MASS Ascents

At the heart of the experience of this unique event, is a game of chance – will these majestic hot air balloons take flight.

With mass ascents of over 100 hot air balloons scheduled twice daily, visitors have the chance to see the compact central arena awash with a rainbow of colour at dawn (approx. 6am) for a peaceful morning song, and at dusk (approx. 6pm) to mark the closing of the day before the start of evening celebrations.  


On Friday and Saturday, visitors can stay beyond nightfall to experience the event’s infamous Night Glows.

When after dark, dozens of hot air balloons inflate, and use their burners to glow in time to a soundtrack of inspiring music by BBC Radio Bristol to bring the party atmosphere and the crowd to their feet.


During the day, a programme of entertainment, traders, exhibitors, caterers, and activities allow visitors to experience the magic of ballooning and this unique day out even when the weather prevents them from taking flight.  


A detailed programme will be released in due course. For now, an overview of the main timetabled programme is available here.


For 2024, the Fiesta is proud to host the British National Hot Air Balloon Championships, which will see approximately 15 teams compete in air space over Bristol and the surrounding area.

Competition flights are scheduled to take place twice daily from the afternoon of Tuesday 6 August until the morning of Sunday 11 August, when competing teams will be set a series of tasks to complete to score points.

During the Fiesta, on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings the competing teams will be tasked with flying over the event site, coming in low, dropping a marker (streamer) into the main arena before flying off again – an incredible opportunity for visitors to witness the incredible skill of these pilots.