th and everything is still in its normal routine. It all starts on the morning of the 6th.
9. Attire. The gear you wear is important. Unless you want to look like a lost soul in the middle of the multitude, you should at least put on the Sanfermin necktie.
10.Information. You don’t have to worry about having everything under control, especially with regard to the running of the bulls. The Regional Government of Navarra through its medical staff, issues a daily report on all the injured runners. It also provides other information on how the fiestas are going and gives a summary of how the whole thing went immediately the fiestas finish. Besides. Sanfermin.com will also be a good source of information on the fiestas.