Cheltenham Racecourse in Cheltenham
Saturday 22nd - Sunday 23rd June 2019
11:00am til 10:00pm
No age restrictions
A fun filled weekend of live entertainment, Hot Air Balloons, Giant Funfair, Fireworks, Food and Drink, Local Traders and much more!
Review of Cheltenham Balloon Fiesta
Great day out, amazing atmosphere and a lot put into the whole day, we’ll done to all the staff
Would you recommended: Yes
A fantastic family day out with lots for all members of the family to do. Highly recommend.
The only problem was regarding the parking. We thought we had to use the park and ride. There were no clear instructions beforehand on where to park. We parked in the park and ride but it was still quite a walk.
It was a great day out with the family. The shows were great. It was a shame it was too windy for the balloons. I would have liked to see live bands in the day.
We had a great day however we were sat along one side of the balloon arena where there were no speakers so could not hear any announcements all we could hear was the racket from the fairgrounds rides, couldn’t even hear the Rock Choir singing! I could only get updates though Facebook. What was missing was a music stage with live music as an alternative to a long walk up to the overcrowded arena which had the same stunt shows on repeat.
Also we had pre booked tickets but this queue was much longer - more entrances needed!
I thought it was well organised and had lots there. Great value for money. The shows were entertaining . Yes shame about the balloons in the afternoon but you cannot control our British weather - we just stayed longer and stayed patient to see them go up! Fabulous sight, and atmosphere was lovely. Only downside was the walk down. Fine for us but not good for those with pushchairs and mobility issues. ( this will be sorted for next year - maybe a little shuttle bus for those with mobility issues ?) Well done for organising such a big event, we really enjoyed it!
Was a great day out. Prices a bit high for the stalls and food but would expect it at a place like that! Bit of a walk to the actual venue which wasnt pre warned.
Bit disappointed in all honesty. We fully understood that the balloon flights were only going to take place at 6am and 6pm, and that they were weather dependent so not guaranteed. The fact that the evening one was delayed was fine - safety has to come first. But there was no communication onsite. I had to keep checking Facebook for updates which I think is poor. Also seeing as it is promoted as a balloon festival I expected more balloon related activities onsite. Not flights - as I said we understood that they were morning and evening only - but maybe more baskets around, the opportunity to chat with the pilots (or whatever the word is). Maybe a marquee with a mini museum type set up teaching people all about hot air balloons. Just MORE balloon related things.
In relation to other aspects - the food was fine, overpriced but you expect that. The stalls were fine. The other live events were good (especially the superheroes) but the commentator was poor. And the terrain on the very long walk to the site was awful. Considering we had to pay for entry and then all activities on site required more money it ended up being a very expensive day.
We won’t be back next year. Too many issues to make me want to try again I’m afraid.
Would you recommended: No
Thoroughly enjoyed the event !
Really disappointed in the lack of actual balloons, I feel like we paid for an average fairground style day out. Only 4 balloons lit up at night and not even in the sky and around 20 balloons took flight so not sure where the 45 even were. Disappointing
Amazing day had by all
Bit of a walk from the car park to the venue
Very poor event, communication about balloon flights and other activities was non-existent apart from having to keep logging onto Facebook. The jousting and other shows were not central, so difficult to see and had to go through the fair to get it. An arena with access to all sides would have been a lot better. The fair seemed to focus of the day, way too much of it. We paid for tickets to just get into a field and got very little for it, then having to spend extra on everything else.
A disappointing day
Great atmosphere & just what Cheltenham needed,.always wanted to go to event in Bristol but never gt around to it,.,.so happy it's come to Cheltenham,
Great day out with daughter and grandchildren.
Food prices were pretty steep, and the terrain to get to the venue could have been better lit at night as it was quite a walk from the car.
Bar staff need training before hand, extremely slow service and caused frustrations with people queuing for over 45mins to get a drink.
Pre pour drinks like any other organised event would.
Having live bands playing as well as choirs would be good.
Overall event was really good and had a lovely day; definetly go again next year.
Such a disappointment no balloons at a balloon festival!!! It was my mums 80th birthday celebration, we got there at opening and left at 7:15pm and not one air balloon in sight 😢😢😢, we had great seats for her to see them and nothing happening in arena at all! You need to rethink this and have a plan BBB for next year 🙃🙃
Had a great day, however thought more live music would have gone down well. Also maybe a fairground ride pre paid ticket. But will be back next year!
Really good day out, worth going again next year
As far as balloon fiestas go this was thoroughly deflated. Not even balloons to see getting inflated, no tannoy announcing anything. We feel this was an overpriced fun fair, the kids were fed up come 6pm and we couldn’t face waiting around any longer for news on when any balloons may take off
We enjoyed the Cheltenham Balloon Fiesta, and come again next time..
Fantastic day out, my 2 girls had the best day.
Did not go
Good day out but fairground rides were expensive
Well worth the visit.
I thought it was a waste of money, it was more about the over priced fare than the balloons. We went specifically to see the night time glow, which I don’t really know what it was other than a shambles- four balloons only up and a bit of music that kept turning off. It was a birthday present for my dad and it was embarrassing. I want my money back please! I had a pram also and it was a trek to the site, not to mention there were no lights on the way back to the car park where both myself and my daughter fell over!
We had a lovely day out at the festival, there was lots to do and we there for 8 hours so great value for money. The only comment might be that we thought a bit more could have been made of the balloon aspect, we never saw one at all until around 8pm. Having said that, when they did ascend they were spectacular to see.
Great day for the family,look forward to next year!!
Excellent family day! Highly recommended.
Really fun day out
Absolutely amazing afternoon/evening. Very enjoyable.
Cheltenham balloon festival was just a glorified expensive funfair with over priced food (£12 for 4 Mr.Whippy ice creams) & we didnt see a single hot air balloon in the 7 hours that we were there waiting. I would reccomend or buy tickets again.
Although we felt the venue was suitable for the event and we had a great day out, navigating ourselves to the event was a bit tricky. More signposts needed leading to the event regarding parking and either more signposts or event attendants needed within the car park itself. The trek from the car parking to the actual event was also a bit tricky, especially in the evening. Maybe more lighting needed.
Everything else from the day was great, we felt the tickets were really well priced for what was provided, lots more going on than we expected and a really lovely, family orintated atmosphere.
