A six-point guide to the Bristol Balloon Fiesta

A six-point guide to the Bristol Balloon Fiesta

Posted on: 09 Aug 2017

The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta returns to Ashton Court tomorrow, bringing with it four days of tremendous spectacle and activity. Below is our guide to getting the most out of the aviator-aimed celebration.


Balloons, balloons, balloons…

Bristol Balloon Fiesta

As you might expect, the absolute stars of the show are balloons... after all it’s not called a Balloon Fiesta for nothing! This year as many as 130 of the beauties will be filling the skies above Ashton Court as part of mass ascents, tethering and inflation races - all before the stunning Night Glow. On which…


Be ready for the after glow

Night Glow Balloon Fiesta

You haven’t had a proper Fiesta experience if it doesn’t include the Night Glow. This wondrous spectacle is reserved for Thursday and Saturday only and will illuminate the true beauty of the festival. The sight of two dozen balloons all inflating and firing up their burners in time to a specially selected soundtrack is the stuff on which dreams, memories and Instagram greatness are made.


Top it all off with a visit to the circus tent

Bristol Balloon Fiesta Circus

Roll up, roll up! This year the circus is coming to town and will be present inside the colourful big top on Ashton Court. There Happy’s Circus will be in residence, with the all human no animal circus offering plenty of clowning around, lots of magic, aerial and acrobatic trickery, a little bit of audience participation and loads of fun. Happy’s Circus will be running four shows a day at the Fiesta,  with tickets available in advance from the Fiesta Website, priced at £18 for a family ticket or from £5 per person.


Keep an eye out for model balloons

Bristol Balloon Fiesta

They say the best things come in small packages… And while the stars of the Fiesta may be impressive for their size, keep a keen eye out and you’ll notice some rather dinky miniature model balloons being piloted by younger aviators. These mini balloons are piloted using a remote control burner and there’s only space in the basket for a cuddly toy. Cute!


Enjoy the music of the moment

Bristol Balloon Fiesta Music

The Fiesta will play host to a number of live music stages on the Victorian Bandstand. Programmed by Jelli Records, the Bandstand will be presenting the finest up and coming musicians that Bristol has to offer every day at the Fiesta. Added to this is a dedicated acoustic slot, brought to the festival in partnership with Jelli Records and Bradley Stoke Radio, which will take place each afternoon.


Plan ahead!

Bristol Balloon Fiesta Plan

If you haven’t already, make sure you buy your parking in advance, but if you’re planning on taking public transport be sure to familiarise yourself with the services and routes. Those looking to cycle or travel by foot can use the ‘Festival Way’ routes. The best place to find the most up to date information on traffic and travel during the Fiesta weekend is the Fiesta website and social media channels.


To find out more about this year’s event follow @BristolBalloon on Twitter, or Facebook

Article by:

Sam Mason-Jones

An ardent Geordie minus the accent, Sam seemingly strove to get as far away from the Toon as possible, as soon as university beckoned. Three undergraduate years at UoB were more than ample time for Bristol (as it inevitably does) to get under his skin, and so here he remains: reporting, as Assistant Editor, on the cultural happenings which so infatuated him with the city. Catch him at sam@365bristol.com.