Design our poster for Beltane Fire Festival 2020

It may be the depths of Winter this week, but the first stirrings of Spring are already getting near – the wheel continues to turn and preparations are beginning for Beltane Fire Festival 2020. It’s time for us to invite you to submit your beautiful artwork for the chance 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 Thursday 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. The title “Beltane” is derived from a Gaelic Celtic word meaning “bright and 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 Thursday April 30th, torches are set aflame and the pounding of drums fills the air. A magical procession around Calton Hill sets off, led by the May Queen and her court, who encounter many fantastical beings portrayed by painted and costumed performers and acrobats. The Green Man makes his own journey across the hill, finally being killed by the May Queen, stripped of his Winter guise and resurrected in a dramatic ritual performance, before the lighting of the traditional Beltane bonfire to welcome Summer.

Beltane is a time for celebration, revelry, 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 aspects of the story, performances and characters highlighted above, to draw in those who know the Beltane story but also to attract newcomers to our festival.

For a more detailed description of our festival and its history and origins see here.


  • You must submit one design for the poster (A2 size), and one design EACH for the front and back side of the flyer (A6 size), at the same time and using a coherent style and colour scheme to keep a uniform look. The poster and the front of the flyer can use the same artwork and/or layout, (this is what’s usually done), but you must submit all three designs.
  • The size (with required bleed edge) for A6 flyers is 111mm x 154mm
  • The size (with required bleed edge) for A2 posters is 426mm x 600mm
  • Remember to leave any text or important visual elements at least 7mm from the edges, for printing safety.x
  • You should have full-resolution files at 300dpi/ppi available, to be used if your design is selected.
  • Please ensure that all files are in CMYK colour format, not RGB.
  • You can choose to include all of the text and social media elements in your design, but you don’t have to. Everything that needs to be on the poster is in this zip file.  Otherwise, make sure to leave enough free space on your poster and flyer for us to fit them in at a legible size. We greatly appreciate submissions that have the festival title beautifully typeset or hand-lettered, and have all the additional text inserted too, but this isn’t essential! Submissions will be considered on the basis of the artwork and layout first of all.
  • If you are including the text, make sure that you save a copy of your work with the text on a separate layer, preferably in .psd format, for easier editing. You won’t be sending this to us as your submission, but we will need it if your design is chosen. 
  • Alternatively, if you’re creating a digital and completely vector-illustrated image, saving the original as a vector graphic is helpful, as it will scale better, and be easier to work with if changes are needed before sending to print.
  • Everything in your submission (apart from the downloadable elements we provide) absolutely must be your own work, or created with elements that you have permission to use. If you use any stock imagery or photography, free or purchased, you must be able to provide evidence of legitimate sources if asked. Please check the relevant licensing for any fonts that you use, and be able to provide this information if asked. Although BFS is a charity, it is also a registered company, so please only use fonts that are licensed for commercial use to be on the safe side. If your work is accepted, we may need you to send any font files you’ve used, in order to finalise the text.
  • We will accept submissions from pairs of artists/designers. For example, if you’re an amazing illustrator and you have a friend who is great at layouts, feel free to work together and submit under both your names.
  • 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(s) on there somewhere.


  • Your submission should include three separate files: A2 poster, A6 flyer front and A6 flyer back.
  • When sending your designs for consideration, please make them 1000px on the longest side and send in jpeg format. Please do not submit larger versions, or files with layers, at this stage. They will only be needed if your design is selected.
  • You can submit more than one entry 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 considered at the same time after the deadline.
  • Because of time constraints and the need for printing and promotional activity to begin as early as possible in the run-up to the festival, we will only accept completely finished work.
  • Email your submission to festival[at]beltane[dot]org and contact this address with any questions you may have


  • As the creator of your artwork, YOU own it, and by submitting it for the competition are granting BFS license to keep it in digital and physical archives, and use it in promotional activities, online and offline, globally and in perpetuity.
  • Should you wish, you are welcome to sell prints and products featuring the artwork without any of the provided text, BFS branding or elements included in the downloadable design pack.


  • 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!

One thought on “Design our poster for Beltane Fire Festival 2020

  1. Still looking for a way to purchase Beltane 2019 and Samhain 2019 posters. Please reply with information. Thank you…..ginger

    Sent from my iPad



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