Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

Bristol is so blessed with major events each year, and one of the biggest is the International Balloon Fiesta.

Now in its 39th year, it is the largest event of its kind in Europe attracting more than 150 balloonists from around the world and 250,000 visitors across the 4 days.

As well as a number of mass ascents (more than 100 balloons at once in the skies) there are several ‘night glows’ where more than to 20 balloons light up the arena in time to music. A fabulous spectacle.

For me, it is one of the photographic highlights of the year. An event where so much is happening around you, and trying to capture it as best you can. The night glow in particular is a challenge being after dark but with very bright pulsing balloons.
There are so many different sort of shots to be taken – balloons being unpacked, inflated, tethered, launching, in the air, balloonists, crowd etc.

Of course ballooning is very weather dependant and it isn’t unusual for a number of the planned ascents (usually 7) to be cancelled, usually due to adverse winds.

As well as the balloons, the Fiesta also features a fun fair and traders selling food and much more.

Many more photos on my Facebook page at





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