cSEVILLE – A month and a half before the start of the biggest event of the year in the Andalusian city of Seville, the concern is growing about whether the party can go ahead. This year’s Seville Feria is scheduled for April 23-29.
The concern focuses on the lack of qualified labour to carry out all the preparatory work. This involves tasks such as marquee installations (the ‘casetas’) and the installation of the lighting for the classic ‘alumbrao’.
La Sextra writes that the municipality fears that it will not be ready in time. That is why the authorities have chosen to adjust the working hours of the workers who can be found. Instead of working 8 hours a day, they now have to work at least 10 hours a day. This will enable them to get everything ready for the opening ceremony of the grand event that has been declared a Festival of International Tourist Interest.
Every year, the Feria de Abril de Sevilla is attended by more than half a million people. The municipality also expects many German tourists this year, as the famous city festival has aroused great interest in Germany at various tourist fairs.
“Each day, fewer workers are available for the more specific tasks that require preparation,” explains José Ramón Hipólito in El Periodico de España. He is president of the Association of Fair Booth Builders and Installers (ASMICF). According to Hipólito, few experienced craftsmen are currently unemployed. Others prefer not to give up their permanent job to work for the Feria for only three months.
Fair in Seville
The Feria de Abril (April Fair) is one of the most popular and traditional celebrations in Spain. The festival takes place in the city of Seville, usually two weeks after Easter, and lasts for six days. The origins of the Feria de Abril date back to the 19th century when it started as a cattle market. Over time, it has evolved into a colourful, vibrant celebration of Andalucian culture, with traditional music, dance, food and drink.
During the Feria, the city comes alive with festively lit tents called “casetas” on the feria grounds along the banks of the Guadalquivir River. Owned by local families, organizations and businesses, these casetas are decorated with lanterns, flowers and other decorative items. The Sevillanos dress up traditionally and festively and drive around in traditional horse-drawn carriages for the occasion.