The 2020 edition of the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta was officially launched on Monday, August 3. Typically attended by around 200,000 visitors each year, new safety measures were taken this year in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
In an impressive example of a hot air balloon adventure in Bristol, 43 of the lighter-than-air aircrafts ascended from within a giant heart that had been painted on the grass. The airborne cavalcade then executed an impressive morning flypast over the city’s skyline.
Chair for the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, Chris Allcock, commented that the organisers had been unable to invite people to watch the lift off, however many had messaged in with sightings of the balloons seen from their homes.
“It was the perfect morning for some ballooning with blue skies and light winds taking them out over the green hills of Dundry and homes of South Bristol.”
Many iconic elements of the festival have been adapted for this new version of the event, allowing fans of hot air balloons in Bristol, as well as those from further afield, to stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
The fiesta’s famed ‘nightglow’, which usually acts as a climax for the event, was conducted virtually this year. A total of 12 balloons and their crews participated on Saturday, accompanied by a lightshow and special effects.
The nightglow was available for viewing on both Bristol International Balloon Fiesta’s social media and on BBC Bristol, and saw Emma Britton presenting.