Samhuinn 2015 is over and updated information will be posted in time for next year’s festival.
Andrew Bell and Dulcea Wind
We are the messengers of the gods, showing the hardship of the coming Winter. As a group, we will be making wonderfully colourful and scary bird costumes, but don’t worry if you’ve never picked up a needle and thread before, we will help you wing it! We’ll also be running workshops on movement, character, and rhythm.
Tom Caine and Raymond Considine
The Beasties represent the dying light of summer, the final embers of a fire that’s been burning since May, dancing and gyrating in the thermals we eventually give up our energy to the darkness but make sure we are as beautiful as possible in our dying light. We currently have a sizeable pool of drummers but we will
be encouraging new drummers to come forward too.
Bucketeers are the happy, shiny, colourful people whom on the night get to interact with the crowd and collect the donations from the audience that help fund this wonderful festival. We are a very low commitment group, no prior experience is required, the most we ask from you is that you make a walkthrough, the busk and be there on the night! Anything more than that is down to you. Bucketeers is a good group if its your first time round and don’t necessarily know what you want out of your experience quite yet or if you have been involved before but don’t have the time for various meetings this time round. So whether you are an old hand or just beginning, Bucketeers would love to hear from you!
Call of the Winter Moon
This the call horn of Winter. Where the herald of Beltane was green and full of spring life and a promise of warmer days, the call horn of Winter is the promise of cold
dark days and barren trees and hard frozen ground. It is the will of the Cailleach that we sound the call of Summer’s death, the horn that summons the wild hunt and dark days.
Cat Somerville and Tiger Strode
Inspired by the fabled cat fairy creatures of Sutherland, and also taking inspiration from the group leaders names, Cat and Tiger, Catsi aims to be a jester flavoured band of witches and fairies, also welcoming other Samhuinn characters belonging to world traditions of the time of year when the veil is thin. Performers will offer both tricks and treats, playing with both the light and the dark of their carefully crafted characters to intrigue and delight the merry throngs of folk braving the night! The group will devise their own mischievous traits, create imaginative costume and props and concoct their own special brand of mayhem, drawing from stories and lore, images and dreams. Finally,Catsi will darken further and working with our collective demons will create a ritual stage peice, we will invite witnesses to the night to purge their negative energies and welcome the dark half of the year renewed.
Becky Salter, Hannah McIlhinney and Kat Kane
The Faces will explore the multifaceted nature of life phases (young, adult, elderly) and celebrate each of them. Recognising and demonstrating the ever moving cycles within each of us, mortal or immortal, men and women(and all in-between) gods and goddesses. The Faces will carry with them a ritual item of an orb or wheel to represent our stories as individuals, a community and those of the witnesses/audience, as well as representing the turning of the year.
Ideally we are looking for three people to portray the masculine stages (son, father and sage). We would prefer people with past performance experience but we are open to those who haven’t. Some of the skills we can offer include character development, costume, crafting props and building a ritual performance.
The Faerie Porters
Neil Rhind and Nick Toth
The Faerie Porters will connect Beltane and Samhuinn by physically moving the baggage of the Court from Calton Hill to the Samhuinn stage, visiting significant locations and engaging with members of the public on the way in the character of Faery furniture movers. Ritually-charged LARPing! As Faeries!
Robin Crane and Stephen Yu
No Point is an Xtreme sport.
Sally* hit Mary* with poi, over and over again.
One of our members is not real. Is it you?
Each week, we eliminate one member from the group until one remains, who will make Creme Brûlée for me.
The No is what cats would lick if cats could lick mice who didn’t know they were mice.
*names have been changed to protect those involved.
Laura Wallace and Raini Scott
Photopoint are the official photographers for Beltane Fire Society and will be strategically located to best capture this year’s event. Ideally Photopoint are looking for experienced photographers/videographers, preferably with their own SLR equipment. However, if you are an enthusiastic beginner with a passion for photography they will happily help you on your journey.
Raffe O’Rorke and Jane Mann
Reds are creatures of the moment throughout the summer. With the turning of the seasons they grow old and have to learn new ways of being awesome before returning to the earth for the Winter months.
Stewards will provide a safe environment for performers and audience members by holding performance spaces and giving immediate assistance in the event of injuries or Too Much Fire™. We will liaise with Police, Security, First Aid, Production, Blues, and other Group Organisers to help plan a safe festival for all. We will learn about this year’s performance groups and tell witnesses about what they are part of to increase their involvement and enjoyment.
