This page is here for reference only as details may change for 2017’s festival.
This is the place to find information about all the performance and production groups at Samhuinn Fire Festival 2016. Some may be familiar to you, some are new for this year, but all are made up of dedicated, creative, amazing volunteers!
Organisers Tom Caine, Raymond Considine and James Armandary
Wild drum beasts.
We play Drums, specifically bass, snare, shaker, cymbal and djembe. Some drumming experience is advisable but not mandatory. Access to a drum is also a good idea.
Organisers Jackie Burrell and Louise Murray
Bucketeers will be collecting donations from the witnesses/audience members by asking them to vote on who will win – Winter or Summer?
Bucketeers explore the contrasts between Winter and Summer, and engage with the audience on the merits of each. Our group is focussed on collecting donations through audience interaction and engagement. No skills or experience are necessary. There will be group costuming sessions, crafternoon tea and games. We are accessible to all.
Organisers Julie Port, Alex Nuttgens and John Wilson
Dark Bower will be feeding the Summer Court (to the Winter Court).
The wheel has turned, and some Bowerlings come now to Samhuinn. Instead of welcoming with open hearts and sharing the bounty knowing that summer will provide, there is an anxiety as winter is coming. We must make do with what we have. When life gives you (lemon) faeries, you make (lemon) faerie cakes. We are the other side of Bower, sinister, force feeding, cannibalism, chaos entwined with nurturance, corrupt. On this night when the veil is thin, we will join the procession before setting up camp. We will manically prepare the bounty of a serendipitous cull and welcome the coming winter months with full bellies.
We’re taking a similar role to Beltane’s Bower in that we’ll be providing space, protection and sustenance, but with a much more sinister edge. We’re hoping to work with the Summer Fairies and Wild Hunt, with the Hunt providing us some of their kill, and us cooking it. If they’re up for it, we might also like to “fatten the fairies up” beforehand with little treats. The main skills we’ll need are dark clowning/comedy, crafting, costuming and potentially baking. We can teach a bit of baking and a little costuming.
Organisers Neil Rhind, Katie Craig and Electra Tzini
Faerie Porters ritually link the spaces of Beltane and Samhuinn through the medium of Dérive [Having a wander, and seeing what happens].
The Faerie Porters use the character of Fairies moving house to symbolize the continuous passage of communal celebration through time and space. On the day of Samhuinn, wandering fayries will carry the flames of old Beltane to the new lands of Samhuinn via such Events/Spaces as mountains, art galleries, pubs, civic church ceremonies, conferences etc.
The ideal Fairey is a sturdy pedestrian who revels in making props and improvising encounters with the general public [We are none of us ideal; YOUR activities must be guided by your own skills, limits and desires].
Organisers Cat Somerville and Clara Koenig
Family Samhuinn is a spooky invitation to children and their families to discover the ancient celebrations of the Celtic New Year via the medium of having loads of fun!
We are reaching out to the younger members of our community to introduce them to the spooky celebrations of the darker half of the year. Crafting, face-painting, storytelling, drama games, drumming, dancing… Those are just some of the activities we will be offering during our fairly frightening family-friendly fiesta, set to take place on Saturday 29th October at the Scottish Storytelling Centre.
If you love any excuse to dress up to spook adults and delight children, if you’re an expert at scary décor and can make our space suitably atmospheric, if you’ve always wanted to participate in Samhuinn celebrations but are a summer or two short of 18, and, most importantly, if you’re feeling enthusiastic and inspired by our project…we want to hear from you!
Organisers Lila Anne, Stuart Wedge and Alex De’Athe
Fire Ravens are a mysterious group of fire artists, conjurers, warriors and mercenaries, seeking to join forces with the victor of this battle…before the dark times come.
We will test the abilities of both sides before aligning with the strongest. In exchange for protection through the darkness, we offer our skills as masters of flame, manipulating arcs of fire to warm those who would not survive the winter without us. We spin fire; we build large combustible sculptures and torch them; we push our limits through focused character work and performance skills.
Experience with fire performance is an obvious advantage but we welcome anyone who enjoys the sound of striking matches and the intoxicating scent of paraffin. All else can be taught.
Organisers Mark Taylor and Martin McCarthy
Photopoint create a high quality photographic record of the festival, the preceding events and rehearsals, and the people involved.
Photo Point aim to help promote the Society and spread the joy of Samhuinn through our work. We hold photography workshops specifically aimed at preparing our members for photographing the Samhuinn festival. We photograph preparations leading up to the festival as well as the festival itself. We accept all skill levels and can teach the necessary skills. Group members will require their own photography equipment. DSLRs or good mirrorless cameras will be essential. An external flash will be extraordinarily useful.
