Spain’s Tomato Festival Now Charging Entrance Fee

On many Millennial’s Bucket List is to be hit by tomatoes at La Tomatina, the Spanish festival of tomatoes. The festival is famous. Talk to any member of the millennial generation, they have heard about it
and most want to attend. Legend has it the La Tomatina festival began after two neighbors got into an argument and started hurling tomatoes at each other. 

MSNBC is reporting that the organizers of the festival have decided to start charging an entrance fee to participants. “Organizers of La Tomatina – which kicked off on Wednesday in the Spanish town of Bunol – charged participants 10 euros ($13) to enter the festival. Those hoping to hurl the fruit from the back of a truck that parades through town paid 750 euros ($1002) for the privilege.”

The UK Guardian

I don’t think $13 is a ton of money to participate in such an amazing festival. However, some are crying afoul. “The ticket charge has sparked fears that Spanish festivals could start to be privatized, with newspaper El Pais writing that this year’s La Tomatina would be remembered as the “beginning of the privatization of popular fiestas in Spain.”

El Pais

The entrance fee is a result of the local government’s debt level. The mayor of the town, Joaquin Masmano told Spanish media, “The Tomatina costs us about 150,000 euros, so with the new entrance tickets we will more or less cover our costs.”

The addition of an entrance fee for the festival is a good thing. The money collected from these fees will help ensure that the festival continues. The past couple of years, the economy has taught us that we can no count on public financing for nonessential things. $13 is not going to turn participants away. The fee is a few less beers the night beforehand. However, the $13 entrance fee is going to keep this tomatoes flying for years to come.
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JD Teitelman


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