Bristol International Balloon Fiesta 2023: Thursday evening mass ascent cancelled

Credit: Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

Hot air balloons will remain on the ground at Ashton Court Estate this evening as the first planned mass ascent of the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta was cancelled.

Today marks the start of the popular event and for the first time a mass ascent had been planned for Thursday evening.

But event organisers have announced that sadly pilots will not be able to take off from the site this evening due to weather conditions.

The wind speed ids too high and would take balloons dangerously close to the motorway.

The event tweeted: "Tonight’s wind speeds are higher than balloons can fly in and the direction of the wind (which is heading in the direction of Avonmouth and the motorway) means that we are sad to let you know that we are unable to fly as scheduled at 6pm.

"The famous night glow display is still due to go ahead at 9pm on Thursday evening.

"We will however be seeing a number of balloons tethering in the arena at 6pm and you’ll hopefully see some very special shapes! Stick around with us for that and of course for our iconic night glow at 9pm."

Weather permitting, there are more mass ascents planned for 6am and 6pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as well as another night glow at 9pm on Saturday.