my first concern about having a balloon release was whether permission would be required, e.g. from air traffic control, i also needed to look into the potential environmental impact. i was pleased to discover a code of conduct for balloon releases (in the us) and detailed information on ethical and environmental matters.
the guidelines state:
- no more than 1000 balloons to be released without professional assistance (my working figure is 700 – 100 per day of the festival)
- only natural latex balloons to be released
- all components must biodegrade
- no string to be used
- releases of more than 5000 balloons must be cleared in advance with local and air traffic authorities.
the balloons themselves should not be an environmental hazard – studies have shown that released balloons rise to a height of 5 miles and then shatter into pieces which are too small to pose any danger to wildlife. the remaining pieces biodegrade, but this can take weeks or even months.
while i haven’t been able to find information on local laws/guidelines relating to balloon releases in hungary, balloon releases have been held at sziget in the past, so i would liase with the festival organisers about this.