Would of like music even if it was just back ground music . My family all enjoyed the day . I would say it’s like a festival with no music so would definitely say music was needed!
Music in stunt arena too loud when you were stood waiting for the events to start was very uncomfortable. On arrival was luckily to notice on Facebook about southam entrance as with two children would been a nightmare. Needed more announcement telling people about balloons being delayed as that's what people come to see. We arrived after 4pm left just before midnight luckily we found our car in the dark some people not so lucky so car park area signs could help which location ur in. We were worried was going to get stuck in carpark as everyone stayed to watch fireworks. We drove straight out the car park thanks to the wardons directing traffic southam exit Evan those was 12am and all still working so fair play to them. Kids loved the balloons taking off excited in there faces Was worth the wait
Mrs Jenny Brice
It was a very warm good day, we will come back next year.
There's alot to improve upon but a great foundation for the first year
Sadly for a balloon event we saw no balloons and the event had poor communication and was poorly managed
A great day out for all the family, old and young there is something for everyone.
The entertainment was fantastic and the balloons were awesome. Plenty of foods from all over the world were great and not over priced. Would highly recommend this to anyone.
Great setting - perfect for balloons. Would recommend that at any future fiestas there is only one arena. It was good having all of the side attractions (stunts etc.) but having them in a seperate area to the balloon arena meant that people were just hanging around waiting. For some people with younger children it was simply too long for them to wait for 'something to happen'. A similar set up to Ashton Court in Bristol might work better next time. This seems especially key when balloon festivals are dependant on the weather anyway.
Brilliant day out, would definitely go again.
We had a great day at the balloon festival. The kids loved being able to watch the balloons take off and there was lots to do during the day. Quite a few adjustments required to ensure next years is better:
It’s a long walk on uneven terrain to get to the event, difficult for young children and the less able.
The communication was poor. We went at 4 so we could see balloons at 6. Flights delayed due to weather (understandable) but no communication and with 3 young children we didn’t know whether to wait or go home. As it happens we got to see them but we were about to give up! Some of the prices were excessive and for a paid entry event made it a very expensive day. £4 for a kids ice cream!! Also as balloons are weather permitting without the balloons it’s a very expensive day as essentially you are paying to go to a funfair which you then have to pay for!
Event was great but need some tweaking. PA system too quiet and did not cover show arena. Fairground was spread out over site and drowned out PA and distracted with continuous thumping music . Parking was not signed. Balloon glow suffered as PA went down and then music could not be heard by many. Crews coped very well and entertained filling the gap until PA back up
The balloon crews were very friendy and the evening take off was great once the weather played ball. Good variety of balloons and great entertainement. Jousting also fun to watch. Toilets were clean and well stocked even by evening.
Fireworks good and not too loud for the site.
Very good value for the price.
Great event. Well organised. I hope they do it again next year
Where were the balloons and the parking rubbish
Pedestrians nearly being run over as using same exit as cars
Poorly signed no attendance to ask where to go
Appalling there were no balloons for my children to see we had to walk over four fields to get to what was seemingly a mop fair. It was not very good at all and I will not be reccomending it to anybody.
A massive con.
Fabulous event. There were a few inevitable teething problems and even event coordinators can’t predict the weather.
It was a great day out, still lots to do and plenty of space for the kids to run around in.
Would 100% recommend anyone to go.
Parking was fine but walking over all the fields takes it toll on little legs n didnt get to see any balloons but it was an enjoyable day
Not quite a Balloon Fiesta, more of kids funfair more stalls would have been nice as , problem was if you bought food you had no where to sit people just grabbed tables and stayed there all day , would have been nice to see balloons and fire works but 11-11 can be a long day , when there’s nothing really of interest to keep you there , I thought food , and drinks were over priced £3:50 for a mr whippy !! Heard a lot of people complaining , £5.50 for a plastic bottle of cider , can be an expensive day out . Have definitely been to better Fiesta’s but then again was Cheltenham’s first night learn by there mistakes .
It was a hot air balloon fiesta. With no balloons! I was really disappointed
Overall it was alright, there wasn't enough music around the venue, limited signposting made it very difficult to find. Around 20 minute walk from the racecourse which we had no idea. The stalls were okay but not great and over charged us twice and weren't very organized. Overall not a great experience
Great day..long walk from parking to event but organisers are looking to improve next year.
Excellent day enjoyed by everyone at the first Cheltenham Balloon Fiesta.
Although there was a problem with the music for the night glow it didn’t spoil the event.
We would definitely go again.
Susan J B Rosales
Good event music system not great tho and parking abit far from event. Balloons were good and funfair
The event was fantastic, well put together and so much fun.
Excellent day out
I thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon here.
Prices were quite high but then were expected. I should imagine anyone who took there children would have spent a small fortune. The walk from the carpark was abit of a trek and the paths werent great but would def go again :)
MR RICHARD BUDGE
The event was not located in the best position and was a long walk from the car parks, as both my partner and myself have trouble walking we were unable to attend the event.
When asking attendants what we could do to get there no one knew!
Disappointed with total lack of information as to why balloons were delayed in flying. Between 6 & 7 in programme. Told at 6:30 that delay was due to wind speed and that an update would be given in 20 mins. No further update given. 7 balloons eventually took off st 7:30pm 🙄☹
I had the best day. Thanks so much
Disabled parking was too far from the venue, there was a closer carpark which would have been better access , we had to go on the main road to get to the accessible path from the allocated disabled parking. Other wheelchair users wereeaving early as we arrived saying the access was terrible and not a lot to do once inside.
Security did not check anyone's bags upon entry. There wasn't a lot of music, could only here the noise coming from the fun fair rides.
Majority of the event was fair rides, all of which were not accessible for wheelchair users.
Not a great selection of stalls to look at either.
The entertainment acts were too short and the breaks in between far too long.
No shaded areas for people to get out of the sun and heat.
First year so definitely room for improvement ...... signposts to car park need to be clearer , otherwise a long walk if you park inside the racecourse..... better communication needs to be addressed as nobody knew what was happening , there was a tannoy system but needs more use , prices were expensive when you get in , but no doubt the “captive audience system “ can take pic nic etc but a long way to carry ....
