Join hundreds of performers and thousands of revellers as they come together on Calton Hill to celebrate the death of winter and the birth of summer by casting off the darkness and celebrating the light on one of the most magical nights of the year.
A modern interpretation of the ancient fertility festival, the Beltane is the only festival of its kind in the world. Pulsating drums are the heartbeat of this fully immersive, investigative theatre, in a dramatic outdoor setting and with no physical curtains or barriers. Come face-to-face with the colourful characters as they make their way around the hill, or step back and marvel at the scale of a production brought together in only two months by around 300 dedicated volunteers.
There is no single central point where everything is performed, rather there are multiple points of focus spread around the public parkland on Calton Hill, with views across the night-time cityscape of Edinburgh and the Firth of Forth. A large part of the story follows the procession of the May Queen, representing summer, around the hill, but there are also counter-performances of fire dancing and Celtic characters dotted all over the hill to ensure everyone has chance to see and be involved. As the procession’s presence awakens one group of characters after another, each plays a part throughout the evening, bringing the hill to life, mirroring the earth’s awakening from winter to spring.