Isle of Wight Balloon Festival 2022
Exclusive Ballooning are proud to present a new event to their growing line-up – the Isle of Wight Balloon Festival, with the first edition having taken place over 28th-30th May 2022. The event, hosted at Robin Hill Country Park, is now confirmed as an annual addition to the ballooning calendar with fifteen invitees, designed to provide a unique, high quality, fun and relaxed social event for balloonists.
A collection of special shape animal balloons were in attendance, with Puddles, Splash, and Tall Steve the Penguins, Adelaide the Koala, Simbaloo the Lion, Duma the Cheetah, Wes the Wolf, Dolly the Sheep, Freddie the Fox, Scarlet the Macaw, and the Owl. The unique line-up is the first time that all these balloons had been seen in a single event anywhere in the world, and the only time that they will be together in 2022.
United States based announcer Glen Moyer flew in from Louisiana to announce at the show, and was joined by Colorado based Toby Brown and Ireland’s ballooning royalty – Pauline Baker and Malcolm White making the festival a truly international event. Glen, famously known as the lead announcer at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, provided expert insight to the public throughout the day, and added his special touches to our spectacular night glows.
The event opened on Saturday with special shape animal tethering, followed by a free flight in the evening. Both Sunday and Monday mornings provided further free flying opportunities with gentle winds out of the park. Despite the challenge that the coastal winds present with weather forecasts, flights from the event provide a unique opportunity to view the 380km2 island from above and with the correct weather, there is potential for a return to mainland flight.
The country park’s amphitheater was put to full use with daily pilot talks and Q&A sessions, where Andrew Holly and Glen Moyer were joined by special guests for an hour of interaction with the public. Talking points included the history of ballooning, how to become involved in the hobby including extensive promotion of the BBAC, and specialist topics for each guest speaker. Toby Brown inspired the public with his recent adventure flight over Kilimanjaro, Pauline Baker walked through her seven world records and newly qualified Stacey Heard educated the crowds on the steps required to become a balloon pilot. We even had some of the public who attended the Saturday Q&A join us as crew in training on the Monday.
Model balloons inflated in the amphitheatre following the pilot talk, supported by commentary from Glen Moyer to guide the public through the setup and inflation process. The daily show provided an educational and engaging activity, and saw great turn outs each day.
Three picturesque night glows took place on Saturday, Sunday and Monday evenings, choreographed to a bespoke sound track and supported by a detailed synchronised lighting show and integrated fireworks display. The line up of special shape animal balloons reflected in the lake for the crowds, with fantastic crowd participation throughout.
Exclusive Ballooning will be returning to the island in August for a secret project and the Isle of Wight Balloon Festival will return in 2023. Get in the queue for a space at this event now at www.UKBalloon.com.