More than 100 hot air balloons took to the skies over Bristol as dawn broke on Friday 11 August for the start of the 39th International Balloon Fiesta. The festival is Europe's largest annual meeting of hot air balloons, and it attracts pilots from all over the world.

First held in 1979, the fiesta often has crowds of over 100,000 people on each of the four days of the festival. Weather permitting, mass ascents are held twice a day – one at 6am and another at 6pm. A "night glow" was held on the opening night at Ashton Court, where the balloons were lined up and illuminated. The festival runs until Sunday with another night glow and fireworks display planned for Saturday night.

Photographers Matt Cardy and Hannah McKay captured the excitement of the festival and some pretty spectacular aerial views of Bristol.