Bristol Balloon Fiesta cancelled amid Covid lockdown uncertainty

The event will now be replaced by 'Fiesta Fortnight'. Credit: PA images

Organisers of the Bristol Balloon Fiesta have announced it will not take place as planned this year.

A spokesperson for the event said it would no longer be possible to stage the Fiesta at the Ashton Court Estate in Long Ashton due to uncertainty surrounding coronavirus restrictions.

The aerial spectacle had been due to take place between August 12-15 but will now be replaced by 'Fiesta Fortnight', with fly pasts taking place over the city.

A statement from the organisers said: "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.

 "However, we 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 Balloon Festival 2020. Credit: PA images

Cheltenham Balloon Festival has also been forced to postpone its event which was due to begin on June 25.

A statement from the organisers read: "We understand how frustrating the delay is when you have purchased tickets and appreciate everyone’s patience and ongoing support.

"It has come as yet another blow to the event industry, but we remain optimistic that we will be watching the balloons go up in a few short weeks.

"It will still be the Cheltenham Balloon Fiesta you have been waiting for and we hope that you can wait a little longer!"

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