Beltane 2022 Group Organiser Shout Out

As we move past the darkest days of winter, we turn our thoughts towards spring; looking out for the first new growth, the longer days, and real warmth in the growing sunlight. And with those signs of spring and promises of summer to come, we make our preparations for Beltane. 

We once again invite prospective Group Organisers to put forward their group and project proposals for the coming Beltane Fire Festival (30th April). 

Copyright Martin McCarthy for Beltane Fire Society. All Rights Reserved. http://www.beltane.org / http://www.facebook.com/beltanefiresociety

Beltane is when we celebrate the bright half of the year; the promise and fecundity of spring, the warmth and life of summer. While the stories of the May Queen and Green Man form the heart of our Beltane story, it is the many other groups which take part in our festival who form the great carnival chorus of light and beauty around them, winding their own tales through our celebration. 

Fire spinning and dancing. Drumming and Singing. We have played host to (and taken part in) all manner of performance groups, and dearly hope to again this year. 

No less important to the happening of our festival are those groups who allow our great celebration to happen. Our Torchies and Stewards who keep our way safe, our Tech crew who build the magic for us, our Photographers who capture memories of all our beautiful work. 

Copyright Gordon Veitch for Beltane Fire Society. All Rights Reserved. http://www.beltane.org / http://www.facebook.com/beltanefiresociety

No group is set in stone and none of them happen without you, our volunteers, old or new. While we love a good tradition, each group is a fresh imagining each festival based on the proposals we receive and the input of the Group Organisers and volunteers who go on to form those groups. 

As a group organiser you will both facilitate the projects of your own group and, through meetings with the other GOs, May Queen and Green Man, Event Coordinator and Blues, help to shape the story of our entire festival, which we build anew each year. 

If you are feeling the inspirational touch of spring and might be interested in leading a group of volunteers in a creative, cooperative, community endeavour, we would love to hear from you (and a friend; we like our Group Organisers work in pairs at least). 

Open/Closed Groups

For this festival, we are again accepting a limited number of applications from closed groups (ie: groups with no open auditions for members). Please state in your application the reason that your group needs to be closed.  During the selection process we will aim for a balance between open and closed groups, as we would like the wider community to have plenty of opportunities to take part.


Group sizes

Due to continually evolving Covid-19 restrictions, we’d advise against applying for a very large group size (e.g. >12 including helpers), unless you have a specific reason for additional numbers. However, apply for what your ideal size would be, and we will work with you to come up with a plan, or recommend a scale-down if need be. We’re happy to talk through ideas and numbers with applicants ahead of submitting applications, but final decisions will be made depending on the advice available to BFS at the time of application selection.

Changes afoot this year 

In response to safeguarding concerns that BFS have been made aware of, the board have changed the application form and some of the processes around selection. We will be asking each successful GO to apply for and submit a basic disclosure from Disclosure Scotland. The cost of the disclosure is £25 per person, which BFS can reimburse you for. 

What you must know…

Before you complete your application form you will need to have read the following documents, we advise that you do this together with your co GOs

Group Organiser Agreement

CODE of Conduct

Application form

Questions arising from any of the documentation can be directed to board@beltane.org

Key Dates

Deadline for GO applications17th February, 11:59 pm
GO Training days (Mandatory for all GOs)26/27th February
Open Meeting5th March (TBC)
GO Meetings
commencing in person 8th March
These will be run on an alternating basis, with an in-person meeting and a remote meeting taking place on alternate weeks (Tuesdays c7-9). 
GO walkthrough29th March
Full Festival Walkthrough 116th April (expect a Noon Start)
Full Festival Walkthrough 223rd April
Beltane Festival build/derig activities27 April-2 May
Beltane Fire Festival30th April
Main DERIG1st May
GOs conduct their own debrief in groups10th/11th/12th May
GOs, Blues and EC festival debrief meeting 17th May

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