We are looking to go to Spain and Portugal this spring. We will be in Seville in April during the Spring Festival and are concerned that this is more for the people living in Seville and tourist are not really welcome during this time. Has anyone been in Seville during this festival? Thanks Jo Ann
Everyone is welcome during this time. My wife and I were there in 2010 and found it to be a bit too crowded for our liking. We are both in our 50s and well passed our 'party all night' days. Others call it the perfect atmosphere and swear by the April Fair. We drove up to Cordoba on one of our Seville days just for a break in the action. You will not feel unwelcomed at all. Enjoy!
Where have you the idea from that tourists are unwelcome? The fair does not take place in the whole of Seville. You may not be invited to many casetas at the fair because you are not local, but if you walk around the area where it is held and fall in with a local you may be. http://www.andalucia.com/festival/seville-feria.htm
We enjoyed the fair immensely. We went for the opening (at midnight). The first caseta we were invited into was outside the gate prior to the opening ceremony. It turned out to belong to an Anarchist group - more like a Kiwanis club than a bunch of radicals though. Each caseta has essentially the same things. A bar and toilet in back. It's not an open bar but they all sell snacks and drinks (Manzanilla and seven up, Gin and Tonics, or Mojitos seem to be the big ones). Out front is like a combination dining room/dance floor. At dinner time, they set up lots of tables and extended families or club members dine together. More than half of the casetas have someone performing music and people dance all night. Our second caseta was a public one. It was large, with a huge toilet line. The bar was the prominent feature, unlike the smaller, private casetas. Our third and fourth casetas were private casetas. We were invited in by one of the "owners" of the caseta. There are usually a group of sponsors or owners for each caseta (could be a business) - like a private box at a stadium - and is populated by people who are connected by family, work, or common interest. Once you are invited in, the security guard at the front seems to remember you and will let you in whenever you come by (it seems both the guard and musicians work really long hours, they were there day and night). The only downside is very few people speak English, with some work you can communicate. I found everyone to be amazingly nice and generous. Be sure to visit at day and night. In the day the horses and carriages are everywhere and it's a great cultural experience to witness. At night, it's just a party (or lots of parties). People dress up. Men in suits and women in traditional dresses - we felt underdressed in our casual clothes.