Bristol

Bristol Balloon Fiesta date change 'won't work'

An aerial shot of Thursday morning's mass ascent at this year's Bristol International Balloon Fiesta Image copyright Paul Box
Image caption Thursday morning's mass ascent at this year's Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

Organisers of the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta say they will not consider holding the event earlier in the year following this year's cancellations.

The 41st fiesta was hit by bad weather over the weekend, with only one mass ascent taking place.

Members of the public have called for the event's date to be moved after the Saturday nightglow was cancelled.

Last year's fiesta was also hit by bad weather.

Fiesta organisers said while they understood the frustrations of the tens of thousands of people after the Ashton Court site was closed for a time, moving the weekend would not guarantee good weather - and would create other difficulties.

A fiesta spokesperson said: "While we truly appreciate how disappointing this weekend has been for our visitors, traders and the team personally, the weather is an entity that is entirely out of our control.

"Moving the date would not be a guaranteed way of overcoming the challenges we've faced this year as the weather is never a certainty. Although the last two years have been difficult, it was only a few years ago the balloons flew in every one of the seven scheduled mass ascents for the first time in the event's history.

"Hosting the event earlier in the year wouldn't work as we would inevitably compete with other balloon meets around the world and due to daylight hours we'd be looking at mass ascents taking place as early as 4.30am and nightglows needing to take place as late as 10.30pm.

"Bristol is renowned for the fiesta and its tradition of taking place annually over the second weekend in August and while we are as disheartened as the public are about this weekend's weather, we are optimistic for the future and hope the weather will be kind to us in 2020."

Mass ascents at Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

2019: One - Thursday

2018: One - Saturday

2015: Seven - a record-breaking year

Image copyright Paul Box
Image caption Thursday night's "naked nightglow" at the 2019 Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

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