Home News No Bristol Balloon Fiesta at Ashton Court this year

No Bristol Balloon Fiesta at Ashton Court this year

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The Bristol Balloon Fiesta will not take place at Ashton Court this year.

Organisers said it would not be possible to stage the event at the estate in Long Ashton “because of uncertainty around large events and coronavirus”.

But they revealed there are plans instead for a ‘Fiesta Fortnight’, with flypasts over the city this August.

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An alternative nightglow took place in Bristol the day before Saturday’s official Bristol Balloon Fiesta event, in aid of Bristol Children’s Hospital, on behalf of little Phoebe Waite, who is undergoing chemotherapy.

A spokesperson for the event 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.

“We will announce further details over the coming weeks. However, we would like to ask Bristol to nominate the locations you would like to see balloons launch from visiting this link.”

Last year’s spectacle was cancelled because of the pandemic, although there was an early morning flypast to enjoy, as well as a live-streamed Virtual Nightglow.

The organisers of Bristol’s International Balloon Fiesta had said last month that they wanted to put on an event this year “as closely aligned to the Fiesta and its values as possible”.

The Fiesta had been due to take place between August 12-15, depending on the success of the Government’s ‘roadmap’ to exit lockdown.

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