Balloon Meets & Events
If you know of, or have, an event you want listed here, we'd be delighted to hear from you, doesn't have to be just ballooning! If you do attend one of these meets it would be great to get some feedback along with some pictures if that is possible, thanks. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
The events and meets listed here are obviously always subject to weather. Some of them are regional club meetings and events and although not 'public events' you will more often than not be able to see and get up close to the balloons, pilots and crews. Where entry fees are posted then that is information for the balloon teams not necessarily an admission charge. If you wish to just go and spectate then you will be made most welcome and entry for spectators at most events is free but please take notice of any instructions that are given to you. They will be for your safety. Flights are generally early morning, shortly after sunrise, and late afternoon. If you want to get involved have a word with the organisers, pilot or crew or check out the British Balloon & Airship Club’s website www.bbac.org where a list of regional clubs can also be found. You will also find details and links to the Regional Clubs on our 'Links' page. Balloon pilots are always on the look out for willing crew!
Balloon Events and Meet
20-24 March Balloons over Waikato Festival, Hamilton, New Zealand. If you are planning driving there you have left it too late but if you are on holiday or visiting New Zealand give it a go. Details on their website www.balloonsoverwaikato.co.nz
24 March BBAC AGM and Members’ Day Stoke Orchard Community Centre, Cheltenham GL52 7SB. Publicised by the BBAC as ‘A brand new event, by our members, for our members!’ What can one add to that? If you are in the BBAc you need to be there and enjoy what is promised to be a fun-filled day. If you are not go along and join. Zebedee and Co will be there I’m sure.
29-31 March 6th Annual Bowes and Bells Meet Broaches farm, Low Lane, Dalton, Richmond. Fantastic flying area. Details from www.prba.org.uk or email email@example.com
30-31 March New Beginnings Meet Wolverley Secondary School, Wolverley, Worcs. Another brilliant Meet aimed at newcomers, those with an interest in practical ballooning, trainee pilots and those thinking about coming back into the sport. Loads of help with social and training flights incorporating light competition flying with a Masterclass from Dominic Bareford the current World Champion. Details from Stephanie bareford firstname.lastname@example.org
9 April Timbo Day 2 Celebrating Concorde’s UK maiden flight from Filton. At worst we’ll have a music session from about one o’clock in the workshop or somewhere suitable. Silver Machine, Flight of the Valkyries and such played right stuff loud like. Details to follow in the news and updated here.
12 April CPL Exams CAA Aviation House, Gatwick Airport. Closing date 29 March. Contact email@example.com
19-22 April Easter Training Weekend Thornton Hall Country park, Thornton-in-the-Green, Skipton, N Yorks. If you are new to ballooning, just want to get involved or training for your license this is a not to be missed event. Examiners present for all aspects of exams and possibly check flights. A really introduction to ballooning. A really friendly meet organised between the PRBA and NWBAC. Bookings and further information through the NWBAC website www.nwbac.com
19-22 April Black Horse All Fool’s Meet fun at frolics at The Black Horse, Great Missenden, Bucks. Come and have some Chiltern madness and see how HS2 is getting on. They’ve found a hillfort over the road. Launchsite, free camping, great grub and beer within feet of each other. ‘Spect I’ll be retrieving! More details to follow I expect. For details drop a note to firstname.lastname@example.org
19-28 April Canowindra International Balloon Challenge, Canowindra, NSW, Australia. Probably see Ritchie Turnbull flying in a dustbin full of turtles. Highlights include a visit to the Age of Fishes Museum where you can see old fossils. Nuff said Details from www.canowindrachallenge.org.au
23 April St George’s Day Brilliant it’s the Tuesday after Easter so we’ll be closed. Dress in armour get a horse and lance and terrorise the local market. We’ll be drinking Hobgoblin somewhere appropriate.
