BILBAO – The bullfighting arena in Bilbao remained remarkably empty during the last bullfight that was organised there. A disappointing turnout for the organisers despite an extensive advertising campaign to attract the public.
Advertisements on trams, posters on street lamps and reports in local media were to no avail. The reasons for this lack of interest could vary, from a potentially unappealing advertising campaign to a declining interest in bullfighting within Basque society.
Looking for alternatives
Given the weak public response, organisers are now considering several alternatives to increase attendance at future events. Rethinking the advertising strategy is an option. In addition, it is envisaged to offer special promotions and discounts to attract a wider audience. These can consist of discount tickets, family packages or student discounts.
Bullfighting in a changing context
However, Bilbao is not the only place where interest in bullfighting is waning. This year, for the first time, the number of spectators in Spain fell below one million people. The declining interest concerns both live shows and those on television.
The figures also show that a quarter of the spectators who are still there received free admission. Fifteen years ago, 10% of the population still came to bullfights, now that is only 2%.
This percentage is well below the figure recorded by the CIS among those who attend mass daily (5.9% of the population), and also among those who, according to cultural statistics, attend classical music concerts (3.9%), go to the theatre (8.2%) or visiting art galleries (6.9%).