Our Board of Trustees

The Beltane Fire Society (BFS) is a registered charity, based in Edinburgh. We have a board of trustees who are volunteers, elected by our members each year at our annual general meeting. They are responsible for making sure BFS delivers on its charitable aims, that we comply with all the requirements placed on us, and help oversee the smooth running of the charity and our festivals.

Want to know what the board do? Take a look…

The board meet regularly to make key decisions. If you’d like to see the dates and agendas for upcoming meetings, or the minutes of past board meetings, email us at board[at]beltane[dot]org. You can also see details about us as a charity (including our annual accounts) on the website of the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR).

Our Current Board of Trustees:

Erin Macdonald



Our community and our festivals are weird, wild and wonderful. I’m proud to be part of them.

I’ve been on the board since June 2016 and became Chair in December 2016. Across the past few years I’ve been involved in our festivals as a performer – largely as a drummer – and on the production side as press officer and steward too. Outside Beltane I’m a communications specialist for charities, helping them find ways to tell their story and engage people.

As chair I run our board meetings and help coordinate our work to keep the society ticking. I can be contacted with queries and concerns if you have any. I also manage our communications and media coordinator during the run up to festivals, and have been helping get plans to mark our 30th Beltane up and running.

Photo of Erin by Bleu Hope

Tom Watton

I’m an experienced events manager and charity trustee. I lecture part time in Events Management and Hospitality at Glasgow Kelvin College and Edinburgh College. I still also work as a freelance events manager, currently working for Vision Mechanics, the company behind Big Man Walking and Dragon Matrix. I have been involved in BFS since joining as Stewarding Coordinator in 2011, and have since produced 3 Beltanes, chaired the Society in 2014-15 and helped realise John and D’s beautiful Bower in 2016.

2017 will be a proud moment for the community; our rhythms will wake the Hill, our rituals will enrich the souls who grant us their audience and our fires will spread radiant beams of hope and peace over our city for the thirtieth time.

I am privileged to be serving the Society again, working with the other Trustees and the membership to build on and maintain our beautiful festivals and events, protecting the rituals that we hold so dearly.

Photo of Tom by Bleu Hope

Jackie Burrell

Board Secretary
Skill-sharing sub-committee


I first joined BFS for Samhuinn in 2013 as part of Einherjar (the Summer Guard) and haven’t stopped since. I’ve helped to make a giant 40ft long fire-breathing dragon puppet, done Tech, Fire Point, White Hunt, and then for Beltane 2016 I was a Group Organiser for Earth Point. I’m now on the Board of Trustees using my organisational skills as Board Secretary and organising skill-sharing workshops with John Wilson so our members can attain new skills during the inter-festival period.

Photo of Jackie by Bleu Hope

Erin McElhinney

Community Events Grand Vizier
Communications Sub-committee


The actual year I first turned up to a stewarding practice is unclear, but safe to say I’ve been in and around Beltane Fire Society for 9 years: first as a Steward, later (and primarily) as a Processional/Winter drummer (with a quick holiday into Whites). Out of body paint, I’m a freelance events and communications manager. And a feminist.

I’ve joined the Board to deepen my understanding of how the Society works, and to give back to a community that has challenged, taught and sustained me. Hence why I’m acting as support for 3 different areas of Board activity: I support Danielle as Festival Secretary and contribute comms help when and if needed. Plus, I’m undertaking work to explore potential for a governance audit with my wife, other-Erin.

I’m proud, and not a little excited, to be going into our 30th Beltane celebrations with this particular set of Boardies.

Photo of Erin by Asier Goikoetxea

John Wilson

Volunteers Coordinator
Skill-sharing sub-committee


I have been involved in Beltane Fire Society for nine years and have been a Steward, Torchie, Nightmare, White and Bowerling at Beltanes and Samhuinns. I was previously on the BFS Board in 2013-14 and am excited to be back.

On the BFS Board I am the Volunteers Coordinator. I am here to help new recruits get involved in our festivals and to help volunteers find places in the right groups for them. I also look after the membership database and membership cards.

Jackie and I want to encourage members to share more of your amazing skills with each other.

Dani Jakwerth

Members Engagement

I’ve been involved in BFS events since stewarding at Samhuinn 2008 and took the career path of Beastie – White – Processional/Winter Drummer over the years, organising some of these in the process. On the Board I’ve mainly been in charge of supporting Group Organisers through info material and digital resources, which I hope to improve further as I go along. I’ve also started to collate the vast amount of information on Beltane by Beltaners that’s out there, hoping to get it all in one place eventually. I’m especially interested in hearing from you if you have been a Group Organiser or prospective GO and have input on how we can improve providing information about BFS and GOing.

Irene Carita Morelli

Communications sub-committee


I got charmed by the Beltane Fire Festival in 2013, when I saw for the first time Calton Hill dressed in flames, wonderful colors and resounding with awesome sounds. In 2015-16 I have enjoyed participating in the crazily intense performances, but I also helped out the other Board members in the hard work needed to put the events up. This year I would like to give my contribution to the Board of Trustees by helping with general duties and working with the Communications sub-committee, which deals, as you may never guess, with anything related to communication(!), from press matters to social media and marketing. This entails working with some very experienced and talented fellow Trustees, which is always a pleasure!

Photo of Irene by Bleu Hope


Festival Secretary


I’ve been a member of the BFS since Samhuinn 2013. In that time I’ve mostly been a steward at both Beltane and Samhuinn. During Samhuinn 2015 I was the Bucketeer GO and for Beltane 2016 I was one of the Contact Point GOs.

On the board I generally receive and collect the applications for GOs and proposals and assist any society members with any trouble they are having with the application or any questions they may have about the roles/festivals. I deal with enquiries from people and organisations from outwith the society about the BFS and our festivals as well as assisting members of the board with any other tasks as required.

Photo of Danielle by Bleu Hope



I was first introduced to BFS through a passion for drumming, becoming a processional drummer in Beltane 2016. I quickly fell in love with the Beltane community and eagerly returned in Samhuinn as a torchbearer (finally getting over my fear of fire!).

Now that Beltane is on the horizon once more, I am honoured to have been co-opted onto the Board to help with the final preparations for our upcoming celebration of an incredible 30 years of fire.

Outside BFS I’m currently on the board for another organisation called Glasgow Drum Circle (GDC). Over the years with GDC I have managed lottery-funded projects, acted as treasurer, taught rhythms and led drum crews in a wide variety of performances. Other notable experience includes my previous stint as an events officer for a large public sector organisation and, back in my uni days, being a board member for the university’s Pagan Society.

For the rest of the board term I will be providing systems admin support to the board, sharing knowledge on governance, and generally mucking in to help make this Beltane the best one yet!



Nate joined the board in March 2017. Info coming soon!



I first saw Beltane as a teenager and became mesmorised by the noise of the drums and the sight of the fire. I then jumped into the madness in 2014 and have taken part ever since as a Torchbearer, Aerie & Contact Point before becoming a Group Organiser of Torchbearers in 2016’s Samhuinn and again for this Beltane.

Being co-opted onto the Board in April 2017 is a great honour and I look to assist the current Treasurer as much as possible while also getting stuck in with any other work the board requires of me. I am also aiming to find ways to diversify BFS’s income to ensure financial sustainability for at least another 30 years of fire!

Outside of this beautiful community I work as a Finance Officer for an Edinburgh based charity, COMAS, fighting poverty & addiction in Dumbiedykes.