Up and Away at Bristol's International Balloon Fiesta 2017

Amie Vaughan
Initiative Manager - West of England Initiative
4th August 2017

“Phileas Fogg who was not travelling, but only describing a circumference”.

Europe’s largest gathering of balloons is a sight to be seen, based at its home in Ashton Court Estate, Bristol. Attracting over 150 balloons each year, this unique and internationally renowned festival celebrates flight, history, engineering, business and people. Founded in 1979 Bristol is celebrating the 39th annual Bristol International Balloon Fiesta commencing on Thursday 10th August 2017.

Business West - Bristol Chamber of Commerce & Initiative continues to help support the growth and heritage of this event recognising its importance for our City and far beyond alongside Bristol City Council, Destination Bristol and many other partners and individuals.

The four-day event attracts over 500,000 visitors to our city and the ripples it sends out are recognised much further afield and indeed right across the world. The media and audience reach of the Balloon Fiesta is growing year on year and the direct media value was calculated in 2016 at a staggering £484,031 (not including the BBC). £15m is spent during the four-day fiesta by non-local people which in real terms translates to every £1 spent to host the fiesta, £25 is spent in the local economy by a visitor.

The mass ascents of 150 or more hot air balloons every morning and evening (depending on our glorious British weather) is the centre piece spectacle only seen across Bristol each year during the Fiesta weekend. The lively excitement experienced during these mass ascents is topped with many other and some new world famous displays, alongside the Nightglows and Firework Finale.

The event is an open free-to-enter invitation to everyone in the city and from outside to enjoy. It's another part of how the city is the best city to live, work and learn in and is part of the reason we are recognised as the most liveable city in the UK, as well as a small but vibrant and ambitious world city.

So whether you are an international pilot navigating the skies in your balloon, a visitor, a business supporting the event or a local resident of Bristol, the International Balloon Fiesta welcomes you on Thursday 10th – Sunday 13th August 2017.



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