Want to take part in Beltane 2016? Here are some groups you could join!

Beltane 2015 by Martin McCarthy

If you want to take part in Beltane Fire Festival 2016, there are still some performance and production groups open to members. They’re listed below in alphabetical order and you can find even more information about each one on this page. If you’ve looked through everything but you’re still not sure, you can contact our Volunteers Coordinator at volunteers[at]beltane[dot]org for help. We look forward to welcoming you to our community!

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The Aerie

Email aerie[at]beltane[dot]org
Messengers of hope, we fly and sing to announce the arrival of the Green Man and the May Queen on Calton Hill.

Throughout history, birds have been represented as the manifestation of the heaven’s will, as kind messengers, or harbingers of doom. The Aerie will explore this concept by offering to the witnesses a performance that would herald the coming of Summer, and the return of the Green Man. We are performance group that will focus its efforts into blending the use of noisemakers and dance in order to weave a narrative based on hope and renewal. We will also craft our own wings, and quite possibly masks.

Our final open rehearsal is Sunday 6th March, on Calton Hill (near the cannon) from 2pm to 5pm.

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Email bower[at]beltane[dot]org
The hearth and home to which the procession returns from its journey.

The Bower is welcoming, warming and nourishing. It is the village that awaits with hope the return of the heroes to embrace and celebrate their homecoming. We will be creating a space to fill with performance and joy. We will make things ranging from decorative banners and bunting to a Maypole and steel fire pits. We will find stories to tell. On Beltane night we will share our stories and our warmth with the audience and our fellow performers alike.

Anyone is welcome to come to our next meeting, 5-8pm on Sunday 6th March in room 102 of St Margaret’s House, 151 London Road, Edinburgh.

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Contact Point

Email contactpoint[at]beltane[dot]org
A non-performance group that provides information and assistance to the public attending the festival.

We will be present to answer questions on the night, providing assistance to any audience members who need directions or information. Where necessary, we will assist the Stewards and generally be on hand to be helpful.

Our final open rehearsal will be at 7pm on Thursday 10th March downstairs at the Safari Lounge (21 Cadzow Place, Edinburgh)

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Earth Point

Email earthpoint[at]beltane[dot]org
The physical representations of the Earth’s seasons, from winter to summer, from dark to light; we move with the turning of the Earth.

We represent the Earth in its elemental form. From winter to summer, from dark to light; we move with the turning of the Earth. We are physical movement group, focusing on elemental movement and dance. We will be exploring ways of moving with silks and other props, exploring the earth element and building a visually stunning performance.

Our meetings are Monday and Friday evenings from 7pm. We’re still open to new members, so please get in touch by email to find out where our next open rehearsals will be.

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Faerie Porters

Email porters[at]beltane[dot]org
During the day, the Porters are spirits of place, linking the sites of Beltane and Samhuinn around Edinburgh in their travels; At night, we are spirits of time, adding to the celebration of the season with dancing and fairy revels.

The Faeries are carrying our (toad)stools from the Grassmarket, home to the Bower, showing in our steps that Samhuinn links to Beltane, and both link to Edinburgh. And that coming home is cause for celebration! The Faeries wander the streets of Edinburgh in the daytime, bringing their belongings to the festival, then – after a rest – reclaim Calton Hill as the fairy dancehall and place of seasonal celebration.

Our final open rehearsal is 2-5pm on Sunday 6th March near the Pavillion cafe on the Meadows, Edinburgh.

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Family Beltane

Email family[at]beltane[dot]org
Family Beltane is a bright and beautiful Beltane celebration for children their families.

We will be making arts and crafts, telling stories, face painting and having fun in the spirit of the wheel of the seasons and the celebration of the coming of the summer sun. This is a lovely introduction to young people to all the skills and traditions that we employ during the creation process of the annual night-time celebration of Beltane night. The event will be held from 1.30pm – 4.30pm on Saturday 23rd April 2016 at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SR.

Offers of help and assistance are welcome. Please get in touch by email with ideas and inspiration!

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Fire Arch

Email firearch[at]beltane[dot]org
The doorway of the spirit world into the physical world.

We will be combining theater, choreography and fire spinning for our performance. So there will be lots of workshops on movement, character work and enhancing our fire toy skills. Some experience with fire toys would be preferred but we would also consider new people who are fast learners. We will be teaching movement, choreography and there will be ‘retired’ fire spinners from Beltane coming along to do fire spinning workshops with us.

Our meetings are at The Pavilion cafe on the Meadows every Wednesday, 7-9pm.

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Nomadic Flame

Email nomadicflame[at]beltane[dot]org
The wandering flame seeking for a hearth to rest.

We entertain the audience with demonstrations of our pyrotechnic prowess of large fire-based displays both active and Passive. Our main activities are focused around building props and costumes of fire and testing them during interactions with other groups and on our own.

Our meetings are Thursdays, 7pm-9pm and Sundays 1pm – 5pm on The Meadows Pavillion.

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Email stewards[at]beltane[dot]org
The friendly human face of the Beltane Fire Festival.

We work with the production crew, emergency services and the performance 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 meetings are 2-4.30pm on Sundays on Calton Hill.

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Email tech[at]beltane[dot]org
The stage crew of Beltane.

In the run up to Beltane we build fire sculptures and prepare everything to be taken to Calton Hill. The day before and on the day, we prep Calton Hill for the festival- building stages, fire sculptures, Hill decoration as well as setting up the fencing, crowd barriers, toilets and lighting. During the event, as well as looking after the safety of our audience and performers, we light the fire sculptures and fire the pyrotechnics. At the end of the event and on the day after we take it all down again.

We don’t have regular meet ups so email us to find out when we are meeting.

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Email torchbearers[at]beltane[dot]org
Providing the light that allows the audience to see through the veil and witness the festival.

Torchbearers are the physical representation of the veil between the real world and the fae world. We provide the light that allows the audience to see the performance and are a visual barrier between the audience and the performance. We light the Neid Fire at the beginning of the performance, then carry that fire using torches along the procession and into performance spaces in order to provide light for the festival.

Our next open rehearsal is 2pm-5pm on Sunday 6th March in room 1.02 at St Margaret’s House (151 London Road, Edinburgh)

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Water Point

Email waterpoint[at]beltane[dot]org
Fun enthusiasts for all things watery.

Flow down the river with us on journey from source to sea, from winter into summer. Water Point will be a pic’n’mix sort of performance group, exploring acro-balance, brazillian dance, song, fabulous costumery, physical theatre and assorted malarky. We’ll also be getting outdoors a lot, drawing inspiration from the beautiful, watery world, and from each other. Unclog your brain-pipes. Get in a flow-state. Gush.

Our next meetings are Sunday 6th March at 2-5pm on Portobello Beach outside the Baths (Bellfield St meets Promenade) and Thursday 10th March at 7-9pm in room 102 of St Margarets House.

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Want to come to Beltane Fire Festival 2016 on 30th April? Book your ticket HERE.

Photo of Beltane 2015 by Martin MacCarthy

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