The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta will return to Ashton Court Estate from 8-11th August 2019.
Europe's biggest hot air balloon event
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 Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is Europe's largest annual meeting of hot air balloons, attracting over 130 hot air balloons from across the globe. It's a sight that can only be seen in Bristol.
Alongside the fantastic sight of hot air balloons filling the skies, visitors can also expect a large number of trade stands, fairground rides and entertainment.
2019: Bristol icons
The iconic event has joined forces with Aardman, who are celebrating the 30th anniversary of Wallace & Gromit, as well as with Aerospace Bristol who house the famed Concorde Alpha Foxtrot. The museum will be bringing a brand new exhibition of images, objects and live science shows to the Fiesta as it celebrates fifty years since Concorde’s maiden flight in 1969. Plus, Captain Tim Orchard, former Concorde pilot and balloonist, will be bringing his very special hopper balloon - made using Concorde seats!
To mark the celebratory year the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta has partnered with BBC Radio Bristol to deliver a very special edition soundtrack for the famous Night Glow events, playing homage to all the city’s most-loved and respected stars. As the balloons tether and glow like giant light bulbs in time to music, the soundtrack for the evening will celebrate the city.
On Thursday 8 August, the opening Night Glow event will be sponsored by another Bristol icon and international pioneer in the aerospace sector, Airbus, celebrating 50 years of pioneering progress.
The Fiesta are also currently crowdfunding to bring another Bristol icon, the Darth Vader hot air balloon to the event after it was made in the city by Cameron Balloons but has never flown here.
Visit the fiesta on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings at 6am for ‘Breakfast and Balloons’ in partnership with Eat Natural and watch the balloons take to the sky as the sun rises while enjoying a breakfast picnic. The balloons then take to the skies again in the evening mass ascents at 6pm and visitors are encouraged to arrive early to get a good viewing spot.
When and where?
Held over four days at Ashton Court Estate, the event is completely free with charges made for parking on the event site.
The fiesta begins on Thursday 8th August at midday with hot air balloons tethered throughout the afternoon and in the evening the first mass ascent takes place with a firework finale!
On day two on Friday 9th August there will be two hot air balloon lifts and an afternoon of balloon tethering.
Day three is Saturday 10th August and there will be more mass hot air balloon lifts and firework finales and the arena entertainment will run from midday to 5pm.
The fiesta's final day on Sunday 11th August is another day full of mass balloon lifts and fun in the arena, with a programme running from midday to 5pm.
Other entertainment at the Balloon Fiesta
In between the famous mass ascents, the Arena will play host to some stellar entertainment throughout the weekend, including an explosion of energy and colour in the form of North Somerset Samba. They will be heading to the Arena with their upbeat, carnival style samba drumming on both Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th.
Returning to the arena this year, Bristol Sport is bringing coaching and exhibition sessions to the Fiesta with visitors being given the chance to participate in sessions with the Bristol Bears, Bristol City, Bristol City Ladies and the Bristol Flyers. On Thursday, Bristol City will carry out activities with young visitors who would like to join them in the arena, whilst Friday afternoon will offer opportunities visitors to join Coach Pat Lam of Bristol Bears Rugby and the whole squad in the arena, where they will be involved in demonstrations and coaching activities, plus autograph signings.
Bringing more entertainment to the skies is the Lightning Bolt Army Parachute Display Team. Established in 1966 the team are experienced in displays of all sizes, and have even starred in Hollywood blockbusters. They specialise in thrilling, high adrenaline shows, which allow crowds to watch in awe, as each jumper exits the aircraft, creates a visible formation and then deploys their coloured parachute before landing in the arena.
The Fiesta’s partnership with Aardman Animations will see the introduction of Aardman’s ticketed Model Making Workshops on Sunday afternoon that will see visitors get creative with clay. Run by Aardman’s team of expert model makers, visitors will have the chance to create some of their favourite characters within the Member’s Enclosure.
There will be various ‘refill stations’ located around the Fiesta site at Ashton Court, allowing people to refill water bottles, with the aim of reducing plastic waste. Additionally, complimentary refillable sports bottles will be available from the refill stations to anyone that forgets their bottles to use over the weekend.
How to get to the Balloon Fiesta
The closest train station to the Fiesta is Bristol Temple Meads, served by our travel partner GWR. From the station visitors can pick up the Fiesta Shuttle Bus service operated by First Bus to get to the event site.
For further information on travelling to Bristol Temple Meads with GWR visit https://www.gwr.com/plan-journey/stations-and-routes/trains-to-bristol
Those wishing to cycle can take ‘Festival Way’ a traffic-free path connecting the city to Ashton Court Estate and beyond. Starting in Bristol, you can use the National Cycling Route 33 which takes you on a traffic free path from Queen Square out of the city via Cumberland Road. Crossing the River Avon you join Kennel Lodge Road as you enter Ashton Court. There is bicycle parking available onsite by the Mansion House and by the fallow deer park.
For those on foot, there are two main routes into the Fiesta site via Festival Way as detailed above for cyclists or via the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Please note the Clifton Suspension Bridge will be closed to all pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles from 1800 to 0000 on Thursday 8th August and Saturday 10th August.
A Balloon Shuttle bus service is operated by First Bus from Bristol Temple Meads Station and the City Centre (Metrobus Stop C2, Colston Avenue). This service is highly recommended to local residents. Tickets can be purchased on the bus and there is no need to pre book. Adult tickets cost £3 for a single or £5 return, with a special group ticket of £15 which allows up to five adults to travel together. Two new ticket features have been introduced for 2019 – up to two children (15 and under) can travel free with each fare paying adult and you can buy discounted tickets in advance of the day on the First Bus mTicket app.
For £2 First bus ticket holders can upgrade existing tickets i.e Bath and Bristol Outer Zone, West of England and West of England Plus/Day, Week, Month, Year tickets.
Buses run at least every 10 minutes from 10am each day. The last bus departs from the site at 11.30pm on Thursday 8th and Saturday 10th and at 9.30pm on Friday 9th and Sunday 11th August.
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Map & Directions
|Dates: (6 Aug 2020 - 9 Aug 2020)|