Balloon Meets & Events
Please note that many events have now been cancelled or postponed as a result of the Coronavirus. We do try and check to see what the current situation is on a weekly basis but please contact the organisers directly for confirmation. Updates will also be made in the News section from time to time. Since we first posted this note it is fair to say that going on the meets and gatherings various that have already been cancelled along with Government predictions it is probably highly unlikely that any balloon events or meetings will be held this year. We hope this isn't the case but being realistic this may well be the likely outcome. You will probably see balloons flying from time to time but they are operating to the guidelines laid down by the Government and the CAA. Great care is taken by the pilots and crew to observe all the procedures currently in place so if you spot a balloon landing please keep a sensible distance away. Of course, feel free to wave and shout greetings accordingly and enjoy a bit of sort of normality!
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
Worldwide list with links at http://www.balloonevents.org/
Free events guide: http://www.free-events.co.uk/
CANCELLED NEW DATE 18-19 September 2021. 19-20 September Kop Hillclimb Princes Risborough Bucks. Just great fun. Huge gathering of old and rusty cars and bikes whizzing up the hill. Well organised, free parking but entry fees have gone up. Early bird tickets available now. Last year the queues were pretty impressive so you need to get there really early. For full details or to enter your charger visit www.kophillclimb.org.uk.
CANCELLED 18-20 September Royal County of Berkshire Show - Newbury Showground, Newbury, Berkshire. Last of the old fashioned County Shows. Livestock, Farm Machinery, Arts & Crafts, demonstrations and lots more. 36th year of ballooning from the Show. Additional Friday evening flight with the usual Sat & Sun AM & PM flights. Evening flights from the main arena. Complimentary event tickets for all balloonists. Website www.berkshireshow.co.uk. Full details from Jonathan Harris email@example.com
CANCELLED 19-25 September 50th Irish Championships Birr, Co. Offlay, Ireland. Officially the oldest competition in the world. Invitation only and the best way to win is to do terribly. Drinking trousers, strong constitution and sense of humour required. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or check the website http://www.irishballooningassociation.com
19-26 September 24th FAI World Hot Air Balloon Championships & Fiesta, Murska Sobota Airport , Slovenia. Watch the experts battle it out to win the coveted title or take part in the Fiesta running alongside. To register or for more details check the website : www.hotairballoons2020.com
POSTPONED to 28-31 May 2021 25-27 September York Balloon Fiesta, Knavesmire Racecourse, York. Ollie Webb’s brilliant event from a great venue. Loads to do like the Railway Museum (of course), the rebuilt Yorvik Museum or drink your way round the city wall! Night Glow on Saturday followed by a firework and laser show. Full details through the website http://www.yorkballoonfiesta.co.uk or check out faceache @yorkballoonfiesta
CANCELLED 25-27 September PRBA Splash & Dash Meet Knavesmire Racecourse York. Yup same days same venue. This fun meet involving the very sought after first prize of a Divers’ Helmet is joining in the fun of the York Balloon Fiesta. Pretty simple rules but easily misinterpreted. Book camping through the York Meet please. Details from www.prba.org.uk or email 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. www.thelongjump.com
CANCELLED 2-4 October Black Horse Balloon Club Autumn Equinox Meet (rolling through October) Black Horse, Great Missenden, Bucks Further details and entry forms on the website later https://www.bhbc.club/ Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
CANCELLED 3-11 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 https://balloonfiesta.com/
POSSIBLY FLYING ONLY NO SOCIAL CONTACT ORGANISER 9-11 October One Man Meet Tenbury Wells Worcestershire. Just when you thought the season was ending wiz wazz the wacky meet is here. Solo flying only with the biggest allowed being a ’65. Well, in theory anyway. To register an interest and get on the mailing list email Wendy Rousell: email@example.com
CANCELLED 9-11 October PRBA Autumn Gold Meet Hibaldstow Airfield, Lincolnshire. Joint venture with the airfield. Lovely friendly venue and flying area with a bunkhouse on site (book early) or camp for free. Good local accommodation available. The weekend encompasses Training, Flying and Tethering workshop. Brilliant meet with the chance to get a Drop Licence.
21 October Trafalgar Day As we had the day off anyway we missed this last year so the Milton Keynes Trip is back on. So its off to the Galleon in Old Wolverton wearing a facemask plus eyepatch and take a broadside at a passing canal boat. Alternatively we’ll go somewhere else.
CONTACY ORGANISERS13-15 November PRBA Humber Bridge Meet & Dinner. The Cave Castle Hotel, South Cave, Yorkshire (just off the M62). Love the sound of this. A good feast in a cave with ale and wine. Brilliant concept. Might even get to fly at midday. Payment required when booking please. Everyone welcome. Details from ww.prba.org.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
13-16 November Leon International Balloon Festival Metropolitan Park, Leon, Mexico. A bit of a trip but the biggest balloon meet in South America. Applications open at the end of February. Website: www.festivaldelglobo.com.mx online applications: www.figpilots.com
To the close of 2020 its not looking like any meets will go ahead. Been a shame that virtually all the meets got scrubbed but it was for the best. All the balloonists and their crews would loved to have turned up and support the meets and the organisers have obviously found it hard all ways about not have been able to run and enjoy the meets. as a result I expect many meets will end up being very special occasions and in the coming weeks we will endeavour to publish the tentative dates for next year. Fortunately ballooning has resumed in a controlled manner for the private pilots and also some commercial operators are flying again, albeit in a limited way.