Samhuinn 2018 Group Info

We’re very excited to share with you the details for our Samhuinn Fire Festival 2018 groups! You will be able to sign up to one at our Open Meeting, which takes place on Sunday 2nd September 1:30-4:30pm at Out of the Blue.

When you initially sign up to one of our groups, whether by email or at the Open Meeting, we will collect your name and email address so our Group Organisers can keep in touch with updates directly related to your voluntary engagement. We will not use your information for any other purpose without first asking for your consent and we will not share your email with external organisations.

More information about the Open Meeting can be found here.

Have a read through the descriptions, requirements, and rehearsal times below before this weekend to see which group you think you would fit best into.


Email beasties[at]beltane[dot]org
Organisers Lindsey Bell, Sam Haddow and Alun Evans

We are the red heartbeat, the drummers of summer.  We provide the musical setting for all creatures seelie, casting the witnesses’ minds back to the heady, intoxicating days of high summer. Then, when it is time, we pass the beat on to winter – if they’re good enough.

Open Rehearsals:
Weds 5th Sept 7-10pm Bongo Club,
Sunday 9th Sept 6-9pm Coloursound,
Weds 12th Sept 7-10 pm Bongo Club.

Weekend Away 5-7th October

Closed Meetings.  Wednesdays 7-10pm, Sundays 3-9pm.


Email callhorn[at]beltane[dot]org
Organisers Tamara Piddock and Ross Atkinson

Not recruiting (it’s Ross and Tamara blowing horns!)


Email cailleachan[at]beltane[dot]org
Organisers Anna Chaney, Michael Ritchie, Fiona Oliver-Larkin and Cat Somerville

We are Dancers who will perform a sacred ceremony of dance to call upon the Callieach. Our movement is the turn of the wheel. The dance of the Goddess is housed in our bodies and released from the wild places held within us.

Our process is about connecting with Samhuinn through movement. Rehearsals will be workshop based and we will be exploring; The Japanese art form of Butoh, physical theatre / devising movement and dance as a form of trance. Through a process of exploration, our performance will be a culmination of the work the group has discovered and then created into a dance performance for Samhuinn.

As Cailleachan, the breath of the Goddess, we work with conscious movement and voice examining themes of death, sacrifice and rebirth, allowing space for grief, release and new life. We are the turning of the wheel. We are the summoning, we are the spell.

We are a high commitment group, not for the faint hearted.

What we are looking for: No experience necessary just come with an open heart and a willingness to give creatively to the process.

Rehearsals: Sundays 1pm-5pm and Thursdays 6.30pm-9.30 pm Steiner School.May be additional social and costume days. Thursday are indoors and Sundays will be generally outdoors

Open Rehearsals will be at the Edinburgh Steiner School Thursday 6th 6.30-9.30pm and Saturday 8th 2-5pm

Weekend Away: 5th – 7th October


Email childrenofseth[at]beltane[dot]org
Organisers Seth Win and Katie Craig

The Children of Seth will return on Samhuinn, when the veil is thin, to the humanoids again,

Eathlings: Enter the darkness and explore your shadow-side, then party into the light: it’s a wild ride. The Children of Seth, last seen in Ancient Egypt, where they were (mis?)taken for gods, are back, kid. With vital knowledge to impart, via psychedelic art, Acro-mmunication, and a pyramid!

Open Meetings: Weds 5th and 12th Sept, 7 pm at St Anthony’s Chapel

After selelction, there will be two practices a week, weekend practice day and time to be decided with the final group.


Email contactpoint[at]beltane[dot]org
Organisers Karen Dickson and Rebecca Conway

Contact point this year are Court Jesters. Half alignied with Summer the other Winter. We will entertain and inform the audience, in the traditional comic style of the Jester, via song, storytelling, mimicry, with the odd dance and some juggling possible too.

Open Sessions are:
Sunday 9th Sept 4-6 at the Pavilion Café, the Meadows
Wednesday 12th Sept 7-9 at Woodland Creatures, Leith Walk.


Email guthnammarbh[at]beltane[dot]org
Organisers Alice Dillon, Maud Bouvattier and James Conkie

Guth nam Marbh embody the ‘voice of the dead’, as the translation of its Gaelic name suggests. Representing the spirits of the departed, we will sing songs in Scots Gaelic which represent the process of grief and mourning. Though aligned with neither summer nor winter specifically, our group tracks the fall of the summer king, singing throughout the festival, but particularly at strategic moments during his decline.


