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28 October 2014

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Balloon Fiesta

Night Glow at the Balloon Fiesta
Balloons light up to the sound of music

Balloon Fiesta Night Glow punter guide

The two Night Glows at the Balloon Fiesta are the highlights of the weekend ballooning event.

Night Glow Guide

+ The two Night Glows are on Thursday 12 August and Saturday 14 August.

+ They start at around 2100 BST, and last around an hour.

+ The start time can sometimes vary if the balloon pilots have to travel back far from the evening's mass ascent.

+ The firework display starts at the end of the Night Glow.

Thousands head to Ashton Court to see tethered balloons and the 'naked' basket and burners light up in time to music.

There are some good spots to see the event, and make sure you don't miss out on the fireworks afterwards.

Probably the most obvious is the hill by Church Wood, which last year looked something like Henman Hill at Wimbledon!

The problem with the hill is that everyone plans to get there early, and bags their spot hours before.

So if you want to grab a bit of the view, we suggest you take a picnic basket, rug, and warm clothing and get there before the mass ascent at 1800.

If you can't get up on the hill, then the next best place is ringside at the bottom of that hill.

Get as close as you can to the fence to make sure you can see, and don't fall foul to some tall bloke standing in front of you.

Again, this area fills up very quickly during the evening, but you should be okay to arrive some time between 1900 and 2000 to get a good spot.

The rookie mistake to make at the Night Glow is to go the other side of the arena - there's a very good reason it fills up last.  You can't see the fireworks very well because of the tree line.

The display is usually spectacular, with many of the rockets sounding like artillery shells being fired.

The only advantage to being this side is its proximity to the car park - which considering the bridge is closed this year, could be quite a bonus.  It depends how desperate you are to get home quickly!

Of course, if you decide to miss part of the Night Glow during the rush back to the car, you can always watch it later here on

If you are extremely jammy, the ultimate view of the Night Glow is from the hospitality tents.  Time to start pleading with the boss ...

last updated: 04/08/04
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