Beltane Online Fire Festival (BOnFire) announced to celebrate the Celtic holiday from home
- Megan Forsyth
- 6 April 2020
Organised by the team behind the cancelled Beltane Fire Festival, the new online festival will be held on Thu 30 Apr
Beltane Fire Society has announced an ambitious new project, Beltane Online Fire Festival (BOnFire), in place of this year's cancelled Beltane Fire Festival.
BOnFire will be held on Beltane night, Thu 30 Apr, and will be broadcast across all of Beltane Fire Society's digital platforms at the same time from 7pm–10.30pm. Content that highlights themes from the Celtic holiday will be available to view on Beltane Fire Society's website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and SoundCloud pages.
Volunteers who typically lead Edinburgh's world-famous fire festival have been encouraged to submit ideas for BOnFire to help tell the Beltane story online through video, art, photography, poetry and song. These pieces will be shared as part of a series of chapters, which will each be similar to various parts of the festival's traditional journey around Calton Hill.
Beltane Fire Society is a charity that organises the spring Beltane Fire Festival and fall Samhuinn Fire Festival in Edinburgh every year. This year's Beltane Fire Festival, which was meant to take place atop Calton Hill on Thu 30 Apr with an anticipated audience of 8,000, was cancelled on 17 Mar due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This is only the second time the festival has been cancelled in its 32 year history.
Brad Mcarthur, chair of Beltane Fire Society's board, said: 'Although it was a disappointing decision to cancel our physical Beltane Fire Festival due to the current pandemic affecting the world, it is thanks to the resilience shown by our volunteer community in wishing to still mark the changing of the seasons that we are taking this new approach to celebrating Beltane! We hope this approach brings our creativity and joy to people's homes all around the world who still wish to celebrate Beltane. Although it is not our traditional format, we feel people will still be able to get that traditional Beltane Fire Festival feeling from what we have planned for the day.'
Tickets are not required for BOnFire, however participants have the option to purchase a 'pay what you can' ticket as a donation to the festival. Beltane Fire Society's main source of income typically comes from ticket sales; all donations for BOnFire will go towards funding the society's next in-person festival, once it is deemed safe to hold large events according to government advice. 10% of all donations raised by BOnFire, up to a total of £1,000, will also be given to environmental causes as part of a commitment made by the festival last year.
Donations can be made on Citizen Ticket's website, where a suggested gift of £5.50 has been set, but the price can be amended to what participants feel they can afford to donate.
Beltane Fire Society hopes that BOnFire and the opportunity to come together to mark the ancient Celtic holiday remotely will still help to create a sense of community for people celebrating Beltane in Edinburgh and around the world.
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