Email heraldbards[at]beltane[dot]org
Organisers Neil James Rhind and Guilia Frontalini

Gathering nights as Summer ends
In gathering factions, gathering friends
Under Seasonal banners, round seasonal fires
Lit as homecoming hearths and funeral pyres.

In the heart of half-darkness, who sings of days gone?
Announces arrivals in eloquent song?
Entertains and informs in a mixture of measures
Tailored to meld information with pleasure?

Narrating, describing, rhapsodizing with praise
Eulogising your actions in sonnets and lays
Indentured with love to the seasonal courts
Loyal to those for whom battle is fought.

Give up? It’s not as if this riddle’s hard.
Our name’s at the top there: We’re the Herald Bards.


Organisers Theresa von Wald 

More information to come


Email moncai[at]beltane[dot]org
Organisers William Donaldson and Yvonne Armour

Moncai are timeless clown spirits of death, We operate with the flow of the seasons having both summer and winter incarnations. As the summer comes to an end and the goddess changes her form so shall we.  

We invite all summer participants to join us in fun, revelry and party.

We also invite all of our winter friends to join us as we listen to the whispers of the cailleach in the winds of truth and when the moment comes and she calls us to do what we know must be done, We will reveal our dark selves and work with the armies of winter to bring death to the court of summer. but not before we have a little fun with the nature of reality, illusion and trickery along the way.

Objective: End summer
How: with tricks, illusions and lots and lots and lots and lots ad infinitum of FIRE
Where: Calton hill 31/10/18

Open practises are:~

Monday 3rd September 19:30- 22:00
Wednesday 5th September 19:30 – 22:00
Sunday 9th September 12:00-15:00

We will meet on the Meadows in the area between Boroughloch Walk and Townswomens’ Guild Walk in front of the tennis court.

Following on from that our practise times will be

Wednesday 19:00-22:00
Sunday 15:00 – 20:00       

We are a high commitment group  and would appeal to those looking to take a step up from spinning fire to performing, however, we are open to newcomers to the art.


Email nightwatchstewards[at]beltane[dot]org
Email nightwatchtorchbearers[at]beltane[dot]org
Organisers Jak Hyslop, Gudrun Kocher-Oberlehner, Nico Marrone and Shae Dunsmore

Nightwatch is a combined group of Stewards and Torchbearers that work closely together throughout the run-up to Samhuinn.

Stewards are the first point of contact for the public on the night of Samhuinn and work closely with the emergency services, Tech, the Production team, and other performance groups to ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable Samhuinn. Stewards are not a performance group, however we will be interacting with the audience heavily on the night, answering any questions that they may have and explaining the significance of the celebrations.

Torchbearers light the way, serving as the keepers of the ritualistic fire, igniting the sacred Neid fire on the night of Samhuinn and using its light to illuminate the festivities. We act as the liminal barrier between worlds, allowing those on the outside to peer in and vice versa. Torchbearers are both a production and performance group, with minimal effort required in the performance-aspect meaning it is the perfect group for those wishing to develop their confidence and performance skills.

We are looking for people of all experience levels who may not have have vast amounts of time to dedicate to the festival this year. We are also open to people with varying accessibility requirements. We will teach you everything there is to know about being a Steward or Torchbearer. Both aspects are low commitment and serve as a great way to get acquainted with the festival. This is also a great introduction to Samhuinn and the Beltane Fire Society for new, unacquainted members.

Regular Torchbearer meetings will be held on Sundays, 1-3:30 on Calton Hill, as well as Thursdays 7-9 (location TBC). Regular Steward meetings are held on Sundays 2-3:30 with Torchbearers in order to bolster teamwork and build confidence in holding spaces, as well as gaining fire safety training.


Email nopoint[at]beltane[dot]org
Organisers Sage Dean and Robin Crane

A while ago, before there was anything there was nothing. A while from now, after everything is done, there will be nothing. That nothing contained and was contained by and permeated everything that ever was or could be. A kind of primal void, if you will.

This Void, one day she put on a mask and called herself Mother.
And this Void, one day she put on a mask and called herself Child.
And that, dear reader, is how we were born into this world.

Yes we are the darkness that belongs to the night sky and nothing else, as it twinkles its wishing stars and dons a (tinyface) mask so that it may be seen…

as it extends a hand..
and invites you to play…
Stare into the ABYSS…and the abyss may feel awkward.

But yeah we can take a selfy together.

