Photos by Daniel Rannoch. From top left: Tamara (who may have been doing a zombie impression), Richard, Nicole and Ashish…all wrapped up warmly!
Last Saturday afternoon, Contact Point climbed Calton Hill for a site visit and tour of the Beltane route. Perhaps knowing that we were rehearsing for a festival that celebrates the onset of summer, the Scottish weather blessed us with bone-chilling temperatures and what felt like gale force winds to blow us around.
Calton Hill in the dark is a very different place from Calton Hill in the day time, so getting a handle on where the slopes, rocks and big steps from the grass to the path are is essential to avoid trips and falls on the night (lets hope I haven’t jinxed us by saying that!).
Fuelled by Haribo, we walked the route doing our best to visualise costumed and painted performers and thousands of audience members where they’re going to be on 30th April. To anyone else braving the chill that day, we probably looked like the world’s most confusing tourists, stopping at empty areas of grass to talk excitedly about what will be happening there in less than two months time.
Now that group practices have begun in earnest, visitors to the hill will come to recognise the familiar site of gatherings of Beltaners…walking in formation, dancing, rehearsing performances, telling stories, taking photographs, passing flasks of tea around, beginning to claim our spaces and imprint them with our own experiences, plans, hopes and dreams for the coming festival.
With the coming spring (allegedly – it’s been snowing since yesterday!) we share a sense of potential and possibility, hard work wrapped in excitement, and a strong community connection, both within our own groups and with BFS as a whole. As you follow our progress online over the next few weeks, we hope that you can feel it too.