Beltane Fire Society

Your chance to design the poster for Beltane 2018

Beltane Fire Festival 2017 by Aurelie Bellacicco


With preparations for the Beltane Fire Festival 2018 beginning (already!), it’s time to invite you to submit your beautiful artwork to feature in our festival’s promotional material.

The chosen submission will be on posters and flyers all over Edinburgh in the run up to 30th April, and will also be used in our online promotion and press advertising for the event. Anyone is welcome to enter, so if you have arty friends please feel free to pass this on to them!


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 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 before the lighting of the traditional Beltane bonfire.

Beltane is a time for celebration, fertility, new beginnings and, of course, fire! Think along the themes of brightness, freshness, emergence, new life and growth. Our poster and flyer 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 festival.






Once all submissions have been received, the BFS Board of Trustees will create a shortlist of entries which are appropriate to promote the event, and select a final entry to use. There will not be a public vote: criteria for selection will include quality of artwork, suitability as a representation of the festival and Beltane Fire Society, appeal to potential attendees, and clarity of presentation of information/legibility. Entrants will be informed by email as to whether or not they have been successful. In the event that no submissions are deemed suitable, the trustees may make alternative arrangements.

We are hugely grateful to all those who put in the time and creativity it takes to submit a poster design.

Here are some of our recent Beltane posters to help inspire you!

Photo of Beltane 2017 by Neil Barton

Featured image from Beltane Fire Festival 2017 by Aurelie Bellacicco, for Beltane Fire Society