Top events to not miss around Bristol this month including Bristol International Balloon Fiesta and The Steps of Apollo 3D at We The Curious

Walk on air

Europe’s largest annual meeting of hot air balloons kicks off this month, with more than 130 scheduled to take off from Ashton Court Estate for Bristol International Balloon Fiesta. From 8 – 11 August, visitors can attend free of charge and watch as the balloons fill the sky over Bristol, as well as enjoying the stalls, entertainment and fairground rides on offer. This year, the fiesta will be celebrating Bristol’s great icons to tie in with the 50th anniversary of Concorde’s maiden flight and the 30th birthday of Aardman’s Wallace and Gromit. Captain Tim Orchard, former Concorde pilot and balloonist, will be showcasing his very special hopper balloon made from the original seats of the 1980s Concorde, while Aardman will be holding model-making workshops and there will be a chance to win a hot air balloon ride with Morph. Meanwhile, BBC Radio Bristol is creating a very special soundtrack for the famous night-glow events, playing homage to all the city’s most-loved and respected stars as the balloons tether and illuminate the sky like giant light bulbs above the crowds.;

Enjoy eats and beats

Following last year’s success, Harvey Nichols Bristol is hosting a special event to launch its new brunch menu on 25 August (sittings at 12pm and 2pm). Its DJ brunch will see diners enjoy an afternoon of delicious food, cocktails and chilled summer beats courtesy of guest DJ Josh Tucker. Choose from dishes such as lamb kofta with roast courgettes and a yoghurt dressing or buttermilk chicken thighs with summer slaw and finish with beer-batter waffles, banana ice cream and caramel sauce, complemented with a flight of mini cocktails. Opt for either three brunch courses for £20, or three courses and mini cocktail flight for £30. Book via Eventbrite.

Step into space

Pull on your imaginary moon boots and get ready to be transported into outer space as We The Curious celebrates the 50th anniversary of the moon landings in the planetarium. The Steps of Apollo 3D combines new, specially commissioned works by leading composers from Sound World with impressive 3D visuals across the centre’s dome, allowing visitors a unique experience exploring our fascination with space travel and the race to the moon. Screenings take place on 2 and 30 August, 8.15pm. £8.95 adult, £7.95 concession, recommended age 16+.

Right: Buzz Aldrin saluting the flag of the United States of America


Could you imagine a world without cappuccinos, chocolate, apples, strawberries or, dare we say it, even Somerset cider? Did you know that all these delicious things are dependent on insect pollination? Bees are key to our ecosystem and are threatened more than ever with extinction. On 31 August and 1 September, 10am – 5pm, the 10th annual Bee and Pollination Festival at the University of Bristol’s Botanic Garden in Stoke Bishop will reveal how everyone can help bees and other vital pollinators survive. You can also browse the stalls and nurseries on show, watching demos and listening to enlightening talks. £8 entry, includes free tours.

Bonus planetary happenings

“Mum!” yelled the young boy, running into the harbourside pub. “The moon’s fallen into the docks!” Did you spot the somewhat Chicken Licken-esque sight of Bristol-based artist Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon installation inflated on the water recently? Well, keep your eyes peeled because there’s talk of it happening again this month, subject to the weather – follow Luke on Twitter (@lukejerram) for on-the-day updates for another chance to check it out. In the meantime, there are more concrete plans for his seven-metre wide Earth artwork, Gaia, to be shown at the Wills Memorial Building, 16 – 18 August. It features detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface and provides a free opportunity to see our planet on this scale, floating in three-dimensions to a surround-sound composition by BAFTA-winning composer Dan Jones.;