The fun of balloon festivals is in the planning, says Michael Mazer, author of “The Balloon Festival Handbook.”
It starts with the basics: planning a tent, setting up an air vent, finding the right materials, and creating the right conditions for the balloons.
You don’t want to have any rain, clouds, or cold air, he says.
“You want a good, dry area that doesn’t get too hot or too cold.”
Mazer says the best way to make a balloon festival successful is to choose a site that has a lot of different elements, like an amphitheater, a stage, a field, and a large water fountain.
For this reason, you might want to pick a location where the festival is most popular, which usually means a popular tourist spot or a place where people are walking, running, or taking in the sights.
For a more traditional festival, you may want to choose an area with lots of different attractions like a theater, a shopping mall, or a large arena.
The important thing to remember, says Mazer: “If you have a tent or stage, be sure that it is safe for people to get in and out of it.”
For an outdoor festival, the main thing is to make sure there is enough shade and that there are plenty of places to set up tents, Mazer adds.
It can be a challenge, but the best part is that you don’t need to be a professional photographer to make it happen.
For example, if you want to do a traditional festival with a stage in front of a large audience, you’ll have to hire a professional photojournalist to take pictures.
For the balloon festival, he recommends a good guide book that will help you with the planning process, and then, once you’ve decided on a site, you should put together a design document that includes everything from the details of the festival to the details you’ll need for the balloon.
“There’s a lot more to it than just making a design,” Mazer notes.
He suggests reading through an article on balloon festivals and figuring out what you’ll want to put in your tent, and he advises that you do the same for the stage and stage area.
Mazer recommends using materials that are lightweight and durable, and if you’re a beginner, he suggests you start with a tent that is about 2 feet tall, and build it to about 6 feet tall.
The best part about balloon festivals, he adds, is that they usually last several days.
Maser says the most important thing for a successful balloon festival is to be able to control the weather.
You want to make the weather manageable, so you need to make as few stops as possible.
If there is an unexpected wind, it will cause the balloons to move slower, and they can’t travel as far, he explains.
“If it’s too windy, it can create turbulence,” he says, adding that if the balloon floats, you can have it land safely.
“The only thing you can do to make balloon festivals work is to give it a good design, which you can then get a good quality guide book, and you can get a couple of photographers for the job,” he adds.
If you’re interested in seeing the balloon festivals in action, watch Mazer’s video on how to make your own balloon festival here.