Bristol International Balloon Fiesta to mark 40th anniversary in 2018


30 November 2017


Free festival


The dates for the 2018 Bristol International Balloon Fiesta have been confirmed with the iconic event returning to Ashton Court Estate next summer to celebrate the iconic event’s 40th anniversary.

Taking place from Thursday 9th August to Sunday 12th August 2018, the huge free festival will once again feature 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.

Organisers are finalising the special details which will help make the 40th Balloon Fiesta something to remember, with announcements planned for the New Year.

The Fiesta was first created 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.

Don Cameron, founder and chairman of the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, commented: “With such an extraordinary year around the corner, we are really looking forward to a very special Fiesta that everyone in the city can celebrate and share in as we mark the event’s 40th anniversary.”

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