Catalonia’s April Fair (Feria de Abril in Spanish), also known as Barcelona’s April Fair, is a huge festival which takes place every year in the city with the aim of welcoming spring. Given the joyful reason for this celebration, fun, music and a good mood are sure to be present during the approximately 10 days of the festivities. As it is a traditional Andalusian festival, the FECAC (the Federation of Andalusian Cultural Entities in Catalonia) is in charge of organising the event, as well as a large part of the activities that take place during it.
While it is true that its origins are far from Barcelona, specifically in the city of Seville (Andalusia), it is no less true that there are close ties between Catalonia and the April Fair. And in 1846, it was a Basque and a Catalan who devised and proposed celebrating this festival to Seville’s City Council. And so, this is how, in 1847, the first April Fair was organised in Spain. Attracted by the work opportunities as a result of the large increase in the industrial sector in Catalonia, many Andalusians migrated to Catalonia during the second half of the twentieth century. This led a group of Andalusians living in Castelldefels in 1971 to decide to hold what would be the first edition of the Feria de Abril de Catalunya (Catalonia’s April Fair). Since then, the festival has evolved and grown, both in the number of activities and in visitors, which is why, for several years now, it has been held in the city of Barcelona.
All the information on Barcelona’s April Fair 2020
As its name suggests, the April Fair starts during the month of April. However, as it is celebrated after Easter Holidays (a celebration which varies every year depending on the lunar calendar) it is quite common for the Fair to start at the end of the month. That is why, and given its long duration, about 10 days, which allows you to enjoy the festival for two full weekends, many years the celebration of the April Fair extends until early May. Just like the “original” April Fair in Seville, the festivities begin with the traditional lighting of the Portico. The fair’s venue is often split into two distinct areas. On one hand, there is an area with typical booths, where several companies meet and organise different festive events related to Andalusian traditions and popular culture. In the other area, close by but separate, are traditional fairground attractions, an area especially popular with families with children and couples or young people.
Catalonia’s April Fair in Barcelona 2020
Many of the booths belong to cultural organisations and associations that are closely related to the Andalusian culture. You can often enjoy musical performances, Sevillanas and other dances at the booths, as well as all kinds of traditional activities of Andalusian culture. Some public institutions and political parties also have their own booths, although it is important to note that they are usually the least popular and interesting when it comes to enjoying all the charm of the April Fair.
Where to eat and drink
If you are wondering where you can eat and drink at the Fair, believe us when we tell you that this will be the least of your problems, or rather, the problem will be choosing from all the options available. There are many food stands across the entire space occupied by the fair that, thanks to the delicious smell coming from them, “compete” to attract the biggest number of people. As far as drinks are concerned, there is a great variety on offer, but you cannot leave without trying the traditional Andalusian rebujito cocktail at a typical food stand.
One of the most popular areas, especially for children, families and young people, is dedicated to traditional fairground attractions. Here you will find the most typical fairground attractions, such as the always eye-catching and popular Ferris wheel.
The musical performances are a classic at the April Fair, and although it is true that the Sevillanas have a prominent role, it is not the only type of music that is played during the fair. Some concerts and musical performances take place in private booths, while others are held in the large tent, set up specifically for this type of event and which has a larger capacity.
When strolling through Barcelona’s April Fair, due to the layout and decoration of the booths, the characteristic lighting of the venue and many people dressed in traditional Andalusian dress, especially the Flamenco or Sevillian women and the men in short suits, you often feel like you are in the city of Seville, or rather, in the original April Fair in Seville.
As it should be, Andalusian culture and tradition are also the main focus of the other activities that are scheduled during the fair. The activities range from those that allow you to learn traditional Andalusian dances, with dance classes, to those that offer you the chance to enjoy exhibitions and various presentations, to some competitions, such as those that reward the best food and the best-decorated booths.
Map and how to get to the April Fair
El Maresme – Fòrum (L4).
Daytime buses: 7, 36, 143, H14, H16 and B23.
Night-time buses: N6 and N7.
By taxi (online booking)
By private vehicle
For those who prefer to travel in their own vehicle, either by car or motorbike, it is possible to park at the Diagonal Mar Shopping Centre car park, in one of the nearby car parks or in the spaces available on the street. Given the large crowds of people, a good option is to book parking online to guarantee a space on the scheduled day and time and so avoid going round and round in your car to find a free parking space.