WE ARE that infinite expanse of No-thing, that potent fertile void, that dude dressed up and prancing about with their mates…um…



Email obsidian[at]beltane[dot]org
Organisers Sandra Spanikova and Narma Gebruk

Obsidian represents the unrelenting elemental power of winter. Called upon by the light of the aurora, we exist to absorb the erratic energy of summer and transform it into ice. Wild, strong and inevitable, we devour summer and exude it one last time in a fiery explosion, before banishing it inside our icy core.

We are the right group for you if you are ready to get fierce, like the sound of defying norms and combining acrobatics with spinning, and fulfill at least one of the following criteria:

  • You are interested in developing acrobatics, dance or LED/glow spinning (good level of physical fitness or willingness to work hard required)

  • You are a fire-spinner with pre-existing experience

  • You are crafty and want to help create the Obsidian Cave inspired by the polar lights

 Our weekend away will be on the 28th-30th of September, with regular rehearsals on Thursdays (19.30-21.30) and Sundays (14.00-17.00).

We will have two open rehearsals: on Thursday the 6th at 19.30 and Saturday the 8th at 14.00, gathering at the Pavillion Cafe (Meadows) and moving to Ice Point.


Email photopoint[at]beltane[dot]org
Organisers Gordon Veitch, Vince Graham and Ken Dunton

We are Photopoint, and we are looking for keen dedicated photographers, if you would like to improve your photo/video skills and share your skills with other like minded people that want to record this special event. Then why not come along to our Open Meeting on Sunday 9th September at Deaf Action 49 Albany Street EH1 3QY between 2-4.30pm. Looking forward to seeing you.

The Photo Point Team.


Email reds[at]beltane[dot]org
Organisers Toni Mey and Jonny Crombie

Reds are creatures of chaos and misrule, born anew each Beltane and dying at the closing of Summer as the fires are extinguished and winter takes hold. This Samhuinn for Reds is about living life to the fullest. The fire, passion and love we experienced all summer burns in us and will only be extinct when we meet our expected end to make room for Winter. The young Reds born on Beltane night are grown now into all their glory and will display as much of this as they can on Samhuinn night – along the way wreaking merry havoc and mayhem, playing with audience members, putting up human pyramids, playing with fire, pranking the other groups and making the most of the beautiful pandemonium we create.

We will see other winter groups massing around us, knowing full well that they are all looking to bring on our demise – but we will not go out quietly. We will defend the fire and Summer until the end, and only when Winter brings its full fury against us will we accept our fate. Because we are strong, we are bright and we are beautiful and most of all, WE ARE RED!!!

Open rehearsals: Wednesday 5th September and Saturday 8th September.
Usual practices: Wednesdays 7:30pm -10:15pm and Sundays 1:00pm – 6:00pm
We are a high commitment group.
Contact: reds[at]beltane[dot]org


Email savagesofwinter[at]beltane[dot]org
Organisers Lizzie Eardley and Anna Meulepas

We are creatures of the dark that thrive during the Winter. We’re disjointed – some might say insane – but as Winter arrives we grow strong and we go wild. 

Join us in celebrating the cold season through relentless rhythms and powerful beats. We’re looking for drummers who want to challenge themselves and embrace the strength of their twisted inner darkness. 

Open sessions are:

Thursday 6th September, 7pm-10pm (Coloursound)

Sunday 9th September, 1pm – 5pm (Meadows / Bongo Club)

Wednesday 12th September, 7pm -10pm (Bongo Club)

Closed rehearsals will be on Wednesdays 7pm-10pm and Sundays 2pm-6pm, all at Bongo. 


Email orderofthesun[at]beltane[dot]org
Organisers Anthony Edwards and Minas Stefanou

We are burning warriors of sunlight, knights of the summer court. A band of brothers sworn to protect, we march to keep the cold at bay and keep the fire from going out for good. Our valiant knights shall charge into the darkness, a gleaming light of hope in the bleak winter night. Prepared to die in battle with glory and honour so that sun may rise once more.

Open sessions:
Friday 7th September G25 St Margaret’s House  6:30 -8
Sunday 9th September Calton Hill 2-4
Friday 14th September G25 St Margaret’s House  6:30 -8
Sunday 16th September
Calton Hill 2-4

Away weekend: First weekend of October (Non-compulsory)


Email tech[at]beltane[dot]org
Organisers Peter Jackson

Do you like creating or building? Are you interested in taking part in
the festival, but don’t think performing is for you? If this sounds
like you then Tech would be an ideal place to learn some new skills or
practice your existing skills with other like minded people. Some of
the task but many task don’t need srength

In the weeks leading up to the festival tech builds props. On the day,
you will take care of decorations and building the stages, as well as
setting up crowd barriers etc. You’ll help out during the festival
making sure that the props and fire effects are lit at the right time.
After the performance is over we take everything down and put it back
in the van..