26-28 April UK Women’s Balloon Meet Staverton Airport Gloucester. 10th Anniversary bash. Smashing super friendly meet for lady pilots. Great event, blokes allowed to retrieve. Camping on site and loads to do. For details and to get on the mailing list please drop a line to Marie Orchard at email@example.com
1-5 May 31st Festival Internacional de Balonismo, Torres, South Brazil. If you’ve got a shape might be worth dropping them a line. Great venue by the sea and a car as a prize in the keygrab. Might be a VW Beetle…drive it home details on http://www.torres.rs.gov.br/balonismo/
3-6 May Ribble Valley Meet Clitheroe, Lancs. Whoa up a minute! Ribble as in Ribblehead Viaduct? Great caravan and camping site and local accommodation. Got to be brilliant. Details and booking through the NWBAC website www.nwbac.com/meets or mail firstname.lastname@example.org
10-12 May 15th Flying Man of Pocklington Festival The Mile Camp Site and Farm Shop, The Mile Pocklington. Now this is becoming a meet the is always beaten by the weather on account the man never flew either. Balloons optional. eMeet forms on their website www.prba.org.uk or contact email@example.com ~ http://www.pockflyingman.org.uk/history.html
11 May BBAC Instructor Training Day Wellesbourne Airfield, Warwick. Topics tbc. Details from BBAC Training Officer firstname.lastname@example.org. Bookings through the BBAC Webshop https://www.bbac.org/shop/Category/idays
11-12 May Telford Balloon Fiesta, Telford, Shropshire. Relaxed meet organised (if you like) through Lindstrand Technologies in Oswestry. For details email email@example.com
17-19 May Midlands Air Festival Arbury Hall, Nuneaton, Warwickshire. After last years fantastic meet this will have a lot to live up to but it will be good. New venue. Free camping and gas, team entry to the estate,breakfast and Saturday Night party with two course meal and drinks. Doesn’t get much better when you add two full afternoon air displays and a Nightglow and Fireworks on Friday. I’m worn out already. Contact James or Trev on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.midlandsairfestival.com
24-27 May Wrenbury Meet Wrenbury, Nantwich, Cheshire. Here’s proof that Cheshire isn’t just for driving through. Flying from the Cotton Arms Pub alongside the famous Llangollen Canal. Campsite next to the pub. Excellent. Come by boat. Details from NWBAC www.nwbac.com/meets or mail email@example.com
31 May-2 June The Black Horse Solo Meet Another One Man Meet which is growing in popularity but being the Black bring what you like. Will find out a bit more nearer the time. Launchsite, free camping, great grub and beer within feet of each other. For details drop a note to firstname.lastname@example.org
7-9 June 7th Hengehoppers Meet Camp Hill Estate, Kirklington N.Yorks. The most little known henge in the country and really huge. See it from the air to appreciate it.
Please can we go? eMeet forms on their website www.prba.org.uk or contact email@example.com
14 June CPL Exams CAA Aviation House, Gatwick Airport. Closing date 31 May. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
21 June Midsummers Day It’s a Friday so Pork Pie on Coombe Hill with drums and bubbles. Go hippie and put some flowers in your hair. Cool and the kaftan mine’s a tie-dye. Love and Peace.
22-23 June Cheltenham Balloon Festival. Cheltenham Racecourse. Flights morning and evening on both days, tethering slots with Night Glow Saturday evening. Free Gas, Farmers Gifts, Breakfast Rolls and Evening Meal, Onsite Camping. No entry fee. Yippee. All organised by John Tyrrell and Wendy Rousell. Entry forms will be available shortly, to register an interest please email email@example.com
28-30 June Midsummer Madness Meet Mains Camp Site, Penrith. Fly as far as you can on Sunday morning but be back in time for breakfast. Camping pods on site or bring your own! Sounds great. www.nwbac.com/meets or mail firstname.lastname@example.org
5-7 July Northampton Town Festival Northampton Racecourse. The 4th re-vamped Town Festival flying from the old Balloon Festival site. First flight Friday evening finishing Sunday evening. Free entry with everything like gas, farmer’s prizes, breakfast, meals and onsite camping all free. Yes really, all for free. Come on Bristol. Had to be really, balloons organised by John and Wendy Tyrell. Contact email@example.com for details.
12-14 July White Horse Meet Thirsk Racecourse. 21st year of this great event with the White Horse Trophy up for grabs for the pilot that lands closest to the eye of the White Horse of Kilburn. Well-drained campsite and launchsite. eMeet forms on their website www.prba.org.uk or contact firstname.lastname@example.org ~ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kilburn_White_Horse
26 July-4 August Grand Est Mondial Air Balloons 2019, better known as Metz. Chambley Aerodrome, Lanet'Air, Hageville, France. Never been? Bit like Marmite but loads go to it and these days the event is well sorted. Advance (better rates) bookings close on 24th February. All entries officially close on 14th June. See the website to make bookings www.pilatre-de-rozier.com or for contact email@example.com
26 July-4 August Sagrantino Cup 2019, Todi, Umbria, Italy. Oh dear this year it clashes with Metz. Not a difficult choice though for those in the know. This year the afternoon slots will be back for those fly-every-slot addicts. Pilots’ daily choice of the Todi or Parco Acquarossa launchsites. Very relaxed and hugely popular meet with Free gas, breakfast and evening buffet. Did we mention no entry fees? Max 100 balloons. Last year there were 73 teams. Full details and entry form from www.sagrantinocup.it
8-11 August Bristol Balloon Fiesta Ashton Court, Bristol. UK (now possibly the 2nd largest) mega-meet with lots of balloons, Night Glows, Press launches and traffic jams. Entry free for the public. They have a Facebook page I believe to keep you up to date. For full details and programme check the website. www.bristolballoonfiesta.co.uk
8-15 August British National Championships, Mirebeau Chouppes, France. Can’t find out much about this at all. Places may be limited though. In the first instance try contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
9-11 August Driffield Steam and Vintage Rally, The Showground, Beverley Road, Kelleythorpe, Driffield Yorkshire. The Old and Rusty Spectacular. Steam and balloons, perfect. Numbers limited. eMeet forms on their website www.prba.org.uk or contact email@example.com
13 August Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks on the night of the 13th Nights each side pretty good as well. Best after eleven o’clock. Out of the constellation Perseus which is near enough north-east.
