Planning ahead, including prebooking transportation, is the best way of ensuring visitors will enjoy this year’s York Balloon Fiesta, what takes place on York’s Knavesmire from Friday 27 to Sunday 29 September.

New traffic management schemes will be in place to minimise congestion around the city during the annual display of hot air balloon flights, displays and entertainment, which is now in its third year. For the first time, visitors can prebook parking at a discounted rate of £7.50 per day, or buy an advance ticket for the Askham Bar Park & Ride for £5.00 for up to five people.  Car park prebooking closes Tuesday 17 September.

"We have brought in SEP events to manage car parking this year, which should help traffic to flow much more smoothly, but the more people we can get to prebook rather than pay on the door, the faster we can move vehicles through the site,” comments John Lowery of Events & Attractions, which has taken over organising the free festival. “Prebooked vehicles can come and go as they wish on the day of their booking, so you can watch morning flights and then return for the evening Balloon Glow event for just £7.50 per car. Those paying on the gate will be charged £10 cash per visit, so prebooking saves money and hassle.”

This year’s event, which is sponsored by TalkTalk Ultra Fibre Optic, is expected to build on last year’s, which drew around 30,000 people over the three days. Around 50 hot air balloons are expected to take to the skies above York, whilst on the ground, a larger programme of live music on the Minster FM stage will see acts including Twist & Pulse, who feature in the Britain’s Got Talent Champions competition, and tribute acts to ABBA, Dolly Parton, Take That, Freddie Mercury and many others performing live to the crowds.

A larger fairground and the world’s longest inflatable assault course will fill the Tadcaster Road end of Knavesmire, whilst an arena will host displays of falconry, stunt driving and much more.

“This is the largest free event taking place in York this year, and know that we already have car park bookings for visitors traveling from as far afield as Bristol and Aberdeen, so it is set to be a fantastic weekend. Admission to the whole Fiesta, including the two Night Glows and firework and laser display is completely free, so we hope that the people of York and beyond join us for three marvellous days,” adds John.  “Of course, flying balloons is entirely weather dependent, but there is so much to do on site that we’re confident that people will have a fantastic time whatever the weather.

For more information, or to prebook, please visit


Notes to editors:

One way systems and clear signage, along with traffic marshals, will guide vehicles onto the site.
York’s Park & Ride service will operate late night services from the Knavesmire to Askham Bar Park & Ride, and a shuttle to York Railway Station. 

Friday 27th – Fiesta finishes around 21:20, last bus 21:40
Saturday 28th – Fiesta finishes around 22:00, last bus 22:20
Sunday 29th – Fiesta finishes around 17:45, last bus 18:10

Park & Ride from Askham Bryan costs £5 for up to five people to park and travel, but tickets must be booked in advance.
The shuttle from York Train Station is £3 per person, available on board or through the First Bus app.
First York has committed to provide enough buses to ensure everyone can get back towards the city centre or Askham Bar Park and Ride around these last bus times.

Photographer flights:

We are accepting applications from photographers and videographers who wish to join one of the flights.  Please note that places are limited, but we will try to accommodate as many requests as we can.

For further media information or photographs, please contact:

Jay Commins
Pyper York Limited
Tel:         01904 500698