Our first meeting will be on Sunday 9th September, exact time &
location to be confirmed. Our regular meeting will be on Weekend date
times (usually Sunday afternoon). Attendance at all meetings isn’t
required. Most meetings will be at Beltane stores in Leith. Email at
tech[at]beltane[dot]org to find out more or to join,


Email valravn[at]beltane[dot]org
Organisers Emma Creighton-Offord and David Creighton-Offord

We are the Valravn.
Returning from our slumber of years,
We mercenary corvids prey once more,
Knowing that Winter shall always come,
We’ll take our fill as we did long before.
Monsters and their children stalking the hill
Eaters of the dead and thieves of Kings.
Scavengers, for ours is not the kill.
Patience and trickery bring us greater things.
Through puppetry and costume, voice and breath,
We tell tales of greed, of life and death.

A group with roots going back to 2009, the Valravn emphasise costume, voice work, ritual and theatrical performance. While this makes us a bit easier on the joints than groups doing acrobatic work, we still pride ourselves on bringing focus and professionalism to what we do.

When we are meeting:
We meet on Wednesday Evenings and Sunday Mornings in Newhaven (Lothian Bus routes 7, 10, 11 or 16).

If you are keen to join us but can’t make all the meetings, talk to us. While we do have a few key dates set in stone for mask making, walkthroughs and core workshops, we are aware that our members can and will have real-world responsibilities. If you’re willing to put in the work, we may be able to make arrangements.


Email wildhunt[at]beltane[dot]org
Organisers Daniel Connell, Jemma Pilcher and Simon Fokt

The Wild Hunt represents the sense of fear and dread which comes with the approaching Winter, and the need to confront those feelings. A pack of demonic, animalistic hunters, we will swarm through the festival and extinguish or turn the remnants of Summer. We are the feral, uncontrolled, emotional aspect of the season, the thing that overtakes you, engulfs you and changes you in a vortex of intense energy, all before you even realise where it came from. We aim to create a profound, cathartic experience in those who come in our path. But while the Hunt is terrifying to all outside it, it’s caring and warm to those inside. We are a pack, we work together, communicate without words and share every scrap of meat we peel off the summer prey.

We will be very physically active, doing a lot of running, hunting, stalking, fighting. Group members will need to become reasonably fit, and have costumes which don’t prevent them from being wild and hunting. We will also do a lot of audience interaction.

We are a high commitment group

Open practices are Thursday 6/09, 7-10pm, and Sunday 9/09, 6-9pm. You have to make at least one of those to be considered for the group. We will meet at the carpark near the duck pond at Holyrood ParkWear clothes you can be active in and you don’t mind getting muddy. Waterproofs will probably be a good idea.

Regular practices will be on Thursdays 7-10pm and Sundays 5-9pm. Almost all practices will be outside (unless it’s seriously bucketing-it down), and some will be joint with the groups we’ll be fighting against.

Our away weekend will be 28-30th September and will involve wild camping.


Email winterdrummers[at]beltane[dot]org
Organisers Nahikari Mendoza, Nikoletta Louca and Samantha Hulls

As the days shorten in light,
We must come allied,
For there is no escape from the night,
But you wonder might,
Will there be enough strength in sight?
We fear not to look inside,
And may you all feel in these beats tonight,
To face the winter, cold, but bright,
Warmth and power, alike.

We face the transition to Winter in fearless acceptance. A transition as romantic as it is barbaric; we embrace the darkness for even though cruel, it provides us space to listen to our heartbeats, encompass them with our fellow loved ones, our self.

We are the leaders who will guide all through the darkness, and help them see the light and all that is to be gained from the change of the seasons.As a drumming group we will require our members to have a fairly good grasp of rhythm, although they don’t necessarily require previous drumming experience. For our ideas to take form, we require members who are willing to learn, who are patient and who are respectful to others around them.

This is a high commitment group and we are looking for people who are ready to commit to learn new drum tunes, develop our character as a group and are willing to train on the combination of music with physical movement.

Our open practices will be on Wednesday 5th (7-10pm), Sunday 9th (2-5pm) and Thursday 13th (7-10pm) of September.

Our regular practices will be on Wednesday evenings (7-10pm) and Sunday afternoons (1-6pm).

We further require that the members are free on the weekend 5-7 October.

Featured image copyright Richard Winpenny for Beltane Fire Society. All Rights Reserved

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