This information is for Samhuinn 2014. When preparation starts for 2015’s festival, the page will be updated but until then, this is here to give you an idea of the kind of people and performances you’re likely to encounter at Samhuinn and who makes the festival happen.
Tom Caine and James Armandary
Attendance at Samhuinn as an audience member is by donation, so while it isn’t necessary for people to buy tickets, we do encourage that they make a donation to help cover the cost of the festival. Bucketeers are the enthusiastic, colourful, smiling people who collect these donations on the night. One of our Trustees will be looking after the firstname.lastname@example.org email address until an official organiser is in place, so if you would like to volunteer as part of this group you are welcome to get in touch by email.
Bucketeers are a vital (and fun!) part of Samhuinn but require a comparatively low time commitment. You will be required to attend one walkthrough rehearsal and a busk in late October as well as a Health & Safety brief.
Lila Anne and Colin McEwan
The Cailleachan act as an extension of the Cailleach’s will, her dedicated aged priestesses which walk the ice capped mountains in winter, spreading her storms and the encroaching darkness; leaving the silence of barren heath and frozen lochs in their wake. They are in themselves the elder counterpart of the maiden White Women- a celebration of the power and wisdom of the crone phase of womanhood, long since barren and their summers now a mere memory. An intimate connection between the Cailleachan and the goddess fuel both characters. Just as she provides their raison d’etré, they enact her will and connect her to the mortal plane. We are open to everyone that wants to explore movement and character as we herald the winter coming.
Cearcall ur Nadir (Circle of Nature)
Louise Murray and Siri Pantzar
Cearcall ur Nadir – (Care-kill ooh-r Nah-duh-r) is an elemental group focusing on the change of seasons through the elements. We will explore the elements as a group, the way they appear in nature and within each of us. We are especially interested in expressing the different winter and summer aspects of each elements through our performance. Each member of the group will have an individual role representing a specific element in its winter or summer aspect. The performance will involve both individual and group interaction. We are not a skill-based group, however we welcome people who wish to represent their element through a skill such as fire, juggling or dance and are willing to support them on that path.
Mark Taylor and James Illing
Photopoint, the clue is in the name we’re here to make you look good. We take the photos for the society which appear on Facebook and also on the BFS official website. Whilst we are open to beginners you will require a DSLR or equivalent camera with external flash.
Claire Freake and Dave Rowell
Nick Toth and Andrew Marshall
The Stewards are the friendly human face of the Samhuinn Fire Festival. We work with the production crew, emergency services, and the performing groups to make sure everyone has a safe and joyful Samhuinn. We are not a performing group, but we will interact heavily with the audience, telling them about the significance of the celebrations and about some of the things they will see, so that they can make the most of their experience.
Our regular training meetings will take place on Calton Hill from 2-5pm every Sunday starting Sunday 7th September. There will be no regular meeting on Sunday 5th October, and subsequent meetings in October may vary times and locations as we begin to practice more closely with other groups in the immediate lead up to the festival. If you are keen to join us, but can’t make all the meetings, talk to us anyways. We are a flexible group, run by and for people with real-world responsibilities.
Lindsey Bell, Adam Exell and Helen Bradburn
Tech are responsible for the staging, structures, fire sculptures, props and pyrotechnics that help make Samhuinn amazing (and safe!). In their traditional boiler suits, hard hats and steelies, Tech are the behind-the-scenes wizards who literally build the festival.
Tech have fewer meetings in the run-up to the festival than most other groups as the vast majority of their wonderful work is done on Samhuinn itself, as well as the days directly before and after.
Tanya Simpson and David Simpson
Walking the line between darkness and light, with one foot in this world and one in the next, Torchbearers are carriers of fire, an element of both life and death. We embrace the images of our nightmares, embodying archetypes of fear, ripping through the veil with ecstatically demonic vocal release. We provide the light for the procession via giant metal torches and create an opportunity to explore character work without a major performance expectation.
Ross Atkinson and Tamara Piddock
We are the Wild Hunt. We have come forth from our home in the Blood Grounds to aid Winter in its battle against Summer. Summoned by the Winter Prince we will stalk the procession, bringing terror to all who see us, until the time to strike. No requirement or experience necessary as we will work together to bring out the Wild Hunt in each of us.
Dani Jakwerth and Eva Murzyn
The Winter Drummers are the sound of the approaching cold, the crack of ice. The echo of the changing seasons and the inevitability of death. Connected with the Cailleach and the Winter Court, we will help usher in the winter. Also we drum. We play snare, tom and bass drums. The drums are generally provided, but please bring one if you own one! We prefer group members to have experience of drumming, but you can join us if you feel you have rhythm. This is a high commitment group, and attending all practices and the weekend away is strongly encouraged.