Balloon Fiesta unveils sponsorship line-up

The team behind the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta has announced the first wave of support from the business community as they prepare for the take-off of the summer extravaganza.

Pioneering electric-car manufacturer Tesla and aerospace design and manufacturer, Airbus, a key player in Bristol’s aviation history, and The Ivy, which has a restaurant in the city’s Clifton area, have joined forces with the Fiesta organisers alongside leading South West companies.

Bailey of Bristol caravans, Somerset-based family-run cidermaker Thatcher’s, and Butcombe Brewing Company, have also pledged their backing for the biggest annual gathering of hot air balloons in Europe.

The Bristol Junior Chamber, which played a key role in founding the Fiesta, is again joining forces with the event organisers, as an official partner.

Now, following the surge of support from West County companies, which has seen Clifton-based AMBITIOUS signed up as PR & communications partner, the Fiesta leadership team is urging companies to take advantage of sponsorship opportunities.

In return for their support, they gain exposure to worldwide media attention, access to a captivated crowd of hundreds of thousands and association with the city’s most iconic outdoor event – all while making a meaningful contribution to safeguarding the future of a Bristol institution.

Ben Hardy, executive director, Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, said: “Our sponsors’ commitment to backing the Fiesta is tremendous news for my team and for everyone who knows and loves the event.

“We are proud that the 2024 Fiesta will be associated with celebrated local supporters in the business community in Bailey’s Caravans, Butcombe Brewery and Thatcher’s alongside iconic restaurant The Ivy, and global heavyweights in Airbus and Tesla.

“We are delighted they are all backing us with such enthusiasm and to partner with such renowned brands is an important validation for the fiesta. The event will have the eyes of the world on it thanks to media attention that mirrors its growing popularity.

“Our brilliant commercial partners will ensure the fiesta soars to new heights in the build-up to its 50th anniversary in 2028 and our dynamic long-time companions at the Bristol Junior Chamber will ensure their support strengthens Bristol’s status as the home of modern ballooning.”

The sponsorship deals were announced in the wake of an appeal for businesses to support the fiesta by the organisers to ease financial pressures and safeguard the event for future generations, due to challenging economic conditions created by covid, the cost of living, inflation, and supply chain issues.

Despite this the not-for-profit organisation are committed to the Fiesta’s founding constitution to offer a free event for the city, that celebrates Bristol, supports the region’s economy, and brings the magic of hot air ballooning to everyone.

“We are delighted that business leaders have responded to our rallying call and the long-term future is brighter thanks to their backing” Hardy added.

“We are still inviting businesses and organisations to get in touch and explore our sponsorship and partner opportunities as we strive to ensure the Fiesta is as robust as it is dramatic.

“I am confident we will have more good sponsorship news to share soon but we are looking for new partners and brands to come onboard and help further develop the programme, that showcases this novel, magical and colourful pastime.

“This is a real opportunity for businesses to join the fabric of this event, to not only support the Fiesta but protect this iconic event that has a significant impact on the city’s visitor economy and its international profile.”

The 2024 event will take place over three days from Friday 9 to Sunday 11 August.

It will include two Night Glow events which will now take place consecutively on Friday and Saturday evenings. South West dining royalty, Pasture, will also be at the event offering an on-site dining experience like no other, with options available throughout each day.

Organisers have also announced an extension of the event. Between Monday 5 and Thursday 8 August, ‘Fiesta Week’ will see a fleet of hot air balloons popping up in locations across the city in a series of community launches which will bring a taste of the Fiesta to areas across the city.