No Marshalls directing you to parking which was poor. Parked in disabled parking for the race course which was ages away from the venue across very rough ground and was very unsafe at night due to lack of flood lights.
Was good in the evening when we had announcements. Glad the balloons got to go up
Communication as to why balloons late very poor. Not enough to do between opening and balloons at 6pm. Only one stall advertised vegetarian food, however when tried to buy it - they had none. Overalll very poor
Entry fee is reasonable but everything inside is very expensive.
Throughly entertaining the stunts the balloons , fireworks were all amazing
I am disabled and couldn't get into the venue they made no access for anyone disabled so even though I bought 2 tickets from yourself for me and my wife who is also disabled and there were no balloons so not happy
A very very long walk from car park, on uneven ground .. not suitable for elderly or wheelchairs or pushchairs.
Security bag check did not happen.
Vet poor pa system.reaching at max 20% of people. No communication of delays are rearranged times. No plan so no idea where I formation point was first aid point, or lost children .
Great day out , the kids loved it as did the adults
Arrived for opening with 4 small children only to discover that the balloons took off at 6pm and wouldn’t Be back till after 6pm. Balloon festival with no balloons.
Rides were very expensive, £4 per kids for some!
Food was good lots of choice.
We saw balloons only on the evening. Should visible more
Outstanding event for all ages well organised event
A few things need sorting out, the main arena, needs to be moved more centrally, so that it could be viewed from all sides, we could not see some of the displays due to people standing 20 deep, due to lack of space, if the main arena was moved slightly further up the field this would not happen. Also a a map at the entrance showing the actual layout would not go amiss, as we only found out about the main arena by asking a security guard.
Perhaps the main entrance to the racecourse could be opened at the finish, as it took sometime to actually leave due to the volume of traffic, only to pass the main entrance some 20 minutes later.
Although we like the balloons a, a bit more information could have helped as to the state of play re the weather.
The funfair part needs to be separated from the rest of the venue, as the music seemed to mask a lot of what else was going on.
I know this was your first attempt and I would give it 6 out of 10, with a few tweaks you should have a winner
The organisers have a lot to learn after year one of this event. The lack of signage into the event was poor, the bars ran out of bottled water early on in the day, which for an open air event aimed at families in the sunshine with no options for shade was a catastrophic balls up. All that was available was fizzy drinks laden with sufar, which my kids hate. The skiddle staff on the door were rude and unhelpful and wouldn't even look at me when I spoke to them (one girl in particular). The fairground is far too loud so it's tough to hear the compare in the events arena unless you are right at the front. There were no pa systems for the balloon arena by the bar side, so we didn't know what was going on with the 6pm balloon ascent and had to rely on overhearing people around us who were constantly checking the facebook page. Overall the price to get in for a family of four was far too high, especially as rides cost extra. No sign of any Marshall's or anyone on site looking like they were in charge. Think we shall stick to Bristol from now on!
Enjoyable day ..
Very expensive rides and food!
Good parking, balloons were brilliant and plenty to do there. Good choice of food stalls just a pity the food cost a small fortune.
It was good but there is lots of room for improvement
Good for family enjoyment
Too far to walk from car parks - very uneven surfaces to walk over - sound system very poor - signage poor - main arena for events too far away - basically a glorified fun-fair
Traffic management in the morning was dreadful due the car parks accessed via the racecourse entrance being closed. But open in the afternoon. Bonkers. People arriving on foot at the racecourse entrance then had a mile walk to the venue. Not a problem for me but it was for a number of less able people I witnessed.
Never been to a balloon fiesta before. Always thought it would be a quiet event reflecting this peaceful mode of transport. We stayed till 3.30. Not a balloon in sight just mass of very noisy fairground rides and the associated tat. Think I’m getting old and grumpy. My advice - watch for free from Cleeve Hill!!
We have thorough enjoyed the balloon festival yesterday. There was plenty to see and do and the night glow in the evening was fantastic. It was very reasonable prices. My one criticism is that we live by Pittville Park and I am disabled so it would have been nice to have a shuttle bus from the top of the racecourse down to the venue as it was a long walk. In the end my husband went and brought the car. But if the event is held again next year my family will certainly go, it was an excellent day out so
We had a great time here, came in the morning and went home early afternoon. We then came back in the evening which was awesome, a great day out:)
Got there a 1pm and left about 4pm. But there were no balloons. Just a fair. I understand there balloon were there after 6pm, but to late for us.
Great day out for all the family.
It was a long walk from the car park. Music too loud. Didnt see any balloons
We had a great time. Was quite a walk to the actual event from the parking area and no map given out to show you where everything was when you got inside, which meant we missed some of the shows but what we did see were brilliant. Shame about the wind meaning there weren’t many balloons and not knowing what to expect with the balloon glow I think we left before it really got going but all in all a good event :)
Sadly the car park in conjunction to the venue was not organised no one to direct you. As there was a lady of 89 in our party wanting to be as close to the venue as possible as mobility poor but not registered disabled had nearly a two mile walk. It wasn’t an easy walk as the ground was in most places gravelly and uneven surfaces, for a mobile person in their fifties was hard going enough carrying bags and chairs. On reaching three quarters of the way there could see cars parked and had just walked over a mile thinking why couldn’t someone have been around to direct us here where it would have been so much easier for this elderly lady struggling . We found a parking attendant there strangely enough but not at the entrance god knows why???? Anyway we asked this guy if when leaving could we bring our car down as an elderly lady couldn’t make it back as had struggled coming down no way could she walk uphill. He said yes no problem . On leaving venue myself and my sister went to fetch the car down but we’re told by various car parking attendants we could not go into the nearby car park to get my mother after explaing her age and how we had been promised we could . In the end it took my sisters partner to get very annoyed and demand something is done as I couldn’t get to him by car . This resulted in one of the parking attendants to kindly transport the elderly lady to where we were originally parked. Even then I was at this time parked in the blue badge area being told on no circumstance could I just leave my car temporarily there whilst I ran to get my mother . After some moments I ignored him and drove my car where he didn’t want me to go and get to where my. Elderly lady was sitting in the car . Thankful to that attendant who was understanding . I know there are rules but my god for this situation I think there could have been some compassion found it disgraceful especially the guy working on the exit by the blue badge area , he had darkish greying hair stout guy with moustache in his fifties at around 8.20pm the guy was so jobsworthy when I was saying I’m literally going to be 20 mins and there was plenty of room to park my car for a short time it was ridiculous !!!!!!! Maybe next venue guys could be attending directing cars from the very entrance to people who don’t know the venue like myself and for people who may have elderly people or kids geared up for . Luckily we got through it but it dampened the enjoyment to the day leaving us drained .
