balloon releases

balloon release | sziget 2013

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.

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