FAQ

Got a Question About the Event or Balloons?
Find Your Answer Here!


Can I bring my drone and fix my camera to take aerial pictures at the festival?

NO. Anyone arriving at the Festival with a drone will be asked to leave and take the drone home. For safety reasons, no drones will be allowed. If any are seen flying the Festival will be suspended until its owner is identified and it is taken down.


Will people’s bags be searched when entering the park?

The Festival organisers have no authority to search bags though for everyone’s safety they are following the Eastbourne Borough Council’s guidelines.


What time does the main event start?

11am, both days


What time does the event finish?

Saturday 10pm, Sunday 5pm


What time will the balloons fly?

Saturday at Dawn and Dusk – exact times to be agreed nearer the time*

Sunday at Dawn – exact time to be agreed nearer the time*

*Balloon flights are strictly dependent on the weather on the day of the event. Please note that all other activities will continue to operate if the balloons are unable to fly at any of the scheduled flight times. The event will NOT be cancelled.


How many balloons will there be?

We have invited some 20 balloons but, as with everything with balloons, this cannot be guaranteed and all is weather dependent and should the forecast be very poor it is possible not all will come. In addition, there is a European attempt at a world record of the most balloons flying at any one time and they have chosen this same weekend as our Festival so a number of our invitees will be joining that attempt.


Is there a programme of what is going on?

There will be a programme of the weekend’s entertainment printed and available nearer the time.


Will we be able to fly in the balloons at the event?

If flights are pre-booked and paid for in advance there is the possibility of a place, but there will not the ability to book any flights on the day. Email balloonsovereastbourne@gmail.com with any enquiries.


Will I be able to get up close to the balloons?

Fairly close but unfortunately not up close and touching unless guests are in the VIP area. It will be possible to examine a typical basket up close.


How does it work with balloons and helicopters?

They aren’t in the air at the same time.  The balloons fly out at dawn and the helicopters don’t fly in till mid-morning on Saturday. They leave before the balloons assemble to fly again at dusk.


How many helicopters are coming?

We have invited a number helicopters to come to our Festival but since the Shoreham disaster, there are a lot of complicated safety procedures to adhere to so we await advice as to exactly how many will be able to come.


Will there be helicopter rides?

No, this event is a spectacle, not a ticket to ride event. You will be able to get close to the helicopters in escorted groups when they are static in the arena and chat to the pilots. They may even let you sit in the pilot’s seat.


What is a NightGlow?

A NightGlow is when, in our case, a number of balloons are inflated, tethered when the evening begins to get dark, (approx 9.30’ish) and then they fire their main burners to the beat of the music and conducted by our Creative Director. It lasts approx. 20 minutes.


How do I get to Hampden Park?

Hampden Park Railway Station is a 5-minute walk from the Festival.Hampden Park Railway Station is one stop from Eastbourne.

Hampden Park Railway Station is one stop from EastbourneFrom central

From central Eastbourne you can take any bus that passes the District General Hospital.

Train from Brighton or London alight at Hampden Park and it is a 5-minute walk to the Festival.

Bus from Brighton is No.12 and change at Eastbourne Town Centre to the No.1 or The Loop. They depart Eastbourne every 10-15 minutes on Saturday hourly on Sunday.

The bus timetables from the town centre to the park can be viewed here: https://bustimes.org.uk/services/set_6-LOO-P-y08


Where will the entrance to the festival be?

The Festival can be entered from Kings Drive, Decoy Drive, Rosebery Avenue or Cross Levels Way. There is a pedestrian access from the Eastbourne Sports Centre on Cross Levels Way and from the car parking at Sussex Downs College.


I will be driving, where can I park?

We encourage all visitors to park in Eastbourne and use local transport services whether bus or train.

However, parking will be available at Sussex Downs College on Kings Drive, Eastbourne Sports Park on Cross Levels, Eastbourne General District Hospital Staff Car Park, Ratton School in Park Avenue and The Eastbourne Academy on Brodrick Road.

Alternatively, you can leave your car in The Arndale Centre car park and get to us by bus or train. The bus timetables from the town centre to the park can be viewed here: https://bustimes.org.uk/services/set_6-LOO-P-y08

The Hampden Park Railway Station has trains stopping from Ashford, the Hastings and Ore line, from Brighton and Lewes, from London and is just one stop from Eastbourne and a 5-minute walk from Hampden Park Station to the Festival.


I am disabled, where can I park near the Festival?

Cars with a valid blue badge will be able to enter the park via the Decoy Drive entrance and park on Hampden Park Drive. The stewards manning the road closure will require to see a valid badge.


How do I get tickets?

Click the link below and register for up to 10 FREE tickets:

https://www.fatsoma.com/the-eastbourne-international-hot-air-balloon-festival/qu5nx5so/the-eastbourne-international-hot-air-balloon-festival


Why do I need a ticket if the event is free?

