The mass ascents of hundreds of hot air balloons taking off from Ashton Court are the ‘headline act’ of the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta – but there’s plenty more going on with younger visitors well catered for this year

The 2017 Fiesta, taking place from 10 – 13 August, will feature a circus, two music stages and some children’s TV favourites.

With the fairground reduced in size this year to increase the space for family-friendly entertainment and spectators as some of the biggest names in children’s TV will be special guests at the Fiesta as well as a big top circus tent and a big wheel.

Cbeebies favourites the Twirlywoos will be coming to the Victoria Bandstand each day, so younger Fiesta-goers can come down and join Great BigHoo, Toodloo, Chickedy and Chick for some games and songs. The Twirlywoos will be on stage on Thursday at 2.40pm, Friday 2.40pm, Saturday 2.10pm and Sunday 2.10pm.

Bristol Balloon FiestaThe Twirlywoos will be at the Victoria Bandstand

Then under a colourful big top you’ll find Happy Circus, the first circus to ever take up residence at the Fiesta. A professional, all humans (no animals) outfit will see a troupe of skilled performers create a magical world of jaw-dropping skills and clown-inspired laughter inside the 600-capacity big top with four shows each day across the weekend. Shows in the colourful big top, which boasts state-of-the-art sound and lighting technology will be ticketed and cost £5 per person or £18 for a family of four.

Also new to the Fiesta this year will be a big wheel, offering spectators an incredible view of the event and a unique perspective for the mass ascents of over 100 hot air balloons.

Bristol Balloon Fiesta

Happy Circus will be doing their thing under a colourful big top

To add to the children’s fun, a very special bus will be coming to this year’s Fiesta. The My Little Pony Friendship Tour’s eye-catching pink double-decker will be stopping at Ashton Court, inviting visitors aboard to explore Equestria – the magical world where the My Little Ponies live.

The magical machines from Transformers: Robots in Disguise will also make an appearance. Optimus Prime and Bumblebee will be at the Fiesta, allowing fans to get up close and try the latest toys inspired by the show including remote control models. To add to the fun, visitors can also put the latest Transformer apps and video games to the test, and watch episodes from the show as well as taking advantage of the ultimate photo opportunity with the chance to pose inside the replica of the Optimus Prime truck cab.

The Fiesta’s Victorian Bandstand, programmed by Jelli Records will once again entertain the crowds with live music to suit a wide age range and promote local music and musicians. This year the programme will run from 2pm – 7pm on Thursday 10 and Friday 11 August and from 12.30 – 6.30pm on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 August.

As well as the Bandstand you will also find the Acoustic Stage presented by Jelli Records and Bradley Stoke Radio programme with local artists every afternoon from Thursday 10 – Sunday 13 August.

To find out more about this year’s event and book car parking, visit