Stewards are not performers. We will engage with the public as people of this world and not as supernatural creatures. Stewarding is a great first step into BFS and we will help new members make the most of their experience.
Helen Bradburn, Greig Douglas and Jonny Crombie
Pots of fire! Burning sculptures! Epic stages! Tubs of flapjacks!
Tech are the stage crew behind the magic of Samhuinn. We are the fire proof suited, soot stained, frazzled looking folks who put it all together on the night. We build the stages, make the sculptures, soak the rope, prep the fuel, put out the fires and afterwards, pack it all away again.
And all this powered by nothing more than tea and biscuits.
Marie Murphy and Peter Jackson
Torchbearers provide the light for the festival. In previous years Torchies have always been neutral; not aligned with either Summer or Winter. However this year, you need to choose a side! Light or dark, Summer or Winter, fire or ice!
Summer will be the traditional torchies and will carry fire (FIRE ON A STICK!). With the lighting of the Neid fire the Fire Torchies awaken with a massive roar. The demonic Fire Torchies represent the rage and anger that the Summer is dying and coming to an end. They are passion, red anger and full of hate for the coming Winter.
Winter are a bit different and will carry an ice staff. Ice Torchies will require costuming (as little or as much as you like, and people are on hand to help!). Their birth is much more subdued, they know that they are coming to put an end to Summer. With their raising, they light the way for Winter to take over, to destroy summer and bring an end to the fire. They are the bringers of Summer’s death. Their ethereal presence a reminder that on Samhuinn night, the dead do walk, and Winter is coming (PS. not Game of Thrones inspired, but if you really want to be a white walker, this is the place to do it!).
Dani Jakwerth, Nate Kelso and Lizzie Farnham
The White Hunt will run this Samhuinn night, preparing the land for the oncoming winter, balancing compassion and destruction.
We want to spend the next few months shedding all that is not needed before the hard winter months.
We want to challenge ourselves physically and mentally.
We want to run in the fields and the wilds, feeling our pack beside us.
We want our voices to be heard as we call long and loud into the cold winter nights.
We want to learn where to heal and where to let go, to lay things to rest.
We want to do this with you.
Run with us.
We are a performance group open to all. Our practices, including some of our character work, will be physical in nature – including movement workshops and strength / body work. As well as that we will spend time learning about nature, healing, lore and legends with a strong Celtic flavour. Our meetings will have an emphasis on personal growth and group connections.
Andy Walker, Alex De’Athe and Robyn Galliers
The Winter Drummers are the heralds and field drummers of Winter, keeping its armies on the march, warning all those ahead of what is to come. Our music expresses the many moods of Winter, from the running of the wolves to the grinding inevitable advance of the glaciers, from the mad malevolence of the dark shadows to the sorrowful ebb of the world after a Summer of flow.
No drumming or musical experience is required, although you’ll need a decent sense of rhythm and a solid commitment to learning, potentially including self study outside rehearsal times. We’re planning to do some drumming exercises as part of the group, so regardless of skill, you should leave a better drummer than when you started.
Andrew McSweeney, Esje Stapleton and Nathan Goodfriend
Light and heat are what make Summer. At Beltane, Fire Point gave the gift of fire, its heat and its light, to the May Queen and the Green Man to help facilitate the change of the seasons. This Samhuinn, we are seeing that gift as a loan and are coming to collect.
Our performance will focus around the action of reclaiming the heat and light of Summer and essentializing it into its element of fire, back into the hearth, leaving behind the cold and dark of Winter in its absence.
This will involve creating characters using puppets and costume, as well as fire toys for our stage performance, where we finally extinguish the last of the fire. We will also have interactions with Winter Drummers and White Hunt.
Following a very successful Family Beltane, Family Samhuinn aims to allow families to celebrate the wheel of the seasons and the festivals together. We will be inviting parents and children, grandparents and family friends to take part in Samhuinn themed arts and crafts, including mask making, drumming and dance, face painting and storytelling as well as drama workshops on stories from Samhuinn traditions from all over the world. The space will include incredible decor and together particpants will ceate a magical enviroment perfect for enjoying a memorable and atmospheric journey to winter.