Support Us

We are, more than anything, a community. Beltane Fire Society was set up to help manage Edinburgh’s two fire festivals, which bring hundreds of volunteers together to put on each year. Beltane Fire Festival and Samhuinn Fire Festival are both labours of love, created and performed through the sheer hard work and dedication of our members and only three paid contractors.

But putting on a fire festival on the scale that we do takes a lot of careful planning, and no matter how thrifty our volunteers are it doesn’t come cheap. We need to pay for the stuff that you see – the face paint, the costumes, the fuel to light our fires – and also the less obvious (but equally essential) things like a Public Entertainment Licence, Section 89 permit (permission to erect a raised structure), and SIA-licensed security.

How you can support Beltane

Donate with Paypal

As a charity that currently receives no external funding other than what we generate ourselves, we greatly appreciate anything that people can spare to ensure we can keep the great quality of our festivals and involvement with the public going. If you would like to make a one-off or monthly donation to the society via Paypal, please click on the following link.

Donate while Shopping Online

Beltane Fire Society has recently acquired an account with Easyfundraising, an online platform that donates to your chosen cause each time you are shopping online. There is a wide selection of online retailers that have promised to donate some of their profits from purchases you make with them to your chosen charity and the best part is that it doesn’t cost you anything extra from what you were already purchasing! They have a reminder add-on for your web browser as well as an app for your mobile so you can shop wherever! So what are you waiting for, get shopping online today with easyfundraising at

What would my support pay for?

Some of the things that your contribution pays for include:

Public Entertainment Licence, Section 89 permit (permission to erect a raised structure), SIA-licensed security, the use of Calton Hill and associated staff costs, van hire, stage hire, PA hire, toilets (oh so many toilets!), a portable cabin as a box office, additional crew to assist with the de-rig, 2-way radios, hydraulic lifts, body paint (as much as a small shop buys in a year, apparently), fencing, lighting, generators, web hosting, email hosting, office rent, paraffin, storage space, fire rope, diesel for the van, ticketing staff, poster and flyer printing and distribution, clean up of the Hill, and in other years we have or may have to pay for Police and road closures.

We also pay for four essential part-time contractors to look after it all. We have a Festival Co-ordinator, who spends his time doing lots of paperwork and keeping us all organized, a Press and Communications Co-ordinator, who makes sure that you all hear about our festivals in time to buy your tickets,  a Production and Site Coordinator, our designated sensible person who keeps our events risk-free, and A Front of House Coordinator, who makes themselves busy working to improve the ticket buyer experience.

We also pay a small fee to an ‘Artist in Residence’, selected annually, who designs the posters and artwork for our festivals.

How else does Beltane Fire Society fund itself?

Beltane Fire Society is a registered charity and tickets sold at our festivals are pretty much our only source of income. We do a couple of busks every year (one before Beltane and one before Samhuinn), we get the odd donation through the website, and occasionally apply for funding/trust funds to make particular projects happen. We don’t receive money from the council (in fact, we pay some departments quite a bit of cash for various elements), or any external funders.

Our Fundraising Guarantee to you

Fundraising is the life blood of many Scottish charities and we need to raise funds from voluntary sources. We could not fulfil our charitable mission without the support of generous, thoughtful and committed donors. We value the support of donors and understand the need to balance our duties to beneficiaries, with our duties to donors. That’s why we make this commitment to you. We will comply with the law as it applies to charities and fundraising and we commit that we will guarantee to adhere to best practice as outlined in the Fundraising Code of Practice. We will monitor fundraisers, volunteers and third parties working with us to raise funds, ensuring that they also comply with this Code of Practice.

We guarantee to operate in line with the values of the Code; to be Legal, Open, Honest and Respectful in all our fundraising. To promote and underpin these values, we commit to the following standards:

  • We will be clear about who we are and what we do
  • We will give a clear explanation of how you can make a gift and change or stop a regular donation
  • If you do not want to give or wish to cease giving, we will respect your decision
  • We will respect your rights and privacy
  • We have a procedure for dealing with people in vulnerable circumstances and it will be published on our website or will otherwise be available on request
  • We will hold your data securely
  • We will communicate with you in accordance with your selected preferences.

If you feel we have not adhered to these standards, or think we could do better please contact Erin Macdonald, Chair of the Board on chair[at]beltane[dot]org and we will deal with your complaint quickly and thoroughly. We commit to ensuring our complaints process is clear and easily accessible and we will provide clear and evidence based reasons for our decisions on complaints. However, should you be dissatisfied with our response, you will be able to take this further by contacting the Scottish Fundraising Standards Panel: