Major lift for Bristol Balloon Fiesta as first tranche of city firms sign up as corporate sponsors

May 10, 2024

Key organisations in Bristol’s business community have signed up to support the city’s iconic International Balloon Fiesta.

Among the firms sponsoring the event, now in its 46th year, are aerospace giant Airbus, which has its main wing design centre at Filton, electric-car manufacturer Tesla and upmarket restaurant chain The Ivy, which has a branch in Clifton.

Other sponsors are caravan manufacturers Bailey of Bristol caravans, Somerset-based family-owned cidermaker Thatcher’s, and Bristol craft brewery Butcombe.

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 while Clifton-based public relations agency AMBITIOUS has become its PR & communications partner.

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.

The free-to-attend event, which injects millions of pounds into the local economy every year and has become synonymous with the city itself, announced in February that it would be reduced from four to three days when it returns this August.

That is expected to reduce the costs of staging the event, now in its 46th year, from around £1.1m last year closer to £830,000.

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

It will include two night glows, which will now take place consecutively on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta executive director Ben Hardy 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.”

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