FIESA rebrands and moves to Lagoa

FIESA, the sand sculpture exhibition that has become synonymous with summer in the Algarve, is getting ready for yet another season, this time in a new location and with a whole new name.

Sand City Algarve will open on Saturday, June 8 on the EN125 opposite the Nobel International School Algarve, on land that used to function as a garden centre.

Says the event’s founder, Turkish artist Alper Alagos, the move has involved enormous investment as the five-hectare site has had to be purchased “in order to guarantee continuity of the event”.

Bearing in mind 120,000 people flocked to FIESA last summer, Alagos is convinced the allure of creations made of around 45,000 tons of sand will hold.

And the years where monumental sculptures (some reached 12 metres tall) were the only attraction have long since developed into an event where there are many other features, including great live music and evening shows made all the more impressive by the ingenious use of lighting.

FIESA began life in 2003 in Pêra and has since carved a name for itself as the ‘world’s largest sand sculpture exhibition’, regularly employing up to 60 international artists every year to create its extraordinary attractions.

Sixteen years on and we’re not being told the theme this year (every year is different), but there will be lots of novelties, including an area dedicated to the sea; an exhibition highlighting plastic pollution and some wacky ‘infrastructures’, inspired by Algarve architect José Nascimento.

As to prices and timetables, these have yet to be confirmed.

The only slight ‘stumbling block’ is that visitors approaching from the east will have to pass the entrance (on the left) and continue on to the next roundabout before doubling back.