The disabled parking was way to far away from the entrance. On leaving I had to ask security if I could drive up to get my disabled guests and they said no. I had to persuade them to allow this. Exhibitors had parked by entrance so that is where the disabled should have been. No balloons to see during the day, which is a bit disappointing considering it was a balloon fiesta!
Samantha J Cleevely
Not the racecourse, field beside, felt like over priced fair with balloon on side,
Compared to Bristol very very poor!
Had a good time but a long way to walk from the car park, had to eat fish and chos with my hands as vendor had run out of wooden cutlery, long queue for toilets so didn’t buy much drink from the vendors - I expect you paid a shed load to be there, the fair was the best I’ve seen for a long time - great stunt motorcycle show- cjeers
The place was not disabled friendly!
Fantastic day out. We literally stayed all day. Food a bit pricey but tasty 😊 entertainment was fantastic
Total lack of pa/ communication re balloons flights etc. Felt we'd paid to go to a downmarket county shiw/ funfair. Venus a long way removed from what was expected, ie well beyond the racecourse.
Spent 3 hours there and didn’t see anything to do with a balloon 🙈
Good event .
Needs some work on organisation and communication.
Needs more balloon activity (weather permitting) .
Night glow needs more balloons to make it an incredible spectacle.
Parking was sketchy . Exiting the event was laborious.
Hung around all day but no decent communication as to when balloons would go up. By 7pm got fed up & went home & then they went up later. Very expensive food & drink. Not really much to do during the day unless you like expensive fairground rides.
Great event, would definately go again.
We had great fun, it was really nicely organised. Long walk from the carpark , unexpected which i don't mind but it was hard on the kids especially on the way back 😉 Crazy charge at the ITM machines for taking cash out. We definitely will be back next year!
We had a great day 😁
Great scheduling of events - we especially enjoyed the breathtaking feats of the Marvel stunt men. This was fantastic and huge fun. The balloon flight finale way exceeded expectations with upwards of 15 balloons taking off although this would have been even better with a commentary about balloon flight - history, who was represented there, who was the final RAF man in the seat? and generally how it all works - the hot air bit, wind conditions, take-off, landings and how direction, height and speed are managed during flight.
I ticked yes despite not seeing a balloon! I came back for the 6pm flight on Saturday, was told it was too windy, went home only to discover that they flew at 7.30pm. Frustrating!
The weather was perfect but prices for food and drink are too high for families - £2 for a 500ml bottle of water and £3 for an ice-cream are a rip-off. Not everyone in Cheltenham is comfortably middle-class!
Highlights for me were the Nottingham Knights and for my grandson, the Knights, the bungee bouncing and the slide.
Was expecting a lot more stores and thing to do. Also they need to have someone making anousements that you can hear.
Great funfair hosted by the Danters and Scarrotts, atmosphere was good, crowds were easy to get through as I went in the afternoon, prices for food were steep so glad I took my own food and drink, jousting and stunts teams were brill events to fill up day and to watch for time to pass by, ziplining was a good value activity
Good afternoon was had would recommend to people who want to attend in future to take their own picnic, and to be aware of the walk from the racecourse to where the event is held as it is a bit far for pensioners and little kids to walk etc
For a "Balloon" fiesta we were expecting to actually see some balloons but we arrived at 12 to find that they had all left at 7am and would only return at 6pm, we had to leave at 4 so didn't see any. Very disappointing will not be back.
We went there to see balloons as i love them but it never happen.. So disappointed. We went home upset and unhappy.
Disabled parking and accessibility to the site was very poor.
Mrs Jennifer H Clement
Really enjoyed Cheltenham balloon fiesta, would go again
Very good. Really fun but no balloons
Lovely atmosphere, nice variety of stalls, missed the shows will definitely come back next time.
Went to take my children to see balloons and we did not see one hot air balloon the whole time we were there. The parking was a long walk as warned, however the uneven terrain and nettles made it even more of a challenge. We paid our money for an overpriced fairground and no information provided re hot air balloons and no teathering at 2pm either. Will not bother again and would recommend no one else bothers either.
It was a bit misleading saying it was at Cheltenham racecourse. Having walked up to save the problem of parking (however there was ample) we then had to continue walking for another 20mins plus to find the venue. Once arriving though, my friend and I enjoyed the event and the amazing display when the balloons went up almost together, one after another. Spectacular to watch.
Excellent day for all the family we all enjoyed it cant wait for next year
Lovely atmosphere, well organised a perfect day out for family.
A superb event, well managed and great entertainment. Couldn't really score the music but would have loved live music. That's our only suggestion. Great stuff.
Brilliant day out
Fair rides were very expensive.
Entrance fee good value.
Absolutely brilliant had a lovely time.
The only thing that needs huge improvement is the disabled parking nearly a 15 min walk, this
Needs to be reconsidered for next year. Other than that an awesome day had by all.
We had a wonderful time at the Balloon Fiesta. The only thing we would say is that we had a longer walk from the car park to the actual venue than we imagined. Other than that it was great.
Where do I start? The signs for parking were non-existent...many people parked near the grandstand then had to repark. The event was a considerable trek from the car park, having to carry chairs picnic hampers etc. The biggest disappointment was having arrived around 12.00 and by 5.00pm no balloons taking off. I can understand that the weather conditions were not favourable but there were no announcements to inform the public what was going on. Also there was no alternative entertainment. At the Bristol festival , in the event of no flights I have seen them using radio controlled aircraft, drones etc. with lots of interesting information. Basically I paid £24 for myself, wife and 3 grandchildren and all I got was access to a patch of grass to go and spend more money on fairground rides and stall holders. Rip Off does not come close enough to describing my experience. I look forward to your response especially if it is accompanied by a full refund.
Mr R J Higgs
a long walk from the car park. venue good. balloons were amazing just needed more of them .
