Hot Air Balloon Events.org  

Comprehensive, up-to-date, free listing of hot air balloon events, fiestas and festivals for balloon enthusiasts, spotters, pilots, crews and the public in Britain & abroad

Sorry for the lack of updates over summer 2016. We've been renovating the house next door which is at last ready for holiday lets. Now we've had our first guests, things are calming down and this list should be back on track ready for 2017. Meanwhile, if you or your family or friends want to stay in Kent, in a lovely Georgian farmhouse with parking for a trailer and beds for 9 people, check out our website at www.chilston.co.uk or look us up on airbnb

UK & Worldwide Hot Air Balloon Festival List: 2016   Updated: 19 August 2016  FUTURE EVENTS: 22

Organisers: Please send details of your hot air balloon event to Liz Meek at info@balloonevents.org for inclusion here

Balloon enthusiasts: find out where to see hot air balloons and gas balloons! Contact the event directly for more info

Forthcoming events are below.

For an archive of past balloon events please click here

  Date Event Name  Where Organiser Details/Contact  Other Information
           
  2016        
August
  13-21 August Montgolfieres St Jean de Richelieu Canada www.montgolfieres.com  
  17-20 August Barneveld Balloon Fiesta Barneveld, Netherlands www.ballonfiestabarneveld.nl  
  19-20 August Ballonfestival Grave Grave, Netherlands www.ballonfestival-grave.nl  
  19-21 August Northampton Balloon Festival Billing, Northants, UK www.thenorthamptonballoonfestival.co.uk  
  19-21 August Mosel Balloon Fiesta Trier, Germany www.moselballonfiesta.de  
  21-28 August BBAC Comps Club UK Nationals Pidley, Cambridgeshire, UK www.bbac.org  
  24-27 August Twente Ballooning Hengelo, Netherlands www.twenteballooning.nl  
  26-28 August Strathaven Balloon Festival Strathaven, Scotland www.strathavenballoonfestival.co.uk  
  27-28 August Padua Balloon Festival Padua, Italy www.festivaldellemontgolfiere.it  
  27-28 August Hottolfiade Hotton Hotton, Belgium www.hottolfiades.com  
  28-31 August Late Summer Meet Bouth, Cumbria, UK www.nwbac.com  
September
  2-4 September Sint Niklaas Vredefeesten St Niklaas, Belgium vredefeesten.be/ballonfestival  
  2-10  September Warsteiner Montgolfiade Warstein, Germany www.warsteiner-montgolfiade.com  
  8-11 September Grass Roots Balloon Meet Sackville Lodge, Beds, UK www.grassrootsballooning.org.uk  
  9-11 September Ferrara Balloon Festival Part 1 Ferrara, Italy www.ferrarafestival.it  
  15-24 September Gordon Bennett Cup Gladbeck, Germany www.fai.org  
  16-17 September Hofteballooning Dueoenheim, Netherlands www.hofteballooning.nl  
  16-18 September Ferrara Balloon Festival Part 2 Ferrara, Italy www.ferrarafestival.it  
  16-18 September Naburn Lock Balloon Meet York, UK www.prba.org.uk  
  24-25September BBAC Comps Club Grand Prix 3 Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK www.bbac.org  
October
  1-9 October Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA www.balloonfiesta.com  
  7-9 October Autumn Gold Balloon Meet Thornton-le-Dale, N Yorks, UK www.prba.org.uk  
November
  11-13 November Meeting Le Puy en Velay Le Puy, France guerin.jm@wanadoo.fr  
December
           
           












Want to list your balloon meet here? Email info@balloonevents.org  
      Include: Date  
        Name of festival  
    Location  
    Contact details or website  
       
  Would you like to have balloons come to your event? Email the following details to info@balloonevents.org  
      Include:    
       

Date and Venue

Attendance figures

Audience profile (eg age)

Is sponsorship or fee to attend available?

Any other details about the event

Who to contact

 

 
  If you are organising a non-ballooning show and would like balloons to come to your event, let us know the above details just the same. We'll post it here for balloonists to read and, with any luck, a local balloonist or commercial balloon display team will be interested in making your event a bit hotter!

If you are a balloonist and want to go to any of the events listed above, please note that this is just a listing and we don't vouch for, or necessarily recommend these events. We are simply offering the information in an easy and regularly updated (and FREE!) format for you to see what's going on around the world. You are responsible for yourself and your balloon! Be aware that events can be cancelled at short notice and it has been known for balloons to get stranded abroad, so bear this in mind when you set out on your adventures and check your insurance!

 
           

Guide for the public

   
 

As you can see from the list of ballooning events on this site, you can go and see balloons all over the world, and every balloon event is different.

Balloons normally fly in the mornings and evening when days are at their calmest and there are no thermic winds. In alpine areas or in winter you might also find balloons flying during the day. At organised events a popular display is a nightglow: balloons glowing in the dark by operating their yellow "whisper" burners.

 

Some events are ‘grassroots’ balloon meets, where balloonists gather on a field somewhere, go into a little huddle (the pilots’ briefing), then set up their balloons and fly off. Sometimes they have competitions and sometimes they just fly for fun.

 

Other events are big, commercial balloon festivals in city parks or at stately homes, where there are lots of other things to see and do and buy and eat and drink.

 

A few of the events are serious competitions. The pilots and observers will be concentrating very hard on the task in hand and there won’t be much for the public to do, apart from watching the launches.

 

The actual ballooning will be much the same at all the events. Balloons usually only fly just after sunrise and just before sunset. Quite often, launch times will be 6am and 6pm. The balloons may take off and disappear quite quickly. At the bigger, commercial events, they may tether on site during the day if the weather is favourable. In the evening there may be a nightglow scheduled at dusk or after dark.

 

Ballooning always depends on the weather. The windspeed is the crucial factor. If the trees are bending over and wind is whipping past you, you are very unlikely to see balloons up. Rain may not deter the hardy few, if it’s light drizzle, but most private pilots won’t want to get their balloons wet. It's no fun trying to dry 100ft or so of soggy nylon in your living room! Flights may be cancelled in advance or even on the field if conditions are changeable. Or they may be delayed if conditions are expected to improve – for example, if the morning is foggy. This can be frustrating for both the public and the pilots, but safety is always the priority. A very famous saying in aviation is: It's better to be down here wishing you were up there than up there wishing you were down here.

 

At some gatherings, a balloon basket might be set up during the day so that the public can have a look inside and ask the crew and pilot questions. If you are interested in finding out more about ballooning, or you want to get involved, the British Balloon and Airship Club (www.bbac.org) is the governing body in the British Isles. Most other countries have their own ballooning bodies, and there may well be a local club in your region. Follow a balloon and ask the pilot or crew!

 

Do take a camera or video, because balloons are very photogenic. Smile and wave at the balloonists, they will wave back! Balloon spotting is more common than you think............

 

If you enjoy following balloons during a flight, please do so safely and keep your eyes on the road! When the balloon has landed, unless it is on public parkland, please do not enter the field. It does belong to somebody. Please do not park your vehicle where it may block the way for other road users, especially on narrow lanes. It is the duty of the retrieve crew to find the farmer or landowner to arrange the recovery of the balloon. Feel free to approach the crew on the road. They may be very glad of an extra pair of hands to help with the recovery and packing away.

 

Do check the event is still on before you travel to it! 

 
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