This year’s event will feature flypasts and ballooning spectaculars.
After the news of lockdown easing being delayed and uncertainty with large scale events, the city’s infamous hot air balloon event made the decision in June to not host the event at Ashton Court Estate. However, organisers of Bristol International Balloon Fiesta have announced their change of plans for this year’s edition of the historic event on their website.
Sadly, last year’s event was cancelled due to the pandemic, although there was an early morning ‘Fiesta Flypast’ to enjoy, as well as a live-streamed Virtual Nightglow. However, according to a statement from the organisers, they said: “we have taken the decision to change our plans of holding Bristol International Balloon Fiesta at Ashton Court Estate in 2021, instead we are planning a ‘Fiesta Fortnight’ with flypasts and ballooning spectaculars for the city this August.”
Taking place from Monday 2nd August to Sunday 15th August, the event will see hundreds of hot air balloons taking off from multiple locations across the city and filling the sky with not only classic hot air balloons, but some special shapes and characters including Stuart the Minion.
The organisers of Bristol International Balloon Fiesta recently made a call out asking the people of Bristol to nominate the locations that they would like to see balloons launch from, by completing a form and over 700 nominates were submitted.
These included local parks, public spaces, car parks and streets and the final list of locations is expected to be announced on the Fiesta Fortnight’s social media channels soon. There you will also find regular updates on all the locations and timing to help plan your time to head outside to view the balloons flying over the city. Plus, the Fiesta Fortnight partner, Costa Coffee, will be visiting several of the take of locations to treat residents nearby with a special little balloon-shaped surprise outside their window!
The organisers announced this change of plan last month and that it was “due to the continued uncertainty regarding organising large scale events” in the government’s roadmap out of lockdown. In a statement from Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, it went on to say: “We understand this will be a disappointment to our visitors, as well as the various businesses and organisations across the city and region that benefit from the significant economic impact of the event taking place. It really is not a decision that we have taken lightly.
“We have considered a number of alternatives to deliver the fiesta using the various measures currently being trialled by public events, however, these significantly change the ethos and accessibility which is at the heart of the fiesta. Without any certainty that we will be able to stage the event with no limits on capacity in August, it means a huge financial gamble of a seven-figure sum.”
The Fiesta, which was expected to take place on August 12-15, said the organisers are “determined to continue to put a show on for the city and we will deliver a number of launches across the city and region during the first two weeks of August. These events will be designed for members of the public to enjoy at a distance, from the safety of their own homes and communities.” Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is one of the city’s most iconic events, normally attracting more than 100,000 visitors to Ashton Court and generating around £15 million for the city and region.