Dear friends, while we may still be fighting Covid-19, we want you to know that we’re busy preparing for an exciting new Bealtaine 2021 and we need you to join us! Since we never got to celebrate our 25th birthday in 2020, let’s use this moment!
Without exaggeration, this year promises us more hope and a better future than we might have imagined. We’re moving into the year more resilient and stronger than ever, with new insights about our capacities for solidarity, camaraderie and community. Though we may continue to cherish our independence, we now realise our critical interdependence and choose to use this as our theme for 2021.
We’ve always relied on your collective enthusiasm, spirit and hard work in celebrating ageing through the arts. In this way, we have long thought of Bealtaine as more of a movement or way of life than a single festival. We now call on you to reinvigorate this belief in the power of the arts to renew ourselves, using new ways to celebrate. Let’s mark this particular month of May, the month that signals the arrival of Spring, with all the fun, togetherness and most of all, hope for the future that it represents in this unique year.
Take this moment to celebrate In(ter)dependence at Bealtaine 2021!
2021 follows one of the most significant years in (recent) human history. As we tentatively move towards a post-Covid-19 world, we can begin to reflect upon the devastating impact that Covid-19 has had on all human life. As we know too well, the impact on older generations has been particularly destructive, as well as overwhelmingly isolating. However, during this time, we have also learned more about our capacities for solidarity and social support.
Our evolutionary need for other people, both in terms of critical social interaction, as well as practical sustenance, has underlined our interdependence, without decreasing our ongoing need for autonomy and independence.
2021 also marks the centenary of the beginning of Ireland’s journey to becoming a free and independent sovereign state (following the signing of the Anglo Irish Treaty). In becoming Independent, Ireland asserted its moral and legitimate right to control its own affairs.
These events mark two major milestones in our lives and have a resonance for all of us as we age.
For Bealtaine 2021, therefore, we wish to consider the theme of In(ter)dependence. Bealtaine In(ter)dependence will celebrate the fortitude, endurance, as well as stoicism of older people in surviving Covid-19, as well as marking the lives of those who weren’t so lucky. It will celebrate our human interconnectedness, the delicate ecosystem that makes strong supportive societies and that again, marks our interdependence . Through the festival, we will take issues and pointers from both concepts of independence and interdependence to explore and celebrate our lives.
Age & Opportunity is always committed to providing an enjoyable and safe Bealtaine experience for everyone who attends our events. This is also true in relation to our national festival partners. This year, we encourage everyone attending Bealtaine festival events to liaise with event organisers in relation to their safety and security in light of government guidelines and restrictions around Covid-19.