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 (with additional members coopted throughout the year if needed, by vote of the board themselves). 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. You can read minutes and agendas for board and other BFS meetings if you’d like get a sense of discussions, or email us at board[at]beltane[dot]org for more information. 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 2017-18 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, and since then have been leading our board in working to improve our governance and structures. As BFS chair I run our board meetings and help coordinate our work to keep the society ticking, and I can be contacted with queries or concerns you may have.

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.

Photo of Erin by Bleu Hope



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 and have been involved with Torchbearers (twice as the Group Organiser), the Aerie & Contact Point.

I am excited to be part of the board and as Treasurer I will be looking to ensure we can have another 30 years of fire by keeping account of our income & expenses and examine how we can diversify our revenue streams.  I am also willing to assist the other board members in any of the work they undertake to ensure our society is well managed and looked after.

Outside of Beltane, I currently work for Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh as Finance Officer and have worked previously for an Edinburgh based charity COMAS and volunteered with LEAPS and the British Heart Foundation.

Board and Company Secretary
board@beltane.org / shae@beltane.org


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!).

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!

Festival Secretary
festival@beltane.org / nate@beltane.org


I’ve been a part of BFS since Samhuinn 2011 and, having gotten thoroughly soggy as a Steward, was never going to do it again. Six years later, having been a Torchbearer, Hunter, White, Faerie and ocassional Group Organiser, I think I may have changed my mind.

I was coopted onto the board at the end of the 2016-17 term and decided to come back this term as the Festival Secretary – which involves handling GO applications, helping with the inter-festival communications and general festival enquiries.

During my board term I aim to help make the festival easier for Group Organisers, and feed into our ongoing process of improving our society’s general wellbeing – such as equality and diversity, bullying and harassment, and mental health policies / information sharing.

Outside of the society I work for the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh where, alongside taking care of plants, I’m on the Athena Swan committee and work with others to promote equality and diversity within the organisation.

Volunteer Secretary

volunteers@beltane.org / alex@beltane.org

Alex Nuttgens

I’ve been a performer, steward, and organiser in the Beltane Fire Society for going on 15 years now. In the BFS I’ve met loads of amazing and interesting people, mastered skills which I never imagined I’d be able to and learned quite a few other things about life on the way. It’s been a bit of a blast, and by joining the BFS Board I’m hoping to give something back.

Outside of Beltane I’ve been a director and software developer for a tech startup then a platform developer for a large charity. Currently I’m developing a social media platform and generally trying to encourage use of digital in the Third Sector. As volunteer secretary I support volunteers to find the right groups to join as they seek to participate in our festivals, and keep track of the relevant details.



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 work on a range of tasks as required, and give input at board meeting on key issues as they come up.

Photo of Danielle by Bleu Hope


Erin McElhinney

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.

Photo of Erin by Asier Goikoetxea


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.

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



Within two weeks of arriving in this wee country from Australia, I had been given the role of Event Coordinator for the Beltane Fire Society and what followed was one hell of a year of risk assessments and learning the tales and history of this unique festival.

Since ending my contract as EC, I donned the fireproof suit for the Tech Team at Samhuinn 2017 and I’ve been co-opted to the board and am looking forward to helping my society in new ways and hopefully join a performance group!

My focus will be to assist with event planning across the year and look into ways we can be more sustainable in our practices.

In the real world, I work as a Ticketing Manager for a major Fringe venue and work freelance on events throughout the year.



My Beltane journey started as a teenager, when I saw this amazing and wondrous display on Calton Hill that was Beltane. From the start I was hooked, and I tried to experience it every year, as it was just so good.

When Samhuinn was added I thought wow, as watching these spectacular productions, was beyond words, truly magical, and now there were two.

In 2015 my Beltane membership and performing journey began, and what a wonderful and uplifting experience it has been.

I feel honoured and privileged to be on the board of trustees, and look forward to supporting this unique organisation in any way I can, as I continue on this adventure, that is, my Beltane journey.

Photo of Karen by Mark Taylor for Beltane Fire Society