Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta was founded in 1979 by the world famous Don Cameron.  The first ever launch at the fiesta was a mere 27 balloons, but it soon grew and now we see around 100 balloons launching morning and evening over the four day fiesta.  The fiesta has developed since those humble beginnings, and the fiesta, which now starts on the second Thursday in August at midday, begins with a launch of the much loved special shapes in the evening.  After that on the remaining 3 days there are launches of all balloons.  The fiesta also introduced another night glow, so there are now two which take place on the Thursday and Saturday evenings, they are the most popular event of the fiesta with over 100,000 attending.

 However it has not always been plain sailing for the fiesta.  Due to economic hardship, the new organisers (R.E.M Ltd) introduced a 100 club to recruit sponsors.  This aimed to allow smaller businesses to become sponsors and get invaluable advertising for a fraction of the price it would normally cost.  This has been successful for securing sponsors, for which around 40 member join each year.

 The fiesta is now the largest free balloon festival in Europe and continues to be run as a non profit organisation which aims to provide a great fiesta for balloonists and the general public. For more information please check out the fiesta’s website -