Press and Media

Each year, the Beltane Fire Society creates unique happenings, events that attract the attention of journalists and media from across the world, from bloggers to headline news reporters.

We are keen to work closely with the media to help them cover our events as much as we can, and in recent years we’ve worked with representatives from the BBC, STV, The Times and Getty Images, as well as The Scotsman, The Herald and Edinburgh Evening News.

Our next event will be the Beltane Fire Festival, which will take place on Tuesday 30th April 2019.

If you are a member of the press, or interested in volunteering with us to work with press to promote our events, do contact us at with any queries you have.

If you require photographs of our festivals to accompany articles or event listings, please email us at

Thank you for your interest in our event, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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If you would like to link to our social media you can find us in the following places:




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A consistent high point in the city’s spring calendar – The List

One of the most magical nights of the year – Edinburgh Spotlight

Edinburgh’s unique modernisation of the ancient Iron Age Celtic Beltane ritual is quite the spectacle – Edinburgh Evening News

Tickets are now on sale for Edinburgh’s world-famous fire festival, which gives Summer a warm welcome with a dazzling display of fire play, acrobatics, drumming, and immersive theatre.

Taking place on April 30th, this alternative May Day celebration offers a modern interpretation of the ancient Celtic holiday Beltane. With 300 performers taking part, and a capacity of 9,000 on the top of Edinburgh’s Calton Hill, Beltane Fire Festival is the largest event of its kind in Europe.

In keeping with Beltane Fire Society’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact, it is moving away from paper tickets this year and implementing a digital ticketing system for the first time. Tickets are available to buy from Edinburgh-based ticketing company Citizen Ticket, a platform built on innovative technology designed to put the trust back into ticketing. Citizen Ticket will provide customers with a streamlined experience from initial purchase, right through to entrance to the event.

The festival tells the story of the transition from Winter to Summer, which can only happen when the Green Man, an archetypal figure in folklore all over the UK, dies and is reborn again. He does so in order to shake off the last vestiges of Winter so that he can join the May Queen, a goddess figure, as her consort. The story has variations on it each year, but at its core contains messages about letting go of the past, embracing opposite perspectives and characteristics, and retaining ties with our natural world.

Hundreds of volunteers envision and perform in the festival, making it a cumulative product of a community that has been lovingly fostered through the decades. Founded over 30 years ago by a handful of folk artists and historians, including Angus Farquhar of the influential industrial band Test Dept and the Scottish poet Hamish Henderson, the festival’s growth and continued success is a testament to the power of community arts.

After a sellout Samhuinn Fire Festival last October – which was ticketed and held on Calton Hill for the first time – the festival’s organisers are urging attendees to book their tickets as early as possible.

Erin Macdonald, chair of Beltane Fire Society’s board, said: “Communities across Scotland have been celebrating the change of seasons for centuries, and our event upholds those Celtic traditions and reimagines them for modern audiences. Preparations are just beginning for this year’s Beltane Fire Festival, and we’re excited to share the fiery spectacle that our hundreds of volunteers will craft over the coming months.

“We’re also really pleased to launch our new digital ticketing system with Citizen Ticket. Our festivals are ever-evolving celebrations, and going digital with tickets will help us become more sustainable. It’s a great fit for an event that celebrates humanity’s connection with nature”.


Notes for editors:

Beltane Fire Festival is organised by Beltane Fire Society, a charity that manages at least two events (Beltane Fire Festival and Samhuinn Fire Festival) every year.

Citizen Ticket is an Edinburgh based ethical platform established in 2013 to pursue the simple and secure future of ticketing. From issuing tickets transparently on the blockchain, to offering organisers the opportunity to donate 50% of booking fees to charity, Citizen Ticket is changing the face of ticketing for good. Find out more at

To request more images or ask questions about the festival, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Becca Inglis (Communications Co-ordinator) at or Brad Mcarthur (Board member) at

Link to photographs:

You are welcome to use the photographs that we have attached with this release. All that we ask is that you credit our photographers (who are named in the file names). The format that we prefer is “Copyright [photographer name] for Beltane Fire Society. All Rights Reserved. /

Event details:

Name: Beltane Fire Festival 2019

Date: Tuesday 30th April

Time: Gates open at 8PM, event begins at sundown – ends at 01:30AM

Venue: Calton Hill, Edinburgh

Tickets: All tickets are available from Citizen Ticket at this link:

£11.00 (including booking fee) before 30th April
£15.00 (including booking fee) on 30th April
£5.50 (including booking fee) for children aged 2-16
Children under 2 years go free

A limited number of low-income tickets are available at £5.50

If tickets sell out before the event there will not be any sold at the gate on the day of the festival.