About Beltane 2022’s groups

Welcome! The days are getting longer, the storms and snows are receding and it is time once again to create something beautiful.

Below are the volunteer performance and production groups that you can join this Beltane. Come along to our open meeting tomorrow (Saturday 5th) or email the group organisers to learn more, and/or come to groups’ open practices sessions listed below to get involved.


Proof of a negative lateral flow test in the last 24 hours will be required to attend any in-person meetings & practices.

Contents:

  • In-person groups
    • Ashvins
    • Beasties
    • Earth Rhythm
    • Goblin Republic (Fire Arch)
    • Macabre Cadabre Drum Crew
    • Photo Point
    • Reds
    • Stewards
    • Tech
    • Water point
    • Whites
  • Digital Groups
    • Tales From The Hearth
    • Get Your S**t Together

In-person Groups

The Ashvins

Group organisers: Aindrea Bell & Pia Kullik

Many cultures all over the world have had a concept of Divine Twins, who are often portrayed as a dual aspect of healer and warrior, and are almost always associated with horses. We are looking to horse around this festival by embodying these two ancient figures, bringing an embodiment of healing and strength to our interactions in the festival. Also blowing horns. Our group will be centred around the two characters of the Twins, with the rest of the group supporting us as our “horses”. We are a low commitment group, and are looking for people who like to craft and create costumes, as well as improvise audience interactions.

Open practices:
Come on the 10th & 17th March, 8 – 10 pm, on the Meadows (meet outside the Pavilion Cafe)
for Games and silliness. Wear warm, comfortable clothing you can move around in.

Sign up here:
https://forms.gle/egSjKNz9Jz2jjk6F8

Contact: ashvins@beltane.org

Regular rehearsals: 
Thursdays, 8 – 10 pm on the Meadows

The Beasties

Group organisers: Andy Murray, Jude Sevestre, Lindsey Bell

Description: The Beastie Drummers are the throbbing heart of exhilarating chaos, joy and passion!  It’s been a long, long winter and we are so ready to erupt with dirty, primal beats that celebrate life, gets hearts racing and people dancing.  The party starts here…

Who we’re looking for:  We are a high commitment group focusing on drumming, movement and character work.  We welcome both experienced drummers and those who have not drummed before but have a strong drive to learn new rhythms to a performance standard.   A strong work ethic and willingness to concentrate and do some homework are essential.

Open practices:
Sunday March 6th time/venue TBC;
Monday 07/03 7-10pm at the Bongo Club 
Wednesday 09/03 7-10pm at the Bongo Club

Regular rehearsals: Sundays 2-6pm & Wednesdays 7-10pm 

There will be a mandatory camping weekend on Sat 2nd April – Sun 3rd april

Where to sign-up:

In person: Come and see us at the open meeting!
By email (also send any queries here): beasties@beltane.org
Google form: Beastie Registration

Earth Rhythm

Group organisers: Anna Chaney & Grzegorz Wypiorczyk

We will celebrate Beltane through music and dance. We will embody the joy and celebration that comes with Beltane and its coming summer. We are simply the ritual of celebration – the primal beat of the Earth.

Contact: earthrhythm@beltane.org

(No open practices)

Goblin Republic (Fire Arch)

Group organisers: Hannah Smith & C’tri Goudie

We, the Goblin Republic, are the current occupants of the Fire Arch. It’s not on fire right now, of course. It’s not been on fire in… well… a couple of years? But it’s our Arch! You can’t have it! It was abandoned when we got here, so… it’s ours now! We may look rag-tag and mismatched to you all, but we were once a roaming militia of fire specialists who’ve now settled down. You wanna come take a look at our amazing Republic? Don’t blame you! It’s been pretty quiet round here for a while but it’s been getting a bit busy lately… 

The Goblin Republic is a low-commitment fire-spinning and character-based Fire Arch group. After we fulfil our duty at the Arch, we may go for a wander elsewhere on the Hill to bring the Fire to the Festival.


Who are we looking for?
We are a fire-focused group, so experience with fire-spinning is preferred, but you don’t have to have done a Beltane fire group. We will scavenge costumes from charity shops, make battered armour, and be happy with mismatched gear. You should be looking to find your inner Goblin – quirky, upbeat, and curious. Chill vibes and fiery fun.

Open practices:
Monday 7th March, and Thursday 10th March, 7-9pm, the Meadows north of Pavilion Cafe and over the path (map pin: 55.941128, -3.194764)
DRESS WARMLY WITH STURDY SHOES. NATURAL FIBRE CLOTHING (100% COTTON, REAL WOOL, ETC). BRING FIRE PROPS & SPARES IF YOU HAVE ANY.

Regular Rehearsals:
Mondays 7-9pm on the Meadows, with optional Fire Club afterwards. Possibly a weekend daytime rehearsal here & there in April, organised well in advance.
Our Away Weekend will be a staycation on 2nd & 3rd April.

