Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

The carnivalesque and event evolution: a study of the Beltane Fire Festival

Matheson, Catherine M; Tinsley, Ross


Catherine M Matheson


This paper centres on the Beltane Fire Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. The objectives are to: first, identify the stages of the festival’s evolution and their respective characteristics; second, distinguish features corresponding to the carnivalesque; and, finally, examine the changes in event evolution, particularly regulatory interventions, and their effect. A qualitative approach comprising interviews with internal and external festival stakeholders was utilised. It is argued that there are three stages in the festival’s evolution: revival and early development; development and regulation; and, maturation. The characteristics of these evolutionary stages are identified. As the festival has developed and been subject to increasing regulation, features of the carnivalesque have been reduced.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 21, 2014
Online Publication Date Oct 20, 2014
Publication Date 2016
Deposit Date Feb 4, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jun 29, 2017
Print ISSN 0261-4367
Electronic ISSN 1466-4496
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 35
Issue 1
Pages 1-27
Keywords Carnivalesque; festival; regulation; evolution;
Public URL
Publisher URL
Contract Date Jun 29, 2017


The carnivalesque and event evolution: a study of the Beltane Fire Festival. (500 Kb)

You might also like

Downloadable Citations