Final preparations are in full swing for the start of Malaga's famous August fair next week

Almost ready - the huge showground's lights are in place.
Almost ready - the huge showground's lights are in place. / SUR
  • Rules for the huge 'feria', which begins in full on Thursday, include not going shirtless, and extra security measures have also been announced

The Mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre, has announced a series of specific rules and regulations for the huge Malaga fair, which starts next week. The famous 'feria' begins on Wednesday night, 15 August, with fireworks and starts in full on Thursday at 12pm. The rules include wearing adequate clothing and restrictions on the use of electric scooters in the centre.

The clothing rule means fair-goers must cover their torsos throughout the centre during the busy fair period, with the mayor explaining it is for reasons of hygiene and out of respect for others. It is not the first time there has been opposition to this type of behaviour; in 2017 hotel owners started a campaign to promote the importance of dressing appropriately at the fair in the centre, with some even handing out tshirts.

Also included in the regulations are electric scooters, which the mayor banned from being parked in the centre in April. There will also be restricted parking areas in the centre during the festivities with certain zones being out of use and visitors are asked to use public transport. The regulations also govern the sale of alcohol to be consumed outdoors.

In addition, extra security has been announced, with the installation of ten fixed cameras covering the busiest areas at the afternoon and evening showground. Also, as last year, private hire cars through apps such as Uber and Cabify will not be able to access the showground.

Biggest in the south

Malaga's fair, the biggest summer 'feria' in the south of Spain, runs until Saturday, 24 August, and will draw many thousands of locals and visitors. The events in the city centre will begin each day at 12pm and finish at 6pm, when bars will have to move indoors and outside music will have to be turned off. The large showground, on the outskirts of the city, will have 120 bars and restaurants, known as 'casetas', and funfair, and will open at 12pm each day with many staying open until 6am.

The fair kicks off on Malagueta beach on Wednesday with live performances and firework displays at around midnight. On Thursday morning there will be the traditional procession and floral offering to the image of the Virgen Victoria, patron saint of Malaga. Other events on Thursday include performances by Carlos Bravo and Comando Bandera in Plaza de la Constitución, Freeska Malaga Ensemble in Plaza de la Merced, among others.

At 9.30pm at the showground, more than 2.5 million lightbulbs will be switched on, illuminating the festivities into the early hours.

The municipal auditorium will also play a role in this year's fair, hosting an array of performances from the likes of Justo Gómez and Andy& Lucas (Thursday 16), Manolo Sarria and Toni Zenet (Saturday 17) and Sani Márquez and Rosario Flores (Monday 19).