Where to sign-up:
Google Doc for signup: https://forms.gle/oqcMQUS48QitUqpR7
Email us questions at goblinrepublic@beltane.org 

Macabre Cadabre Drum Crew (MC/DC)

Group organisers: Anna Meulepas and Lindsay Hunter

With the temperatures rising and the seasons somewhat unclearly defined, we find ourselves rather confused. Macabre Cadabre are Winter Drummers at heart, and we’ve not been able to party and shine as much as we are used to. Hence, we find ourselves on the hill in full funky glory, yet a little lost – is this still our time? Is it over for us, and time to pack up and leave for a while? We’re not entirely sure. Throughout the course of the night we’ll get a better understanding of what’s going on, and will give it our last sexy beats for a hot winter send off.

We’re looking for people with a sense of rhythm, though this doesn’t mean you need drumming experience per se. We’re doing things slightly differently this time, so some brainwork will be required for even the most seasoned of drummers (perhaps people who’ve not played that much before have an advantage here!). MC/DC are aiming to do some physical movement and character work, so it would be desired that you’re open to some of this.

Open practices:
Sunday March 6th: time/venue TBC
Tuesday March 8th: 7-10pm @ Bongo Club
Wednesday March 9th: 7-10pm @ Bongo Club

Regular Rehearsals:
Sundays 2-6pm @ Meadows & Bongo Club & Wednesdays 7-10pm @ Bongo Club

Where to sign up: come see us at the open meeting, fill in this form, or email us at macabrecadabre@beltane.org

Photo Point

Group organisers: Gordon Veitch, Vince Graham & Frank Peplinski

Come and join us at Photopoint, we are the group that captures the full festival in all it’s awesomeness. We are looking for photographers with a range of skills from newbies to folks that have had loads of experience. You will need to have your own equipment, but you will learn new skills like taking pictures in the dark to capturing fire in all its majestic glory.

We are a very relaxed, medium commitment group and we will be meeting up every week at least once in the run up to the festival, and as the festival gets closer we could be a bit busier than that. (We do not do an away weekend)

The only major cost would be the costume (approx £25) and a few quid for the getting ready space. 

Where to sign-up: Come and see us ath the open meeting or email us at  photopoint@beltane.org

Reds

Group organisers: Andrew Binnie, Kleio Pethainou & Siobhan Wilson

Awakening with the Neid Fire to the rhythm of drums, fueled by the boundless energy, passion and exuberance of Summer.  Reds are curious, boisterous, playful, carefree, fiery, fun, chaotic, fearless and sensual. Reds possess a deep lust for life; joyfully exploring and delighting in their surroundings, driven by instinctive love and desire.

Reds’ connection to the Green Man this festival is inspired by his incarnation as the mythological figure, Dionysus. A God born from both woman AND man, that came to be worshiped by all who didn’t belong – misfits, social outcasts, oppressed folk, underrepresented minorities.  Reds embody the spirit of Dionysus, honouring our identity and truth.  Witnessing Green Man’s death, subsequent transformation and rebirth, we too are reborn as our most authentic selves.  

Reds’ performance will primarily involve character improvisation, physical movement/dance, partner acrobatics and human pyramids. Practices will include physical fitness training, acrobatic practice, character development exercises, and some meditative and ritual elements. 

Reds is a high commitment group. We welcome a range of fitness levels and experience. We desire those with a willingness to step out of their comfort zones, to challenge themselves to let go of their limitations, and most importantly, be joyful and have fun.   

Open practices
Sunday 6th March 2-4pm on Calton Hill
Thursday 10th March 7-9pm on the Meadows

Regular Rehearsals 

Sundays 1-6pm and Thursdays 7-10pm

There will be a MANDATORY weekend away wild-camping from 25th-27th March

Additional sessions for costume and cloak-making as required

Where to sign-up

For more details about open practices and to sign up, come see us at the Open Meeting, or email us at reds@beltane.org.

Stewards


We’re currently searching for two to three Group Organisers to lead our Stewarding group this festival.

Stewards ensure that our spaces are safe and manageable. Stewards are the public face of the festival on the night, and the primary interface between the performers and the public. They stand firm when others may fall, and if you fall, they will make sure help reaches you. Stewards can also help to welcome our witnesses into our space, and help them to get the most out of their experience. As Tech watch over the material structure of this festival, then Stewards watch over its people.

If you’d be interested in either leading or joining our Stewarding group this festival, contact volunteers@beltane.org.


Tech

Group organisers: Dan Rylatt, Greig Douglas & Peter Jackson

The tech team helps to prepare the hill ready for the festival, building stages, marking out performance areas and building the bonfire that marks Beltane. On festival evening we don our red overalls and run the tech element of the festival, with a unique behind the scenes view. In the weeks leading up to Beltane we have Sunday meetings to prepare fiery props, practice fire safely and other skills.     

