Instruments powered by bicycle generators, gear hauled by bike trailers. For one day, the Seattle Bicycle Music Festival will tour Seattle’s parks, featuring local artists playing music literally powered by people.
“I love music and I love bikes, and I didn’t want to see the whole thing die,” said Sylvia Janecek, one of the SBMF planners. She took the project over in late spring to make sure the festival continues after last year’s inaugural event. I met the planning team at the home of Miriam Halsey, one of the planners, who was hosting a Star Trek: The Next Generation party. They explained the work ahead of them while eating pieces of a homemade pizza that they decided was either in the shape of the Enterprise or the Wu-Tang symbol. Either way is cool, they said.
The rough, unofficial tour path for the festival will start in Ballard, then go to Westlake and Pratt Park before concluding at Cal Anderson. The PA and amplifiers will be provided by the festival and will be hooked up to five or six bicycle-powered generators. Volunteers from the crowd will ride the bikes, and if past bike-powered events are any clue, there will be far more people who want to ride than bikes.
Last year’s festival was put on by the Ginger Ninjas from San Francisco using their equipment. The idea of that tour was to inspire each city to start its own bicycle music festival, and that’s what this group intends to do. So that means they are starting from scratch and need to acquire the bicycle generator system needed to power the whole thing. They also want the power system to be easy to use so they can lend it out to other groups through out the year.
The date is set for September 11. Janecek assured me that they did not pick the day for any political reasons, but that it was simply the Saturday after Labor Day. They have already held one fundraiser for the festival: The Rawk-n-Roll Alleycat race in June.
But they still need more to pay for the generators and other festival costs. If you want to help out by helping plan and raise money, working the day of the event and week leading up to it, engineering equipment or if you have a band that wants to play, email firstname.lastname@example.org or hit them up on facebook.
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