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Bristol International Balloon Fiesta to celebrate 40 years next summer

30th November 2017

Categories: Latest News

The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta will return 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 spectacular free event 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.

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.

Plans are underway to make this remarkable year, a year to remember and details of special balloons, displays and entertainment marking the 40th anniversary will be announced in the New Year.

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.

Don Cameron, founder and chairman of the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, commented: “Ballooning is a magical experience and from the very first event in 1979 with just a few balloons, that magic has grown the Fiesta into an event that is now part of the calendar. 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.

For more information and to keep up to date on the latest news visit or follow @BristolBalloon on Instagram and Twitter or @bristolinternationalballoonfiesta on Facebook.

For more information on sponsorship, exhibiting and trading at the event please contact REM on 0117 927 6614.


For more information please contact Dani at Plaster Creative Communicatios on 0117 953 0320 or e-mail

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