16 August CPL Exams CAA Aviation House, Gatwick Airport. Closing date 2 August. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
16-18 August Northampton Balloon Festival Billing Aquadrome which has a narrow gauge railway and good onsite fishing, day tickets available! Not to be confused with the Town Festival Organised by Wendy Rousell, it too offers free entry which includes gas, farmers’ gifts, beakfast and evening grub onsite camping with toilets and hot showers. Details from email@example.com
21-24 August Barneveld Balloon Fiesta Barneveld, Netherlands. Just across the Channel and set in the grounds of Schaffelaar Castle which isn’t really a castle: www.ballonfiestabarneveld.nl website in Dutch but for information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
23-25 August Strathaven Balloon Festival, John Hastie Park, Strathaven Sunny Scotland. Advertised as the ‘only balloon meet in Scotland’. It may well be. Contact details at www.strathavenballoonfestival.co.uk
23-26 August Lake District Meet. Black Beth Farm, Ulverston. Doesn’t get better than this for scenery. Definitely a must-do. Contact and details through the North West Balloon & Airship Club www.nwbac.com/meets or mail email@example.com
30 August-1 September Chatsworth Balloon Meet, Chatsworth House, Derbyshire.
Just a part of the lovely Chatsworth Show. Invite meet. Details to follow.
7 September Wisborough Green Balloon Festival. Wisborough Green in Right posh Rhododendron land. Might be on the 7th date tbc. If you really can’t be arsed then this is the only balloon meet you need to go to. All for a good cause. Details from someone later. Just turn up and fly. All welcome and a great pub on the launchsite.
12-15 September Longleat Sky Safari and Exclusive Cup Longleat House, Wiltshire. Now the largest balloon meet in the country in the spectacular grounds of Longleat Safari part but not in the lion enclosure! Night glows on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. Pilot Applications opened on Thursday December 27th 2018. Please check the website for updates. http://www.exclusivecup.com/
20-22 September Splash and Dash Meet The Providence Inn, Yedington, Malton, N Yorks. Another properly thought-out pub-based PRBA meet. eMeet forms on their website www.prba.org.uk or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
21-22 September Kop Hillclimb 10th Anniversary of its revival. Princes Risborough Bucks. Just great fun. Huge gathering of old and rusty cars and bikes with folk on CZ125s pinging up the hill. Well organised but entry fees have gone up a tad but early bird tickets available now. For full details or to enter your charger visit www.kophillclimb.org.uk
21-22 September Royal County of Berkshire Show, County Showground, Newbury. One of the last real County Shows. Celebrating 35 years of balloons flying from the arena. Four tickets per balloon all welcome. Two arena flights. Brilliant event. Organised by the 3.4.40. Region. For details contact Jonathan Harris at email@example.com
1-30 October Great British Long Jump. Be inspired. Do something different. Competition to fly the furthest within the British Isles. Everyone welcome. Entry fee £50.00 Entry form from Old and Rusty Robin Batchelor via the website www.thelongjump.com. If you need persuading that this is truly something you should do read some of the previous reports. http://www.thelongjump.com/
5-13 October Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Albuquerque, New Mexico USA. What’s to say? Biggest, hugest, loudest complete with zebras and a naughty step. Details through their website www.balloonfiesta.com
11-13 October One Man Meet Solo flying only for balloons up to 60,000cuft. Final details now being sorted. To register an interest and be updated drop a note to John Tyrrell and Wendy Rousell at firstname.lastname@example.org
11-13 October Autumn Gold Training Meet, Hibaldstow Airfield. Great for newcomers to the sport. Free camping or onsite bunk house. Have a crack at parachuting whilst you’re at it. Details from www.prba.org.uk or email email@example.com
16 October CPL Exams CAA Aviation House, Gatwick Airport. Closing date 2 August. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
21 October Trafalgar Day Even more brillianter had it been a Tuesday but it isn't so we'll be closed as usual! Nothing to stop you wearing an eye patch and go punting with a cannon in the bows though.
15-17 November Humber Bridge Meet, Percy Arms, Airmyn, Goole. Lovely long established end of year bash. All welcome. Free camping by the pub. Details on the website www.prba.org.uk or email email@example.com
13 December CPL Exams Christmas Special with crackers and all. CAA Aviation House, Gatwick Airport. Closing date 2 August. Closing date 29 November. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Worldwide list with links at http://www.balloonevents.org/
Free events guide: http://www.free-events.co.uk/