Mirella Short Freitas
Thanks for making this party wonderful. We did enjoy every single minute over there. 😉
A very good day. Perhaps extending the events arena to allow more spectators a better view.
Spent 6 hours at the BALLOON FIESTA and didn't see one inflated balloon .The timetable for the 6.30 am lift off was not communicated. The 2.30 tethering and competitions did not happen!
The access over rough fields was long and poor, disabled parking was non-existent.
This was a glorified funfair with exorbitant prices for rides, food etc.
The website advertising this event was misleading in the extreme.
But you made a lot of money out of it, so that's alright then, isn't it?
Due to poor reviews of no/few balloons and poor/difficult access decided not to attend. Would appreciate a refund please
Really enjoyed ourselves the balloons were very impressive when they all took off and the night glow later. All the other events going on and the fair ground we’re good aswell.
As normal at events like this though high prices for food and drink and primitive toilet facilities.
So pleased I followed the weather forecast and decided to go on the Saturday rather than Sunday – and that I made the effort to be there at 6.00am for the early morning balloon flight which was amazing to see.
I returned in the afternoon see Rock Choir and the balloon tethering – but didn’t hear any communication that it wasn’t going ahead. I then went off for an hour or so before coming back from 5pm to see the main arena displays, the night glow and the fireworks. I’m so glad I used the Southam Lane entrance as it meant I got parked in the 2 car parks nearest the event – but a friend who came in the main racecourse entrance had to park near there and said she had to “walk miles”.
Provision for blue badge disability parking was either non-existent or woefully planned; I work locally with students with disability and saw two groups of our wheelchair using students who had arrived by minibus and really struggled getting up the hill even from the nearest public parking (as directed by stewards) to the site. There should have been blue badge parking right by the site entrance, accessed through the “Traders and Production” gate.
None of the general trader stands were really of any interest to me, nor were the amusements or fun fair. I did plan my day to see all the main arena displays:
- I very enjoyed the Knights of Nottingham though it would have been better if the jousting area could have been more in the centre of the arena so as to be better visible for the audience on all sides.
- Stannage International Stunts was entertaining.
- Vander Wheel and Jamie Squibb’s were both very short (barely more than 10 or 15 minutes) and did not live up to their “billing”.
The site toilets were very clean and tidy, even at 10.30pm at night, and site staff were regularly and actively emptying the rubbish bins.
What a shame the weather transpired against you on the Saturday afternoon/evening (and seemingly again on Sunday).
A well organised event, with good information and updates on Facebook, that could be a great event next year with some improvements based on this year’s learning points and comments/feedback.
First attempt for Cheltenham at this I know but...
- Event not really near the racecourse, thought it would be set out like the fireworks but was in a field in the middle of nowhere
- Arrived by bus, long walk to event which didn't encourage use of public transport, also no signs saying where to go
- No balloons on show from 11am to 8pm, ended up watching them in the garden when home. Not great for families that took children, would be better to be named the NO balloon fiesta
- Overpriced rides, paid £5 for 5 mins for my son on a trampoline, little else to fill the te whilst there so became expensive!
- Two positives were the knights of nottingham and superhero wheel shows which were both great would have demanded money back on the spot if not for those!
Safe to say we won't be returning, would ve surprised to see it run again anyhow seeing as it was so bad!
No balloons. Just a ruinous funfair.
Limited viewing of the main arena as spectators could not access all sides. Never again.
We went to what we feel were the best two parts. Sat am balloons flying and Sat pm balloon glow and fireworks. Brilliant. However, absolutely awful to get to for anyone walking to the event.
Excellent venue and well organised event. Balloons flight event is amazing!
Overpriced fairground and did not deliver on what was advertised i. e no hot air balloons. Poor communication from the team running the event. Location was inaccessible for those with disabilities or young children in pushchairs. I would not recommend this event.
Mrs Carole Howe
Loved the event - a little more thought needs to go to access - particularly for the less able bodied - more bars and food outlets - speakers around the main stage were too loud - but overall a really lovely day with a lovely atmosphere.
There 2 hours and we didn’t see a balloon!!! Too windy apparently but I thought there would b lots grounded to look at. Disappointed. Basically paid the entrance fee to wall round some stalls and a fair!!!
Pretty good event. Could have done with better communication about balloon launch delays, but all-in-all it was an enjoyable afternoon out.
We really enjoyed the few hours we spent at the Fiesta, we didn't stay all day due to having a young child who was a bit little for a long day out.
Only criticism I have is that we did not see any signs for the event until we were almost at the racecourse ( we travelled from oxfordshire so assumed to see some signs before we got into cheltenham it's self)
Will definitely attend again in the future
It’s not a fare review really as I was restricted as I would like to have gone at 6 and watched the balloons. But I did find the fare ridiculous prices. 5 minutes on a bouncy castle for £3 for instance
Great family day out. For a first event of this kind in Cheltenham they did well and seem to have taken on feedback for next year.
Basically paying to go to an expensive fair. Main arena not easy to see. Balloons only visible for an hour or so. Not enough food stations so queues were very long. Took an hour to get a pizza. Fireworks were too late for families to view. Not worth paying money to enter. The bike show was short. Not even on the racecourse. It was a field behind. Disappointed all round.
Was not much different to the free entry fair that is held at the racecourse. I don't feel the ticket price justifies what was on offer. Without the hot air balloons ,or a plan b , to justify the ticket price we would not go again. On the plus side we did enjoy Jaime Squibs stunt motor bikers. Perhaps with the money saved from not having the hot air balloons at a hot air balloons fiesta, the tickets prices could be cheaper if they repeat the event?
After arriving with my 5 children it was a bit of a nightmare. The venue was way too far from the car park and that meant walking over terrible terrain just to gain entrance. The terrain would of been a nightmare for any family especially if you had a pushchair or someone with a disability. Once inside it soon became obvious that everything was way overpriced and I mean everything. 6 ice cream cones would of cost us £18, so just that example alone tells you just how extortionate the prices were needless to say we won't be rushing back.
Not bad for a first event.