We’re looking for people who like to build things and take them apart afterwards. No previous experience required: you’ll be shown the skills you need. Some tech tasks involve lifting and carrying, but much of tech’s work doesn’t. We are a flexible group and welcome volunteers who have limitations on their time commitment. Tech is also a great way to get involved in a festival for the first time, especially if you don’t see yourself as a performer.

Meetings: First meeting is Sunday 13th March 2-5pm at Beltane Fire Society stores in Leith. This is an open plan warehouse and many of our activities will take place in the open air. We will have meetings most subsequent Sunday afternoons in the lead up Beltane. The build will be on Friday 29th & Saturday 30th April with the takedown on Sunday 1st May.

Where to sign up: Email us at tech@beltane.org for more details of our meetings and to ask us any questions.


Water Point

Group organisers: Katie Craig, Seth Ewin

Merfolk and Fisherfolk. We will be paying homage to the myths of the sea: sea shanties, merfolk on the rocks,  siren song, the sea embodied through undulating fabric, mer-maid tails, bubble-rope, a fishing boat, net, salt-dough fishes, and basic acro to create oceanic illusions. We  will explore the relationship between humankind and the sea, we will examine fishing as a  symbolic and ritualised practice expressed through dance, basic acro, movement, song and  chant. We will use the mythical relationship between the mer and the fisherfolk to mirror  the relationship between reds and whites/ the goddess and the Horned God/Green Man. 

The group journey will involve visits to natural bodies of water, and offer the opportunity  for wild swimming, although we aim to be accessible to all, and open to folk with kids and  accommodating to those with additional physical challenges, going at a pace to suit  everyone, and more seeking to draw out capabilities than push anyone into anything. We  will explore through guided meditation, myth, community art, costuming, prop making  and embodied movement the stories and wisdom the Celtic water gods, particularly Dana,  the river goddess, also exploring her associations with the mother; Manannán mac Lir, god  of the sea, and Lí Ban, water goddess. 

Contact: water@beltane.org

Open practices
Thursday 10th March, 6-8pm on Calton Hill
Sunday 13th March, 2-5pm on Calton Hill

Regular rehearsals Sundays 2-5pm and Thursdays 6-8pm

Whites

Group organisers: Nate Kelso & Hannah McIlhinney 

Whites are the May Queen’s cohort; wrought of the same raw earth, strong, bold, empathic, and focussed. We are Her pack, Her protection and an extension of Her being, helping draw energy from the elements and our community to help fulfil Her journey at Beltane. We do not see ourselves as fully formed upon creation – like Her we will grow with the season, searching out connections with others to create something greater than any one group alone can conceive.

Our rehearsals will have a focus on connection to the May Queen, the earth, creativity and holding space for ourselves and others through movement work, exploring character, and reflecting on our relationships to those around us. We are looking for members who wish to engage with this and put care into themselves and the group.

No experience is necessary but we are a high commitment group and will require people to attend most practices as well as some time spent preparing outside of group time. Our performance on the night involves a choreographed procession of several hours – if you think we can make accommodations to make that accessible to you, please chat with us.

Open practices:
Sunday 6th 1-3pm on Calton Hill behind the Acropolis,
Wed 9th 7-9pm on the Meadows
Thurs 10th 7-9pm on the Meadows

Regular Rehearsals: Thursdays 7-9.30pm  & Sundays 1-5pm

Where to sign up: email whites@beltane.org for more details about our open practices and any questions you might have.


Digital Groups

Tales from the Hearth

Group organiser: Nicky Harrison

Email: tales@beltane.org

Get Your S**T Together (GYST)

Group organiser: Danielle Christie 

An online space open every Tuesday 7-9pm. At the beginning of each meeting we can tell each other what we want to achieve individually (Cooking a meal, costuming, drinking a cup of tea, crafting, sit ups, self care, overthrow the elf empire living in your basement, write a drum tune, or just chilling with chill humans online, whatever floats yer boat!), we can continue with our own tasks while knowing we have some company there if we need it. At the end of the session, we can have time to share what we managed to do, even if you didn’t quite finish the project or the elves’ battlements were just too strong (this time). Times are tough, and whilst online things don’t replace in person things, sometimes it’s the little thing you need, as a reminder that you’re not on your own and a place to share your “Hooray! I achieved this tiny thing”. Keeping audio/video on is optional for each person and is a drop in basis, can’t make it one week? Nae bother! Only on for 20 minutes? Not a problem pals! This is a thing you can do alongside being in a physical group, or if you aren’t able to take part in the physical festival, a place to still feel connected.

BFS Policies and Procedures, and Code of Conduct will be in place, and will be emailed out with every zoom link, I ask you read these before attending. 

See y’all on the tinterweb side!

Open practices: None! Come along whenever you want! It’s completely lowkey and chill and is just a nice space to pop into online.

The Zoom room will be open from 7-9 on Tuesdays, while the festivals GO’s, Court and Blues are huddled (socially distanced) in a room working to facilitate our festival.

Where to sign-up: Email gyst@beltane.org to receive the zoom invites each week or to ask any questions!

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