4 Bicycle-Powered Festivals

Events pow­ered by bicy­cle gen­er­a­tors are becom­ing more and more fre­quent. Audi­ences, busi­ness­es and artists con­tin­ue to throw their sup­port behind green­er ener­gy sources, embrac­ing machines such as these. Per­haps you’ve seen groups of peo­ple ped­dling sta­tion­ary bikes equipped with motors beside stages recent­ly. The ampli­fiers, lights and micro­phones are all basi­cal­ly work­ing off the sweat of these rid­ers. If inter­est­ed in sup­port­ing the cause, here are some fes­ti­vals they may be pow­er­ing near you.

San Francisco Bicycle Music FestivalSan Fran­cis­co Bicy­cle Music Fes­ti­val
Behold the largest bicy­cle-pow­ered music fes­ti­val in the world! Since 2007, orga­niz­ers and sup­port­ers of the fes­ti­val have demon­strat­ed that bicy­cling is a legit­i­mate and rea­son­able sub­sti­tute for many of our fos­sil fuel uses. Rather than rely­ing on gas depen­dent vehi­cles to trans­port equip­ment, musi­cians and their gear are tugged on trail­ers behind bikes from venue to venue. Groups of rid­ers cir­cle the streets of San Fran­cis­co blow­ing clar­inets, whis­tles and singing. The ped­al-pow­ered PA sys­tem con­struct­ed by Rock the Bike shows the ener­gy humans are capa­ble of gen­er­at­ing if effec­tive­ly orga­nized. Fur­ther­more, since the equip­ment depends on audi­ences for pow­er, a more par­tic­i­pa­to­ry envi­ron­ment emerges between per­form­ers and crowds.

Toronto Bicycle Music FestivalToron­to Bicy­cle Music Fes­ti­val
Inspired by San Francisco’s all bike fes­ti­val, Toron­to began host­ing its own ver­sion in 2010. Bands and crowds ride from three dif­fer­ent venues in the city play­ing music, host­ing pup­pet shows and ring­ing bells. Expect all elec­tric instru­ments to be bike-pow­ered as well as the smooth­ie machines dur­ing this free, fam­i­ly friend­ly fes­ti­val hap­pen­ing Sep­tem­ber 7, 2013.

With cyclists doing stunts and bike rodeos, the like­li­hood that peo­ple of all ages will be enter­tained at Ped­alfest is pret­ty like­ly. It takes place in Oak­land, Cal­i­for­nia dur­ing July when the heat real­ly caus­es some thirst issues. Thank­ful­ly, orga­niz­ers have bike pow­ered blenders to rem­e­dy such prob­lems — turn­ing fruit into shakes and smooth­ies. Rock the Bike, which also does sound for Bicy­cle Music Fes­ti­val, pro­vides Ped­alfest with elec­tric­i­ty gen­er­at­ing cycles for the music it hosts.

Chico Bicycle Music FestivalChico Bicy­cle Music Fes­ti­val
This fes­ti­val has been pro­mot­ing the bicy­cle as an alter­na­tive mode of trans­porta­tion and ener­gy since 2007. On the first Sat­ur­day of June, the res­i­dents of Chico, Cal­i­for­nia wel­come vis­i­tors who have gath­ered to ped­al and strum from morn­ing till night. The sounds of ban­jos, tin drums and the whir of bicy­cle tires fill venues result­ing in dance fever. But if danc­ing isn’t your thing, hop on a bike gen­er­a­tor and cre­ate some pow­er for those amps!