Quite a few areas for improvement (communication with the crowd, access for those with mobility issues, placement of the arenas to allow viewing from all sides)
We did really enjoy ourselves though and were fortunate enough to see the evening balloon flight on Saturday
No signage to show where to go. Venue was a long walk from the carpark and no easy route for prams or wheelchairs. Bags were not checked by security. Stewards were unhelpful and didn't know what was happening. Sound system cut out during balloon glow and only saw five balloons tethered. Heard the best part was the early morning flight that could be watched for free. Sadly won't go again and would not recommend.
Great day out, didn't see any balloons but nevermind!
We all had fun, plenty of parking close to the main arena, lots of food options and entertainment beyond the balloons.
Would have been helpful to know which entrance to use ahead of time.
A great day out, lots to see and do. Didn't see any balloons going up, but it's quite clear that this is weather dependent on the day, so you take your chance. Atmosphere was great and the whole family had fun. Only grumble was the long walk from the carpark to the event, but quite frankly, we walked out ice-creams off 🤣
Awareness family day
Ms Pauline Hart
A big event like that on such a vast area transport of some sort should of been provided. Venue along way from actual enterance. Won’t go to anything at racecourse again.
AN OVER INFLATED NON-BALLOON FIASCO!
What a rip-off, you call it a balloon fiesta and we were there for three hours on Saturday and did not see a single balloon except for kiddies balloons on sticks.
The balloon operators had there fun at 6 am in the morning and the public were not allowed in until 11 am when they had all gone.
Just a glorified fairground with Disney copyright being flouted on the kids rides.
An insult to Cheltenham's good name.
Very expensive to go on the rides, especially if you have more than one child. Some of the people running the rides were very unfriendly and not at all good with children. The food and drink was also very over priced for what it was. Two tiny trays of chips cost £6.
Music was far too loud, especially for children. In order to see what was going on in the arena you had to stand next to a deafening speaker.
On arrival there were no signs and it involved walking a very long distance from the car park (when you found it) over tough terrain. Particularly difficult with a pushchair.
It was called the balloon festival but there were no balloons unless you stayed into the evening but even they were 2 hours late. Very disappointing. It was nothing more than a local travelling fair.
A great idea with promise. A shuttle bus from the main entrance to the actual site would have been a good idea as there was lots of pedestrians accessing the event locally. The only music we heard was the loud unnecessary noise from the fair. Good live bands would have been nice. We felt the presence of the fair was a shame as it made the event a little distasteful & crass. I liked the idea of local companies & charities having stalls there. If I was organising this event I would increase the ticket prices to deliberately exclude the many rif-raf we saw walking around. This needs to be a local community event for those wishing to spend the afternoon/evening in the company of like-minded civilised people. There should be more toilets at different locations throughout the site to avoid peogle urinating in the hedge - we saw quite lot of this but to be expected with yesterdays target audience. I should also add the gate/security staff were friendly & the site was free from litter.
Very dissapointed in the event
Could do with more interesting stalls and more room for picnicking.
Toilets needed more supervision for cleaning ☹
Fireworks were great. 😃
Balloon night glow needs more work. 😕
Good day out especially the spectacle of the Balloon launch
Richard Henry Price
Advertised as 10 minute Park & Ride, nearly a mile from drop to event, could have sat in field next door for free!.
We enjoyed an hour or so at the fiesta, but there wasn't really enough entertainment to justify the price and the organisation and travel info could have been better. We came by car but would have preferred to take public transport if the info had been better and the bus dropped off closer to the site.
Everyone was really lovely but music coming through speakers was far too loud! At points in day could hardly speak to person stood next to you!
Wai Wan Kung
Having been to a number of other types of festivals I was disappointed about this balloon festival. Firstly this was meant to be a hot air balloon festival, the only hot air balloons were seen at 6 o’clock in the morning despite the entrance to the grounds was only from 11 and then at 6 pm in the evening. There was not enough going on to keep people in from 11 to 6.
Very disappointed to get there and see no balloons at a ballon festival! Waste of money basically paid £10 to get in and be ripped off at a fun fair. Won’t be going again next year
Too far to walk from racecourse. Disappointed balloons couldn’t go up not the organisers fault but a lot of money to pay to get in when you then have to pay out yet more money for a fair ground. Could of had more variety of shows in the main arena not just stunt bikes
This was not a music event, but great day was had, more beer tents needed, fair ground rides a bit pricey, plenty of porta loos and clean but again had a great day and would go agian
Not enjoy because we buy tickets for bloon not for fun fair no single on bloon we see just kites in ear wasting money
Great shows on the main arena!
Was a great day out the only downside was a 30 minute walk from car park to the enterance and considering it was a balloon fiesta we didn’t see any balloons until we left. They were due to go up at 6pm and didn’t until 7.30pm ( bit late for children).
Its was a nice event just a pity it did not cater for people with disabilities.
Two of my friends who have difficulty in walking paid for their tickets but it was to far from the car park for them to attend the balloon festible so they went home dissapointed.
Not even at Cheltenham racecourse, didn't see any hot air balloons
Very disappointing event. The only balloons we saw were on the way to our hotel on Friday night which we had booked (at some expense) because we had travelled from the south coast of england. When we arrived at the site we found that there were limited stalls and the entertainment/jousting etc was too much talking and over acting.
It would have been far better and more impressive to have the balloons tethered so people could see them. After all that's what the event is about We paid for a two day pass each but it was announced that if we got up early and returned by 6am in the morning then the balloons would definately be flying. We thought we would do this as we would at least then have seen what we had travelled all that way for. We arrived on time to be told they were not going up due to advise from the met office (understandable, this cant be helped) but they were not even tethering either. Very disappointed!
We paid £16 to watch hot air Balloons My son was so Excited but we found out that Balloons are not going up i think we should get money Back because we paid for rides and food Separately
Not idea if you had a pushchair or a wheelchair to far away from car park and ground was terrible . Not good at all . Bar ran out of water and other alcohol drink and this was its first day . A little to expensive if you had a family with 2 or more children . Good job it was good weather as no where under cover if it rained.
I loved it and hope to see it again. Fair ground is too loud, not enough food stalls or bars and the balloon arena needs to be bigger. More craft beers and stalls would make it really good.
This really would have been a good day, if only I had a car. The balloons eventually flew, but after the last shuttle bus had left, which was 30 mins walk from the venue.
