Category Archives: Bristol Balloon Fiesta and Fireworks



Fancy four days of fun, frolics and fireworks amongst some of the most incredible hot air balloons in the World? Then get along this year to the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta held annually in the beautiful grounds of the Ashton Court Estate in Bristol. The event is FREE to attend and the only thing you will have to pay for is the parking on site which can be quite pricey but there is a park and ride facilities around about.

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta 07-08-2003

There will be up to 150 hot air balloons of all manner of different shapes and sizes along with the usual inverted teardrop. Some of them over the years have been Minions, Bertie Bassett, Smurfs, Donald Duck and even Darth Vader and Yoda to name just a few.

The mass assent which sees up to 100 hot air balloons from across the world take to the skies at an eye-rubbing 6am on a Friday morning and again at 6pm each day.

The venue is an 11th century estate boasting 850 acres of woodland and grassland. There are lots of places of interest locally including the Cheddar Gorge, the City of Bath which is one of the oldest inhabited areas in the UK. The Romans built the ‘Baths’ in the 1st century AD. There is also Bristol Zoo and the beautiful 12th century Bristol Cathedral which started out as St Augustine’s Abbey back in 1140 and is still as impressive today as it would have been back then.

'Best of British' - BIBF 2012

You can camp nearby as there are a couple of sites with pre-pitched tents and caravans for the event (like a poor man’s glamping) and others for visitors with their own tents/caravans or motorhomes.

Pack your snacks, camera and a blanket and get yourself settled in for one of the world’s biggest hot air ballooning events. There are food and drink concessions on site but they are pricey so if you are going, just remember that you are able to take along disposable BBQ’s and your own picnic to avoid the hiked prices. There are fairground rides, food and beverages stalls, trade stands, model aeroplanes and numerous other trade stands to keep you entertained.

The most popular event of the weekend is the Nightglow with fireworks of course. The fireworks are under the care and expertise of Skyburst Fireworks who are one of the UK’s premier professional pyrotechnic teams and they will be set off to music provided by local radio station Heart FM. During the Nightglow, the balloons are inflated whilst tethered, and the pilots ignite their burners so that their balloons glow in time to the music before the fireworks fill the skies.


Bristol Balloon Fiesta and Fireworks

What: Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2014
When: 6am – 10 pm on 7th – 10th August 2014
Where: Ashton Court Estate, Bristol BS8 3TQ

From the very first event back in 1979 Bristol balloon festival has steadily grown to become the second biggest events of its type in the world.

With 300 balloons in attendance this is the largest collection of hot air balloons in the UK, being slightly overshadowed by Albuquerque.

In its 36th year this free balloon festival brings in around £13,000.000 to the local economy over the four days, such is the popularity of the show the nearby Clifton suspension bridge is closed both to traffic and pedestrians due to the stress of the thronging public on the bridge.

Starting at 6 am on the 7th August with “breakfast and balloons”, some of the best balloon pilots in the world will lift off for a mass assent, when you consider that around 30 balloons will lift off simultaneously the level skill required to attend this event would have to be of a world-class standard.

On the 10th August 2013 45 balloons landed in single small field near to Cadbury’s former factory in Keynsham breaking a festival record.

Over the years balloons have attended from all over the world in unusual shapes and designs, from UFO’s, Rupert the bear, a kiwi bird shaped balloon from New Zealand an upside down balloon and even a Tesco shopping trolley.

As always there will be something for everyone, from arts and crafts stands to the Red Arrows, the “Exit” parachute team, R.A.F Falcons and a whole host of other entertainments and attractions for visitors for all ages.

On Thursday and Saturday nights the spectacle that is the “night glow” watched annually by over 100,000 will culminate in a huge fireworks show starting at 21:15 and presented by Skyburst fireworks, the firm which fired £7,500 of fireworks in a few seconds on the Clifton suspension bridge to celebrate the arrival of the Olympic torch to Bristol.

Held until recently in the second week of September, the change of date promises better weather for all attending, less muddy ground to contend with and less chance of flight cancellation due to the high winds experienced in the later months.

We here at Epic would love the chance to attend the fireworks but as the event coincides with our busiest wedding period it is unlikely the boss will allow time off.