Organisers Veronica Doyle (AKA Panda), William Ferguson and Simon Brain
Reds are trickster creatures that use acrobatics, non-verbal communication, and improvised physical expression as a means to narrate the unpredictable nature that change, continuity, and identity play in sustaining life and vitality.
Reds embody aspects of the trickster archetype. We play with unpredictability and provocation to challenge preconceived ideas. We defy social norms in exchange for an authentic experience of being-in-the-world, by whatever means necessary. Our group focuses heavily on physical training in acrobatics. Reds will use the body as a means to ground oneself through meditative practices, and we will be creating costumes and crafting tools to reflect the characters that we will develop.
We would prefer members to have some experience doing acrobatics, though this is by no means a requirement as we will be learning from eachother in a safe space. It would be normally required that you have the ability to commit to physical training regularly, however we encourage you to come and speak to us if you have concerns regarding ability.
Organiser James Lyddall
Stewards are Samhuinn’s guardians, the friendly human face of the festival.
We work with the production crew, emergency services and the performance 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.
Organisers Nathan Kelso and Hannah McIlhinney
Summer’s Fayte are the last, lingering summer fae – dancing, singing and making merry until the cruel winter cuts us down.
Fate, fête, fairy, fae~
The summer fae have been enjoying the long, warm(ish) summer, feasting, drinking, dancing, and celebrating life. Whilst we are aware that winter is on the horizon, we are not going to let it ruin our party. That we will die is inevitable, that we should enjoy every minute until then is our endeavour. We are going to play, laugh and dance; getting ever more frantic as the time of our demise approaches. We are going to party until we die and we will die fighting. We are not easy prey.
We will be using some simple dances, performance, games, and audience interaction to help provide a summer aspect to the festival. You do not need to have any prior experience – all of our activities are aimed at a beginner level. You do need to be able to move around freely, up for giving things a go and enjoy a bit of silliness.
Organisers Helen Bradburn, Greig Douglas and Jonny Crombie
The stage crew of Samhuinn.
In the run up to Samhuinn we build fire sculptures and prepare everything to be taken to festival venue. On the day, we build stages, fire sculptures, and decoration as well as setting up the fencing, crowd barriers and lighting. During the event, as well as looking after the safety of our audience and performers, we light the fire sculptures and fire the pyrotechnics. At the end of the event we take it all down again.
Organisers Dulcea Wind and Brad McArthur
Torchbearers are the guardians of the sacred fire, lighting the procession and all around us on the night.
We extinguish the old fire, lighting the new fire for the winter to come and carry that fire in the procession. We are split into Summer & Winter torchbearers, symbolising the elements of Earth and Fire, and Air and Water respectively. Our main activities are making torchballs and costumes, and learning how to walk with fire so that we can safely let everybody enjoy the fire on the night.
We will have a costuming session where experience is beneficial but we will be aiding those without experience. We will also be offering to help members who are more unsure or feel unsafe with fire get more comfortable handling it. We do ask that members are able to stand and walk for several hours for the festival or know their limits and inform us of this.
Organisers Tamara Piddock and Marie Murphy
The Wild Hunt is a close group of creatures becoming a force of death, twisted by darkness.
We are the embodiment of Death, we are the absence of light, warmth and life. They take joy in the thrill of the chase, working together as a pack to hunt down their prey. The Wild Hunt are not part of this realm but cross over when summoned. Once summoned they cannot be controlled or banished until their bloodlust has been met by killing or converting prey of their choosing.
There will be a lot of audience interaction as the group plans to be moving around as much as possible. Also we will have a performance/interaction with the Kings, Summer’s Fayte and Dark Bower. No specific skills are required for The Wild Hunt, just enthusiasm for creating a character and embodying that character fully. We will provide workshops for performance and help with costume ideas.
Organisers Anna Meulepas and Lewis Hartley
The Winter Drummers will, by means of the relentless pounding of their drums and their strength of heart and mind, make way for winter in all its glory.
We have risen to announce the coming of a new season, forceful and unstoppable in its nature. The rhythms the asylum (the official collective word for ‘drummers’) will bring forth, will ensure Winter is warmly welcomed.
We focus on rhythms produced by skilful, mindful and whole-hearted drumming. We will move and breathe according to our sound – our hearts will pound to our furious battle drums. Our minds are focused, our bodies determined – for our cause, we shall rise. First and foremost are will and desire. The openness to new experiences and an eagerness to learn are central requirements, and the ability to drum will spring forth from that. A feel for rhythm is desired, previously acquired drumming skills are joyfully celebrated, but by no means a fully determining element.