I would go again, but I’d check the weather forecast in detail first, and perhaps go early morning to see the balloons
The venue and balloon elements were great, only downside was the cost of the rides which with three children was very expensive
Road signs were virtually non existent, signage at the actual event, just said what was on and when but it didn’t give a layout of the area so you didn’t know where things were. We went on Sunday and all the balloon things were shut, the main area was right at the other end of the site and it was far too small
All in all just disappointing
Really dissapointed, no balloons went up until 10.30 pm which was too late for my children. So we were sat in a field with a small fair all day long waiting for the balloons to go up but nothing!! Not happy at all. I'd like a refund
No balloons in sight. Recognise the weather conditions didn’t allow. But for all the families there, there needed to be some more alternatives if this was the case. The prices for some of the bouncy soft play was steep... £3 for five minutes...
No baby changing facilities, didnt scan tickets on arrival therefore you could have people entering who havent paid and by 2pm you had ran out of kingston press cider at one of the bars...but wasnt advised it was still avaliable at the other bar on site. All a learning curve...
Disappointed as it was a balloon fiesta but we didn’t see even1 balloon
Would not go again
We attended on the Saturday between 1300 and 1830 and had hoped to see the flights at 1400 and 1800 but did not see a single balloon in the air! We have a 3 year old so couldn't stay late, it was very disappointing.
A disappointing day, not a balloon to be seen anywhere. I know the weather wasn’t right for flights or even tethers, but I just spent £16 entry to a funfair where I ended up spending zillions on short rides, naff prizes and overpriced ice creams. I’m not sure what the answer is, or if there is one, but a balloon fiesta with no balloons doesn’t work for me. Maybe advertise it as a massive funfair with the possibility of balloons if the weather is right. And don’t charge entry if it isn’t happening. The stunt bikes were good though, I didn’t see any of the other shows.
I’m afraid overall very disappointed as went to a Balloon Festival and saw only one balloon actually inflated and that was only for a couple of minutes.
Overpriced, expensive day, terrible location, car park to far away from venue, bossy venue staff! Just a fun fair with a few shops and food stalls, And No balloons!
Fantastic experience for the whole family. Will come back again next year.
Really good value for money. Thoroughly enjoyed the day
We had a great family day out, shows were great and the balloons were good. Fireworks were excellent. We took a picnic but spent a lot on not a lot, prices were quite high which was the only downside.
Due to the weather we didn’t get to see any inflated balloons. We did however get to go in the basket for a photo and have a chat with the pilot John who was very friendly and experienced which made up for it.
I think the marketing for this event was poor - it should have been more specific that there were certain times when you could see the balloons eg we arrived at 2pm and left at 4.30pm having seen no balloons so hardly a fiesta! I realise now that had we stayed on until later in the evening then the display was excellent, if this had been mentioned on the website then we could have planned our visit better. As it was we paid £6 each to get into a funfair only to be charged again for the rides!
Seemed a bit of a con to me!
Where the event is situated is quite along way from disabled parking. We didn't realise that we could have parked closer. Other that that I was a pretty good evening and glad we got to see the balloons, glow and fireworks.
Was disappointed there was nothing "Balloon" or "fiesta" about the event while I was there. The quantity and quality of the stalls was disappointing which meant in my mind, it was over priced entry to an offer priced funfair. Children had far more fun at the local playground that was free.
No balloons In site. Nothing to do with balloons at all, paid to walk around the fun fair which then cost more money to go on.
Could of had things on show to do with hot air balloons even if the weather wasn't in our side
Good value for money. Shows were excellent. Some rides were overpriced but you can pick and chose. We took our own picnic and chairs and had a great time
Shame we didn’t have good weather as we saw no balloons
I can understand that Balloons cant be up and running all the time, but maybe calling it a balloon fiesta was a bit misleading. We were there for 5 hours and got more from other entertainment and other attractions there than any balloons. Im sure they made up for it later in the eve, but calling the event a balloon fiesta when they were only visible for a short time morning and evening, was probably a little misleading.
Great day out for all the family
No signposting when arrived for parking. PA system failed during night glow. Lack of variety of balloons. Fireworks were the bonus and the only real positive
Lots of parking plenty of space lots to do
It was quite a trek from carpart especially with a pram lots of people struggled either gravel
The entertainment was fabulous just felt the rides rather expensive you’ve 3 kids at £3 Each. On a ride on some rides. £ 8 for 2 dogem cars £3 for 3 balls to hit cans if cheaper more people would probably go on. Lots of stalls no customers.
Absolutely disgusted , went to see Balloons none there, its called Cheltenham balloon fiesta, thats what we expected to see, told it was too windy Sunday 23rd June, no wind at all complete waste of time, not even any tethered balloon's, no hot air balloons of any description empty field with metal railing's around the so called balloon area.
Fantastic day out if the weather is dry. Take a picnic as the food and drink is expensive and not healthy food. Exceptional value for money.
Shame no balloons but can’t plan the weather! It was good fun and lots to do so it was a good day out. Would go again.
A great event for all ages
Mrs Louise Cole
Very disappointed a long drive and no balloons due to the weather. Entrance to venue bady signposted. There was lots going on but with no balloons it spoilt the day.
Saw no hot air balloons very disappointed. Waste of money.
First year, lots to still work on, especially the night glow and publicity. I was told 3 different times for night glow.
Great potential for the future
It was not clearly explained just how far away the site was from the main racecourse entrance making it a long walk for those with mobility issues. It was also made out that parking would be limited, so we travelled by bus, but there was in fact huge amounts of parking available.
There was not enough of a range of entertainment, it merely felt like being at a standard funfair rather than a Balloon Fiesta. We appreciated the weather being an issue to delay the balloon show, but there could've been better maximisation of the theme of the entire event. The other side shows were right at the far end of the site which was easily missed. There was also no tap water available anywhere with many stalls running out of bottled water at one point. Having someone walking around collecting rubbish was great, but the availability of bins across the site /near the food stalls was poor/not enough.
Mrs Norma Mackenzie
No enough things to do with Balloons. I know they are limited to flying time but even a Balloon basket to look at would have been something.
Simon O Connor
Only downside was the very limited view of the events i.e. the stunt show and The Nottingham Knights. Really couldn’t see much because everyone had to gather round a small area, if people could of stood round the whole ring instead of half, there would of been more of a viewing area.
