Welcome to Beltane.org

Beltane 2010 by Neil Hodgins

Click HERE for Beltane 2015 tickets and info!

Formed in 1988, Beltane Fire Society is a community arts performance charity that hosts the Beltane Fire Festival and Samhuinn Fire Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland.

For more information about the Society, our world-famous festivals and how you can get involved, navigate using the menu on the left. Scroll down for our latest news and updates.

Beltane Fire Society is a not-for-profit registered charity in Scotland. Charity Number SC040137. Company Number SC341753.

Photograph by Neil Hodgins, taken at Beltane Fire Festival 2010.

Share the love with Random Points of Kindness

Random Points of Kindness are still open to new group members. Here’s what they’re all about…

Random Points of Kindness exist to interact with the audience in the background, quiet spaces and dark corners, at the back of a crowd and before the drums kick off. Our aim is to extend the love of our community to the audience through meaningful interaction, giving them a personal touch that they can take away with them in their hearts, minds and hands, above and beyond the witnessing of a performance. An interaction can be as simple as a moment of eye contact and handing over a gift or as complex as a deep meaningful chat with them about what Beltane is all about. We will play with them through stories, sounds, songs, games and moveable performance and then pass on tokens of kindness, little trinkets made with love. In that moment, sharing with them a feeling of connectedness, community and love. We want to make them feel a part of the Beltane family.

We will be creatures of summer from an enchanted garden, gentle and kind. We will have a base on the Hill from which to roam. Our sessions will be a mixture of performance, character work and practical sessions making gifts. We’ll have a lot of fun, we’ll be silly together, laugh together, eat together and become a lovely family, a tribe of roaming enchanted creatures ready to fill the audiences hearts and hands with love. We’ll meet Thursdays (7pm) and Sundays (1pm) at various locations, both indoors and outdoors. Whilst we are looking for commitment from our group, we have scope to include people who may have prior commitments, holidays etc (to be discussed on an individual basis).

If you’re interested in joining us, email kindness@beltane.org or come and join us on Calton Hill on Sunday at 1pm.

Fire and Ice

The weather in Scotland can be a fickle force, as the volunteers of Fire Point discovered last weekend when they had their first rehearsal…during a blizzard!

Fire Point rehearse in the snow

Fire Point rehearse in the snow

Fire Point rehearse in the snow

Thanks to Fire Point member Jade for snapping some pictures to share. As you can see, she wasn’t bothered at all by the snow.

Jade

Find your inner bird with the Aerie or bring your music to the Gadjadilos

The Aerie and the Gadjadilos are still recruiting and would be happy to hear from you! Read on to find out how to get involved…

The Aerie

Group Organisers: Jay Wiwezar and Andrew Bell
Email: aerie[at]beltane[dot]org
Next meeting: 2pm, Sunday 8th March, Calton Hill (near the cannon)

Hey there, peeps !

To all of you who are still wondering which group to choose, and how to best to show your magnificent selves on the night of Beltane, we would like to ask: have you considered the possibility of being a bird…? Of wearing bright, feather-like costumes while dancing around the Hill…? Do you think you could be The Crow, ominous remnant of winter…? Or maybe the Humble Bird, fated to be killed and reborn as a fiery Phoenix…? Did we mention there would be kazoos and possibly a bullroarer…? If so, then The Aerie will welcome you with open wings!

Our last Open Workshop will take place this Sunday (8th of March) on Calton Hill, near the cannon, and will start at 2pm, to finish at 5pm.


The Gadjadilos

Group Organisers: Michal Miklewicz and Izabela Wawreniuk
Email: gadjadilos[at]beltane[dot]org

The Gadjadilos are specifically looking for a fiddle player to join them. If this is a skill you have, please get in touch with them by email.

Omnia mea mecum porto. The road is their home. Their daily routine is continuous improvisation. They are resourceful and adept. Culturally influenced by everyone they meet, leaving an impression wherever they pass. Despite their reputation they keep going forward. Music and wine make their feet a bit lighter. They walk until the night will bring a bonfire smoking out the cold and ghost. During these tranquil gatherings they summon the Sound of guitar and accordion . Drums and dancers. Creatures which make the ancient stories alive. Everlasting struggle of Fire and Ice impersonated by our carneys and puppets. Vagabonds which wish to show a different view of welcoming the Summer.

Stewards and Bonfire Point invite you to join them

Over the coming days, we’re going to be sharing some information from Beltane groups which are still open to new members and would love to meet you! Today it’s the turn of Stewards and Bonfire Point…

Stewards

Group Organisers: Nick Toth and Anthony McKale
Email: stewards[at]beltane[dot]org
Next meeting: 2pm, Sunday 8th March, Calton Hill (view the Facebook event)

The Stewards are the friendly human face of the Beltane Fire Festival. We work with the production crew, emergency services, and the performing groups to make sure everyone has a safe and joyful Beltane. We are not a performing group, but we will interact heavily with the audience, telling them about the significance of the celebrations and about some of the things they will see, so that they can make the most of their experience.

