Seville April Fair
La Feria de Abril (Seville April Fair) is a huge annual event on the extensive list of festivals taking place in the city. The fair officially begins on Monday at midnight, normally 2 weeks after Semana Santa (Holy Week), and ends with a fireworks display the following Sunday, again, at midnight. As well as flamenco the other main themes of the party are horses and bullfighting in what is such a classic Spanish affair.
It was the poet Byron who referred to Seville as being famous for its oranges and women. Seeing the local girls at the Fair in their colourful flamenco dresses it is easy to understand his attraction. The city is overbooked well in advance for this event as thousand of locals and visitors alike party until dawn. Search here for a hotel in Seville.
At noon every day there is a procession called the ‘Paseo de Caballos’ in which local girls in their full flamenco outfit are pulled through the city in beautiful carriages by splendid horses. In the evening some of the year’s top bullfights take place at the Plaza de Toros de Maestranza with tickets selling out well in advance.
Seville Fiesta for Sevillanos?
There are more than 1000 marquees, known as ‘casetas’, where there is ongoing flamenco performances, loud music and a bar at the event site. However, most of these are privately owned and not open to outsiders which can prove very disappointing to foreign visitors. Here’s an email I received from Fritz in Australia:
Have recently returned from a Round The World trip during which we spent six weeks in Spain. The trip was absolutely fantastic, but there is one aspect from our visit in Spain which I would like to bring to your attention.
One hears a lot about the Seville festival and how it is something not to be missed. With this in mind we organised to go back to Seville from Cordoba. This arrangement was necessitated by the fact that I had arranged our trip in January (hotel bookings, train tickets etc) and only became aware of the exact dates of the festival in mid March. It was too late to change our dates in Seville.
We decided to travel back to Seville on Wednesday 25th April which would have been the second day of the festival this year. Should add that we could not find out what time anything opened so travelled back to arrive in Seville at 11:00 in the morning. Of course we arrived at the Fair Grounds to find nothing open. Lots of activity.
We eventually arrived back at 14:00 in the afternoon expecting to be able to visit one of the casetas. Surprise, surprise the casetas are only open for invited guests. Needless to say we were extremely annoyed as all the hype about visiting a caseta and sampling the typical Spanish cuisine and seeing flamenco dancing was a complete mis-representation of the truth.
We ended up getting something to eat and drink at a cafe opposite the fair. Discussing our disappointment with the locals in the cafe they informed us that the Seville Festival is for the people of Seville.
We returned to Cordoba on an earlier train that evening quite disgusted with the attitude we had encountered at the Fair. I can assure we tried to find somewhere to eat and have a drink but were turned away.
On our return to Cordoba, we mentioned what had happened and the locals were not too surprised and informed us that Cordoba also has a Festival in May and everyone is welcome.
Just had to let you know about our experience, as it left a bit of a sour taste.
Fritz (From Perth Australia)
Real de la Feria Fairground
The venue for the fair is the ‘Real de la Feria’ just outside the city centre opposite the Maria Luisa park. Such is the enormity of the event that this area becomes a city in its own right for just one week. Next to the site is a huge fairground with all the usual rides and attractions.
Provisional Dates of the Feria de Abril/April Fair
2014 29 April-4 May
2015 21-26 April
2016 12-17 April
2017 2-7 May
2018 17-22 April
2019 7-12 May
2020 28 April – 3 May
Please note that we cannot be responsible for disruption to travel plans should any of these dates be changed. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you confirm these dates with an official Spain travel agency before confirming your travel dates.
You can contact the Seville Municipal Tourist Office at the address below.
Seville Municipal Tourist Offices
Calle de Arjona, 28
Phone: + 34 954 22 17 14