Beltane 2017 Timings and Processional Route

With just six days to go until Beltane 2017, we wanted to share with you the proposed timings for the night and route of the procession. You can open up the PDF version of our leaflet here or see the map and timings below.

We also wanted to remind you that while the procession may be the central feature of our festival, there is plenty going on, all around the Hill at different times, away from the procession itself. So find your own journey towards Summer and truly experience all that Beltane has to offer.

Some of the characters to look out for on the night include:

The May Queen and Green Man – Beltane’s core characters
The Blues – the guides and protectors of the procession
The Whites – companions of the May Queen – and their Processional Drummers 
The Reds – embodiments of chaos – and their Beastie Drummers
Air Point -– the Aerie features bird-like creature and a giant albatross puppet
Earth Point – a family of Foxes with some incredible body percussion and dynamic acrobatics
Water Point –  a crew of hearty sea dogs sailing our pirate Galleon across the high seas
Fire Point – Aios Fior, or the People of the Fire are a fire spinning/dancing group
The Fire Arch – bigger than ever and featuring a multi-headed beast, and its masked masters resisting change (Aaarcadia – Fire Arch and the Hippylgrimmage are doing something a little different this year)
Cloaked Torchbearers – who stand between the darkness and the light allowing the audience to see through the veil and witness the festival
Fire puppeteers –  bringing to life the dragon and the phoenix – classic creatures of fire
Evergreens –  former Green Men wander amongst the witnesses sharing with them a glimpse of half remembered sword-fights, the start of a dance, the shadow of a death
Aether Drummers – the fifth element, that which exists beyond matter

More details of all the performance groups can be found on the Beltane 2017 group page.

Beltane 2017 Map


Approximate Procession Timings

8.00pm Gates open
9.20pm Neid Fire lit, May Queen appears on Acropolis
9.30pm Procession begins
9.45pm Procession arrives at Fire Arch
10.00pm Procession arrives at Air Point
10.20pm Procession arrives at Earth Point
10.35pm Procession arrives at Water Point
10.50pm Procession arrives at Fire Point, Reds charge
11.10pm Reds and Beasties perform at Red slope
11.20pm Procession arrives at stage
11.45pm Bonfire is lit and performances continue at stage
12.15am Reds and Whites dance at Bower
1.00am Event ends, drummers lead the way off Calton Hill

To get a more visual idea of these core elements of the night, see this photo essay.

If you haven’t got your tickets for Beltane yet, it’s not too late! Tickets are selling fast but they can be bought in advance from Tickets Scotland. For more information on the event, see this page and join the Facebook event.

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