The 49th Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta is here! "Time Flies" Balloon Fiesta, October 2-10, 2021 Media Guide


Time Flies is the theme for the 49th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta and countdown is underway! Mark your calendars now to attend the event, scheduled to occur October 2-10, 2021!

COVID-19 & Public Health

The safety of Balloon Fiesta pilots, guests, sponsors, media and volunteers is our top concern and the reason for postponing the event to October 2-10, 2021. We will update health and safety protocols in early 2021. Public Health Orders and insights from the Centers for Disease Control will be adhered to when identifying what items and access is available to credentialed media.

Media Registration

Media registration for the 2021 event has closed. For questions, please email

Event Information

2021 will mark the 49th time that the Balloon Fiesta has filled Albuquerque's crystal blue skies. The Balloon Fiesta is the premier international ballooning event, powered by the perfect October climate and a phenomenon called the "Albuquerque Box," (a combination of weather patterns and geographic landscape, the box allows balloonists to control and even retrace their adventure).

The place to be in October 2021 is at Balloon Fiesta Park. The 360-acre park includes 100 acres of grass and booths that will be filled with balloons and concessions. During the 2019 event, Balloon Fiesta launched more than 580 hot air and gas-filled balloons. The event also hosted pilots representing 17 countries and more than 80 food and merchandise vendors. It’s been said that the breakfast burrito, the perfect grab and go meal for our pilots, gained its prominence at Balloon Fiesta. 

Media Information

Media credentials will be provided to qualified media (see below). The credentials package includes a parking pass, admission to the event, access to the media hospitality and work center and media photography towers positioned around Balloon Fiesta. Credentialed media also have an opportunity to sign up for hot air balloon rides from Balloon Fiesta Park with our media pilots, during the event. Items included as a part of receiving credentials will be adjusted to accommodate public health orders and guidance form the Centers for Disease Control.

Qualifying Media 

Balloon Fiesta welcomes and works with members of the media from all media platforms including broadcast, print, photography and digital. In order to qualify for media credentials, you must be a member of the working media, meaning the work you produce at Balloon Fiesta must be developed to be shared with a larger audience, on a qualifying media platform. 

Reporters, producers, videographers, photographers applying for media credentials as “traditional media” (broadcast and print),  will need to provide  credentials from the organization or a letter of assignment from a manager of the media assigning the work (i.e. editor, publisher, news director) that can be verified.  The material produced must be scheduled for broadcast/print within a year of the 2021 Balloon Fiesta. If it is a longer-term project please include additional information as an attachment to your letter of assignment.

Media that have previously received credentials will need to submit a sample of the Balloon Fiesta coverage secured as a result of being credentialed media at Balloon Fiesta. This will need to be submitted as a PDF as a part of the application process.

If your sole purpose for seeking media credentials is to build a portfolio, stock images, "spec" or for sale/resale you can still attend the event, just not with a media credential.

If you have questions about the 2021 application process, please email our media team via

Balloon Fiesta media credential criteria and the total number of credentials that are available may change based on public health orders, guidance form the Centers for Disease Control and Balloon Fiesta’s ability to create a safe environment for credentialed media.

Social Media Influencer Criteria

Professionals seeking media credentials as a social media influencer (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) will need to include public and verified social media accounts for the Balloon Fiesta media team to review. Below is the criterion:

  • Followers of at least 5,000 on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter
  • An average engagement rate of 2% or higher
  • Have published content within the past three months of applying
  • Post at least four (4) times each month to the respective social media platform
  • Must have respective threads for relatable themes, such as travel, events, tourism, etc.
  • Must be 18 years or older

Blogger Criteria

Media credential applications for "Bloggers" (can be written, verbal or visual content) please identify your blog’s website address.  The Balloon Fiesta team will review the sites to review recent posts and look for consistency in posting. The sites will need to also have relatable themes to Balloon Fiesta and travel/tourism. Below is the criterion:

  • Unique website visitors of 5,000 each month
  • Must have published content within the past three months of applying
  • Must post at least twice each month
  • Must have at least 500 followers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest
  • Must have relatable themes to Balloon Fiesta and travel/tourism
  • Must be 18 years or older

Balloon Fiesta Media Resources

The Media Planner is a condensed version of the Media Guide (available at at media check-in). It will help you plan for your trip, coverage of the event or help to guide you when developing a story. 


Media Coverage

Since the first Balloon Fiesta in 1972, media representing over 50 nations have covered this newsworthy event.  With coverage reaching an audience of over 1.7 billion, media outlets covering Balloon Fiesta have included live broadcast and cable programs (broadcasting on the field and inflight) as well as long format documentaries and motion pictures. We have had the opportunity to work with ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox networks as well as their affiliates to cover balloonists who are flying in the event. If your organization has its own satellite truck or backpack unit, we have Wi-Fi and mobile coverage that can accommodate most live shots. 

#BalloonFiesta on Social Media

In 2019, more than 3.4 billion impressions were generated on digital and traditional media. One of the ways we convene our community is by using #BalloonFiesta on our various platforms. 

The official hashtag of the event is #BalloonFiesta. Connect with us on the following social networks for event updates:

Facebook | Twitter Google+ | Instagram | YouTube | Pinterest

Media Updates

To receive updated information, register for email updates by providing your email address to

Story ideas and event updates can be found on the home page under latest news or on our media blog (updated monthly and increasing in frequency the closer we get to the event).

Of course if you have any questions, you can always feel free to email or call (505) 898-8689.

Balloon Fiesta Photo Requests

If you represent a media organization that would like to publish an official Balloon Fiesta image, please click the button below and fill out the form.