Up, up and away at Cheltenham

Thousands of people turn out for the very first Cheltenham Balloon Fiesta.

Cheltenham Racecourse welcomed thousands of visitors when it played host to a spectacular weekend – the Cheltenham Balloon Fiesta.

This year’s inaugural festival proved a massive draw when it went ahead on Saturday, June 22 and Sunday, June 23.

The event took over the racecourse and visitors were able to see more than 40 hot air balloons fly on the first day. Unfortunately, the weather kept the balloons grounded the following day, but there was still plenty going ahead.

With the fiesta being a brand new event, it was difficult to predict how many people would attend but nearly 30,000 people turned out over the weekend.

Everyone seemed to have looked at the weather forecast and the majority of the visitors did arrive on the Saturday which did cause some traffic issues, but thanks to some dynamic decision-making the team soon alleviated any problems.

There were plenty of positives to take from the event and many lessons have been learned from the first year of the event to make year two an even bigger success.

Lee Moulson, Regional Head of Sales at Cheltenham Racecourse, said it had been great for everyone at the venue to work with the organisers.

He said: “It was an absolutely fantastic weekend and we are so pleased with how it all went.

“The amount of people that attended the weekend was amazing, especially with it being the first time that it has been to Cheltenham, so we could not be happier with everything.

“The weather stopped balloons taking flight on the Sunday, but that did not spoil the fun as there was so much to see and do.

“It was an absolute pleasure to work with the team behind the event, they were open to suggestions and collaboration and no doubt we will all be making improvements for next year.”

As well as being a pre-eminent venue for jump racing, Cheltenham Racecourse has become renowned for its conferencing, exhibitions and events over the years.

With a 350 acres of grassland and free parking for up to 10,000 cars, there was certainly plenty of space for this spectacular outdoor event.

Alongside the vast amount of outdoor space, The Centaur at the racecourse is the biggest venue of its kind between Birmingham and Bournemouth and can accommodate 4,000 visitors.

With a host of flexible rooms, including a grandstand room and The Centaur, and outdoor space that is set in acres of breath-taking countryside, the home of jump racing can cater for all needs for conferences, exhibitions and corporate events.

World-class comedy and music artists, live acts and more have also confirmed Cheltenham Racecourse as a premier choice for events.

For more information about the Cheltenham Balloon Fiesta, visit www.cheltenhamballoonfiesta.co.uk

Stunt Act at Cheltenham Balloon Fiesta Fun Rides at Cheltenham Balloon Fiesta Up, up and away at Cheltenham Balloon Fiesta at Cheltenham Racecourse

Cheltenham Racecourse