Your beautiful artwork is needed for the Beltane Fire Festival 2014 poster

It’s time to ask you lovely creative types to submit your beautiful artwork for consideration for the poster and flyer design. The chosen submission will be on posters and flyers all over Edinburgh and will also be used in our online promotion and press advertising in the run-up to the festival. Anyone is welcome to submit artwork – you don’t have to be a BFS member.


The concept of The Beltane Fire Festival originates from the Scottish and Irish Gaelic pre-Christian festival of the same name, while the title ‘Beltane’ is derived from a Gaelic Celtic word meaning ‘bright/sacred fire’. Originally, the Beltane festival was held to mark and celebrate the blossoming of summer and was thought to have been held on the first full moon after the 1st of May.

As darkness falls on 30th April, the epic drum beats begin and a magical procession around Calton Hill sets off, led by the May Queen, who encounters many strange and wonderful characters in the form of painted and costumed performers and acrobats. The Green Man is then ‘killed’ by the May Queen, stripped of his winter guise and resurrected for the rebirth of summer in a dramatic ritual performance.

Beltane is a time for celebration, fertility, new beginnings and, of course, fire! Our poster should appeal to the wider community in Edinburgh and beyond. It should reflect the story and characters highlighted above to draw in those who know the Beltane story, but also to attract newcomers to our festivals.


– Because of the need to print a large poster from the chosen design, it’s advisable not to submit something which you only have a tiny copy of. A postcard-sized painting is never going to look great printed to A2 size, even with a fantastically good scan or photo taken of it.

– When printing posters and flyers, a bleed edge is required. This is the part of the image at the edge which shouldn’t contain any important details. The exact size of the bleed edge varies between printing services, so to be on the safe side please keep any important details at least 2 cms from each edge. If you’re having difficulty with this, don’t worry – we can help you with it or add a border if required.

– Please ensure that all files are in CMYK colour format, NOT RGB!

– Information in the form of text, as well as a BFS logo, will need to be added to the finished design. Although the placement of this depends on the design that we choose to use, it’s worth bearing in mind when creating your submission.

– You are welcome to include the text Beltane Fire Festival 2014 in your submission if you feel that your submission would benefit from having the text in a similar style to the rest of the artwork, but this isn’t necessary or essential.

– Don’t forget to sign your artwork! We appreciate that you’re offering your creations on a voluntary basis, so we’d like you to have your signature on there somewhere.



– The final design will be chosen by online vote, so please send us a small version of your artwork (1000px wide is fine) as a level 8 jpg file which we can display online.

– You can submit more than one design if you like, but please submit each only once! There is no need to send a draft or sketch first, and there’s no advantage to submitting early. If it takes you right up until the deadline to complete your work, then please take that time. All submissions will be posted for voting at the same time.

– Due to strict time constraints based on printing and distribution requirements, it will not be possible to accept unfinished artwork with an “it will be done by [insert date here]” promise, and late entries will not be able to be accepted.

– If you’ve previously submitted a design but it wasn’t successful, please feel free to resubmit (as long as any dates entered in the design are altered)

– EMAIL your submission to, we will acknowledge receipt of your entry.

– THE DEADLINE IS 31st January 2014

If you have any questions, please contact and we’ll do our best to help. Looking forward to seeing your creations!

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