Explosive Photos from Mexico’s Most Intense Festival

The country’s pyrotechnic take on running with the bulls in Pamplona

by Stuart Brumfitt
Apr 6 2017, 11:00pm

Photo: Dan Medhurst

“This series was shot at The Burning of the Bulls, part of a week-long pyrotechnics festival held in Mexico City during March, “ explains photographer Dan Medhurst. If you think Spain’s love for running with the bulls is extreme, then try this Mexican take on things.

The Burning of the Bulls festival. Photo: Dan Medhurst

Since one of the region’s biggest industries is firework production, the city celebrates it by constructing massive model bulls, which they hand paint and pack with explosives. “The bulls are on wheels and are paraded around the town under the setting sun, before all hell breaks loose as they proceed to set alight to them and chase the assembled crowd around the square,” says Medhurst, whose photos somehow manage to capture a certain stillness and beauty amongst the madness.

Intense explosions into the night. Photo: Dan Medhurst

“There are several hundred bulls and as the night goes on bigger and more intense explosions occur while the crowd gets bigger, more rowdy and drunk. A constant rain of fire pours down on the crowd and thick clouds of sulphur smoke make seeing and breathing difficult. Rockets are also shooting past your head and constantly striking the shifting crowds.”

'A constant rain of fire pours down on the crowd'. Photo: Dan Medhurst

The photographer, who travels the world shooting extreme sports (as well as shooting Kate Moss for Burberry campaigns) says, “I’ve never witnessed anything like it. It’s the most intense thing I’ve ever photographed! Mexico City definitely know how to throw a party!”

'It's the most intense thing I've ever photographed'. Photo: Dan Medhurst
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