Our regular training meetings will take place on Calton Hill from 2-5pm every Sunday starting Sunday 1st March. There will be no regular meeting on Sunday 29th March, and Sunday meetings in April will vary times and locations as we begin to practice more closely with other groups in the immediate lead up to the festival.

If you are keen to join us, but can’t make all the meetings, talk to us anyway. We are a flexible group, run by and for people with real-world responsibilities.


Bonfire Point

Group Organisers: Robert Lee and Dulcea Wind
Email: bonfire[at]beltane[dot]org
Next Meeting: 7pm, Thursday 5th March, White Horse bar (Canongate, Edinburgh)

We are Bonfire Point. We entertain the public through dramatic storytelling. We are a costumed performance group and we build the bonfire on the Hill. We maintain the fire as the life force of the community; protectors of the fire. We have a strong focus on the bonfire and its space.

Our movements on the hill will be very limited and so we expect to be very suited to many people. Beginners are welcome. Must be willing to stand before a crowd of thousands and proclaim dramatically to them.

We rehearse on Sundays and Thursdays, times and locations to be confirmed.

Bower and Spark want to up-cycle your old CDs

A message from Bower and Spark, who want to turn your unwanted stuff into lovely things…

Bower with Spark are wanting your old CDs to up-cycle as beautiful decor for the Bower space at Beltane. Any type of old CD will be very welcome, be it music, software or an old read/write CD. To find out what the CDs will be turned into, you’ll need to come along to the Bower on Beltane night! We guarantee it will be sparkly, otherworldly and beautiful.

To give your CDs to the Bower for up-cycling, please come along to the Regent pub at Abbeymount, 4pm on Sunday 8th March where Judy will be very happy to take your CDs away. To let Judy know you will be giving her your old CDs, please email bower@beltane.org

Thank you! :)

Bonfire Point want to meet you…tomorrow!

Beltane 2014 bonfire, photo by Felix Hartsuiker

WHAT
Bonfire Point’s first Open Meeting (bring a picnic!).

WHO
You! Bonfire Point are a full performance group with storytelling.

WHERE
In front of the Acropolis on Calton Hill.

WHEN
4pm on Sunday 1st March

Bonfire Point entertain the public through dramatic storytelling. They are a costumed performance group who build the bonfire on the Hill. They maintain the fire as the life force of the community; protectors of the fire. They have a strong focus on the bonfire and its space.

Their movements on the Hill will be very limited and so they expect to be very suited to many people. Beginners are welcome. Must be willing to stand before a crowd of thousands and proclaim dramatically to them.

They meet on Sundays and Thursdays.

You can get in touch with Group Organisers, Robert and Dulcea, at bonfire[at]beltane[dot]org

Beltane 2014 bonfire, photo by Felix Hartsuiker

Did you sign up with the Aerie at the Open Meeting?

A message from Jay and Andrew of The Aerie…

Due to a no good, horrible, extremely unfortunate computer crash, the Aerie GOs have lost the contact details of people who signed up with us at the Open Meeting. This means we can’t contact people to give them additional info on our two open practices!

If you signed up for the Aerie on Sunday at the Open Meeting, please shoot us an email at aerie@beltane.org, join our Facebook group, or simply show up at one of our open practices. The first one will be on Sunday 1st of March at 2pm on the Meadows. The meeting point will be the at the north end of Middle Meadow Walk (see the location on Google Maps). The second one will be on Sunday 8th of March at 2pm on Calton Hill. We’ll be meeting at the canon (see the location on Google Maps).

We want to see as many colourful feathers and flamboyant beaks as possible, so if you know anyone who signed up, please share this info with them so the Aerie can find their birds again!

If you missed the Open Meeting…

Scenes from the Open Meeting

…don’t panic! There’s still time to get in touch with Group Organisers and join a performance or production group to take part in Beltane. You can find all the organisers’ contact details, along with information about the groups, on this page.

If you were at the Open Meeting, it was lovely to see you! The main hall in the Abbeymount Centre was packed out with people – lots of familiar faces and plenty of new ones too. Although preparation for Beltane 2015 has been going on since…well, pretty much as soon as Samhuinn 2014 was over, this is the Big Beginning, when all of you get involved.

As Blue Bob said yesterday, “This is the journey that we’re all choosing to go on together”.

Photos from our live Tweeting of the Open Meeting, from left: Alan the Health & Safety Officer and maker of wonderful things, No Point having all the feelings, Beastie James with his light-up drum.

Beltane in The National

Fenland with The National

An article about Beltane appeared in The National today, as modeled by BFS member Fenland, just in time for the Beltane 2015 Open Meeting!

The Beltane 2015 poster is now a real thing!

Event Coordinator Sara with the Beltane 2015 poster

Our Beltane 2015 posters, designed by Natasa Ilincic, have been printed and are now a lovely, shiny, physical reality! Seen here in our office with Event Coordinator Sara, the posters will soon be in venues across Edinburgh. If you see one and snap a picture of yourself next to it, we’d love it if you shared it with us on Facebook or Twitter with #beltane2015 :-)