Backdrop of stately home ‘couldn’t have been better’ for event, says organiser
As The Press reported, the four-day event brought over 22,000 to Castle Howard over the course of the August bank holiday weekend last year. That was well down on the 60,000 who attended the event at York’s Knavesmire in 2022. “But we are building a new venue,” organiser John Lowery said. The Fiesta switched venues to Castle Howard to ‘increase capacity and expand further’. For the first time, the event at Castle Howard included an option for camping so visitors could stay for the entire weekend or come for the day. The move also enabled the Fiesta to expand its music and events programme. Sam Ryder headlined the stately home’s stage on the Sunday night. His rendition of Space Man coincided with a ‘night glow’, in which tethered balloons let off flares in time to the music. Other big-name acts appeared across the weekend, including Sister Sledge, the Ministry of Sound, Joel Corry and dance troupe Diversity.
More than 40 balloons from across Europe were tethered in Castle Howard’s grounds. Despite the worst efforts of the weather, they took part in several ‘mass balloon’ launches in the early morning and late afternoon. They made for a breath-taking sight as they soared high in the sky above the magnificent stately pile, designed by John Vanbrugh and Nicholas Hawksmoor and built between 1699 and 1702.