Registering for a ticket entitles you to be in the prize draw for a voucher to win a ride in a hot air balloon. In addition, to assist caterers and security, it will be very helpful to have an indication of numbers as, this being year one, we have no data to refer to.


Do I need to bring my tickets on the day?

No, that is not necessary. Your name will have been automatically entered into the prize draw.


When will the draw for the balloon ride voucher take place?

As people will be able to register online for tickets right up to the end of the event on the Sunday the draw will take place before independent witnesses in the week following the Festival. The winner will be advised by telephone or email so be sure to complete the form with these details.


What is this Festival in aid of?

The basic concept is for the people of Eastbourne and visitors to enjoy the spectacle of hot air balloons flying over Eastbourne (weather permitting) but also have a full day of entertainment.


How is the community going to benefit?

The only bucket collection that will be allowed at the Festival is in aid of The Friends of the Eastbourne Hospital.


Is there any seating at the Festival?

It is a park with multiple park benches or you can sit on the grass is fine or under the trees. The benches are most particularly near the lake. There will be some picnic benches near the food areas and the café also has seating. There will be seating in front of the stage for the audiences.


I do not live in Eastbourne, where can I stay?

There are lots of hotels offering accommodation at special rates over the weekend of the festival. Head to our sponsorship page, select your hotel and you will be directed straight to their website.


Where will the toilet facilities be?

There will be at least three different locations for public toilets at the Festival.


Where will first aid personnel and facilities be?

There will be first aid personnel and lost children facilities at the Festival clearly marked.


Will there be a meeting point?

Yes, there will be a banner clearly stating Meeting Point.


What food and drink options will there be?

There will be a wide range of food and drink available from mobile outlets throughout the Festival and the café in the park will be open.


Can I come and use the café as usual without going to the Festival?

Yes, of course. The café will be open as usual but in addition, it will have a BBQ and food available on the Festival side and will be offering Cream Teas on the lawn down to the lake. But we do hope you’ll come and visit the Festival as well!


Is this event suitable for children?

Yes! We have lots of activities arranged for the children including a soft play area, circus skills, miniature steam train rides, bouncy castles and the Fun Fair. There will be an assigned child safety officer on site at all times and there will be a designated ‘lost child’ zone. However, just in case, we would encourage all parents to write their mobile telephone number on their child’s forearm or hand so that we can easily put you in touch.


Is there a crèche?

No, there are no child minding facilities offered. We hope families will come and enjoy the Festival together.


Are all the rides properly insured?

Every facility offered at the Festival has a valid Public Liability Insurance Policy which must be produced before they are allowed to participate. However, we do urge parents to accept their responsibility to ensure their children are properly supervised.


Can ordinary park users still use the park?

Yes, of course. The park isn’t closed to the public.


Can the dog walkers still walk their dogs in the park during the Festival?

Yes, of course, the park isn’t closed to the public. We do urge you all to ‘scoop’ though please.


How do we book for the dog show?

All bookings are taken on the day. The programme of classes will be published in the local paper and in the Festival programme. The dog show this year is only on Sunday.


Can we ride in the Classic Cars?

No, these vehicles are all privately owned and are brought by their owners to our Festival for everyone to view and enjoy. They will be only too delighted to chat to anyone interested about the car and its restoration and hope to be able to schedule a ‘parade’.


Will the Fun Fair be open all the time?

Yes on both days.


Who is appearing on the stage?

The Stage will be showcasing local talent all day both days from 11am.


Where will the Cream Teas be being served?

The Cream Teas will be served on the lawn from the café down to the lake.


Road Closures

Hampden Park Drive through the park will be closed for the weekend except for Festival vehicles.


Will the sports clubs be open?

The Outdoor Bowls Club will be open and participating in the Festival by offering ‘have a go’ opportunities to any visitors who would like to try.

The Tennis Club is open on Saturday and an Intersports Lewes representative will be there to give advice plus he’ll have spare rackets for anyone who wants to try their hand at tennis.

The Indoor Bowls Club is offering its premises for the First Aid Centre and lost children’s refuge.


Will I still be able to come and use the Skatepark?

Yes, of course.


I have a question, who can answer it?

If we haven’t been able to answer your questions here don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team are on hand to help with all the enquiries you may have. Any enquiries please call 07922 651496

If you need more information please email us at balloonsovereastbourne@gmail.com with your query

You can message us on our Facebook or Twitter pages. http://www.facebook.com/balloonsovereastbourne @BalloonfestGB

Call or SMS our Information Line on 07922 651496 and leave a message. We’ll call you back.

Hope you enjoy our Fabulous Festival!

Please be advised that the use of drones will be strictly prohibited at the festival.