There are many wonderful ways to get involved in the magic of the Beltane Fire Festival. If you’re interested in learning about the work that goes into building and managing an international festival and want something low-to-mid level commitment, lets you meet lovely people and gives you experience in event production, then we would love to hear from you!
Many volunteers who are new to our society and festivals enjoy starting off in one of these volunteer groups before diving into learning a new skill like drumming, acro, or fire play.
BE OUR BOWER
Do you feel a call to welcome our community to the Bower as their journey about Calton Hill ends? The home of our Hill, our community and the May Queen, the Bower is the sacred space where the final ritual between Red and White is played out, a place of nourishment, safety, rest and joy. We are calling on nurturing souls with a vision to create this magical space on the Hill and an ending with a warm welcome extended to all – performers and witnesses alike.
We are keen to make sure we have fire and warmth for all our performers in the space.
Bower is a key component of our festival, and we’d love you to step forward and make a home on the Hill for everyone!
Contact festival[at]beltane[dot]org if you’re interested.
VOLUNTEER AS A STEWARD WITH NIGHTWATCH
Stewarding is an easy way to get to know our community if you are new to the festival or simply low on spare time. You’ll have front row seats on the eve of Beltane, where you will help maintain performance spaces, answer questions from audience members, work with the production crew and emergency services, and generally assist in making sure that everybody has a joyful and hassle-free night.
Our Stewards are part of Nightwatch, the ever watchful guardians who maintain the barrier between our world and the next. They act as a window onto the Otherworldly realm that emerges on the night of Beltane by sharing the significance of our celebrations and helping to direct witnesses to vantage spots around Calton Hill.
We are looking for Group Organisers, Elder (experience) Stewards and group members both new and returning.
Stewards are a low-commitment group. Weekly meetings will take place on Sunday afternoons starting in April on Calton Hill – it is preferable if you show up to as many as you can, but just let the organisers know if you can’t make any.
Anyone looking to join will need to do at least one Walkthrough (which takes place on Saturday 16 and Saturday 23 April in Edinburgh) and complete our fire safety training.
Contact stewards[at]beltane[dot]org if you’re interested.
VOLUNTEER AS A TORCHBEARER WITH NIGHTWATCH
The Torchbearers are a more theatrical version of Stewards who are very much part of the performance. Our festivals are largely illuminated by natural light, and the Torchbearers are the keepers. Donning cloaks and brandishing flaming torches, they march around the hill with the procession, lighting the way and illuminating performance spaces.
The Torchbearers are also part of Nightwatch, our ever watchful guardians. Without them there would barely be anything to see. As well as meeting some wonderful people by joining the Torchbearers, you will learn a bit about fire safety and also event stewarding and logistics.
We are currently looking for Group Organisers, Elder (experienced) Torchies and group members both new and returning.
Torchbearers are a low-commitment group. Weekly meetings will be every Sunday afternoon on Calton Hill starting in April (usually with Stewards) – it is preferable if you show up to as many as you can, but just let the organisers know if you can’t make any.
Contact torchbearers[at]beltane[dot]org if you’re interested.
HELP BUILD THE FESTIVAL AS A MEMBER OF TECH
Tech helps prepare the hill for the festival by 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 relevant 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.
Tech meets weekly on Sundays at our warehouse, as well as working to build and take down the festival in the days leading up to Saturday 30 April and on Sunday 1 May. There will be pizza.
Contact tech[at]beltane[dot]org if you’re interested.
We hope we see you at Beltane!