The day was good for a family day out but highly disappointed that there were no actual balloons to see- like at the balloon festival in bristol.
At the end of the day seemed like an expensive fun fair with some acts in the arena that you could hardly see.
No communication, no balloons !!
Well organised event
Excellent atmosphere,great rides,brilliant music,scummy food defo going back xxxx
Great day for the family
We certainly won't be attending this event in 2020, if indeed it goes ahead. We and the friends we went with had spent quite a bit of time preparing a picnic, only to be told at the entrance that we couldn't bring either alcohol or glass into the site. Why on earth wasn't this policy advertised or highlighted at the time people book the tickets? Clearly it's yet another example of rip-off Britain where people are forced to pay extortionate prices for food & drink at an event which is often sub-standard.
And to round it all off, all balloon flights were cancelled because of the weather.
In the 3 & 1/2 hours on the site -I never saw a single Balloon. Totally rubbish event.
Great day out. Totally enjoyed it. Great venue.
It was a lovely day out! All the family had a smashing time. If there was a stage and live music it would be amazing
We went to the balloon fiesta and didn’t see 1 hot air balloon. Fair rides were overpriced and it was very loud in that area. Arena events were good and there was something going on all day. Lots of stalls with some lovely things to buy. Disappointing not to see the balloons after travelling over an hour to get there, I thought there may have at least been some on display just in case of weather conditions or delay in balloons returning. I don’t think it is an accurate description of the event!
Took over an hour to park due to lack of stewarding. Did not see any balloons. Basically paid a lot of money to visit a fanfare.
Would not go again.
Great day out with my family. Entry tickets were very reasonably priced but inside the event was slightly on the expensive side.
Would have been nice to actually have seen some balloons but there were none on the ground at all! So I basically paid £16 to walk around a fun fair! Very disappointed ☹
Shame about the weather
My only complaint would be the parking and lighting in the exits and car park also it was not very well thought of with how people that can’t walk very well my mum has problem with her legs and walking long distances also the way it was positioned in the fields there was not very good lighting showing you the exits and car park was poor the show was very good plenty to see but needs organising the car parking better and helping people who can’t walk properly
Went today and had a lovely time . The funfair was great , took my disabled son who enjoyed the rides . The only thing I need to mention is disabled parking was too far away from event and pushing the wheelchair with an 18 year old in was hard. Plus could do with more seating inside event. I’m taking my own chair next time . Please please consider allowing disabled parking closer . Apart from that Thankyou we had a lovely day
Disappointed as there was no balloons at the venue as it was suppose to be about the balloons and not about expensive rides.
It was a Ballon Fiesta with no balloons! I paid to go into a fun ride with some unrelated motorbike act. Complete rip off, I would never go back.
unlucky not to see the bollaons go up on time with the wind apart from that did not get a Email about the tickets
a little dissappointed, negative points should be renamed to summer fiesta with a chance of ballons. It was not at the racecourse more like southam. we used public transport and had a 40minute walk on uneven ground which would not be suitable for disable access. no marshalls to guide people to venue. vendors of food and drink trucks ran out of water, chips and many other things. Dont get me started with the jamacian food stall 40+ minute wait to get to front of queue and be told sold out at peak dinner tine 6pm. Positives were great toilets always ckean and well supplied with loo rolls, great stunts and knights, nice weather lots for kids if you have deep pockets. would suggest if ballons cant fly should have more of an informative talk/show around the baskets and meet the pilot
no balloons during the day need more to keep people entertained
Very dissapointed no balloons. Entertainment wasnt that good car parking was horrendous. Only good thing was the weather.
No balloons because of wind and rain, understandable, but the exorbitant food drink and funfair prices on top of the entry fee were very disappointing
Balloons didn’t go up as too windy bat visited Saturday as well and saw them then. Stunt shows were brilliant. Hope the whole event runs again next year
Joao Paulo Forte
Safe place, very clean., good place enjoy with family.
Loved it and hope it will become a r gulag event in Cheltenham.
No balloons just paid to go to a fun fair as well as a good 30min hike from the car park !!
Great day out kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves would definitely go next year
A welcome addition to the Cheltenham Festival Calendar & will recommend to all who didn’t attend
Parking could be nearer, maybe an announcement when each ballon goes up telling you about the team? Had a really enjoyable evening, would definitely recommend!
A different evening out with teenagers , all happy
Supposed to be a balloon festival, what rubbish! We were there from 11am till 7pm and NEVER SAW A BALLOON OFF THE GROUND. saw one inflated than deflated. The 'acts ' in the other arena were very mediocre. We basically paid £7.00 to get into a fairground. There were many thousand visitors waiting in vain for something to happen. Very disappointed, in fact it was crap! Take a lesson from the Bristol Ballon Festival, they know how to do it. TOTAL WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY
This was wrongly named. It was called a 'Balloon Fiesta'. There were no balloons in sight as they had all gone off on Saturday on a flight at 7-30 in the morning. At least I expected a couple of partially inflated, tethered balloons at the show ground. On a precious occasion there had been a strawberry balloon, a car balloon and an Old Mother Hubbard balloon. There were no balloon flights being organised. No information about booking one for a future celebration. It was simply a street fair in a very rough field.
The traffic was badly organised. There was no sign at the main race course entrance round about to tell you that you could not enter here. Nothing to say that the entrance was at the north end of the race course. There were roadworks on three approach roads which caused chaos. It took us an hour and a quarter to do a 15 minute journey.
The evening session may have been fine but I shall not be returning again during the day time. I will go to Bristol, which is much better organised.
Whilst we appreciate hot air ballooning is all against the weather and that the flights were 6am and 6pm ish it was disappointing that we paid to effectively get into a very expensive fun fair. There was nothing even remotely hot air balloon related during our visit not even a basket available for viewing or a ballon laid out on the floor of the arena so that the children/public could learn about hot air balloons etc I’d spent the week explaining about balloons to my eldest son and showing him utube videos etc but the only balloons we saw were helium ones for a £5. My parents travelled down from Staffordshire for this event - most disappointing!
A good day but no balloons 🎈☹
Maybe have backup music if the main music goes down during the balloon glow apart from that it was great.
Great day our out for all the family! It’s a shame everything is so pricey though as we ran out of money and had to leave early :-(