Council Issues Public Entertainment License to Pagan Beltane Fire Festival; Limits Attendees

February 19, 2004

Source: The Scotsman

On February 19, 2004 The Scotsman reported, "The Beltane Fire Festival, which heralds the arrival of spring with spectacular traditional dancing, is to return to Edinburgh after organisers struck a deal with the council to lease Calton Hill for a night. The agreement, which puts the boisterous all-night event on a formal footing for the first time, will mean revellers from around the world being charged between £2 and £4 to go on to the hill to watch the celebrations. Last year’s event was cancelled for the first time in its 15-year history after council officials insisted the Beltane Fire Society needed a public entertainment licence. It is understood councillors wanted the celebration to 'grow up' and become more professional following complaints about excessive drinking, noise and risks to public safety. The number of people attending the event, which has attracted crowds of 15,000 in the past, will be limited to 12,000 as part of the new arrangement."