Bristol Balloon Fiesta to go ahead without crowds

The event usually sees large crowds gather to watch the balloons take to the sky. Credit: Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

Organisers of the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta have announced that balloons will be flying this summer - but there will be no on-the-ground activity at Ashton Court.

Governmental guidelines around social distancing and mass gatherings mean the 2020 Fiesta cannot take place as normal.

It follow's last year's event being hit by poor weather.

The event usually sees large crowds gather to watch the balloons take to the sky:

Balloons will fly over the city on a date to be selected between 1-14 August.

Chris Allcock, Bristol International Balloon Fiesta Chair says organisers are "all deeply saddened that we can’t gather at Ashton Court to celebrate the 42nd Bristol International Balloon Fiesta", but that they "have been working with our balloonists and the authorities to create an event which adheres to the social distancing restrictions".

"Social distancing means we absolutely cannot gather in parks or Bristol’s open spaces or invite our audiences to see the balloons take off or land, to protect our pilots and the public.

"Instead we’re asking people to give them a wave as they fly past Bristol’s communities.”

The 'Nightglow' is normally a highlight of the Fiesta weekend.


  • Find out how a hot air balloon is piloted:

As well as the flypast, organisers are planning on staging a 'virtual Nightglow' event.

Anyone who has already purchased car parking for the festival will be able to log into the ticket platform to select a refund.