The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is a spectacular free event taking place over four days & featuring over 100 hot air balloons taking off at dawn and dusk, as well as the famous Night Glows when the balloons light up the sky in time to music.
The four days of colourful hot air balloon displays attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to the rolling hills of Ashton Court Estate, on the outskirts of Bristol.
The Fiesta was first dreamt up in 1978 by Don Cameron, owner of the world’s largest balloon manufacturer, Cameron Balloons, and friends. The following summer, on the 7th – 9th September 1979, 27 hot air balloons took part in the very first Fiesta as Ashton Court Estate.
The event was hosted by the Bristol Junior Chamber of Commerce and funded by local commercial sponsorship. The concept was simple; the Fiesta would provide a platform for companies to promote themselves at the same time as producing a spectacular free show for the public. To this date, this vision remains the constitution of the event.
Over the years, the event has grown in terms of the number of hot air balloons that attend, the number of balloon flights over the weekend, the introduction of the famous Night Glows and of course, the crowds that gather to watch the spectacle.
The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is now firmly established as Europe’s largest annual hot air balloon festival and one of the UK’s top 5 outdoor events. The iconic images of Bristol and balloons have become synonymous with the city and are seen around the World.
The Fiesta celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2018.
Next year’s event will take place from 8th-11th Aug 2019.