—————European Tour Postponed to 2010!—————-
The Pleasant Revolution Team Plans Deep Green European Tour
The band that biked to Mexico now plans 10 bicycle-based music festivals in European cities this summer. In addition to the Ginger Ninjas, the Pleasant Revolution will travel with four additional acts, all biking from city to city. Local groups will be partnered with to do most of the organizing for the individual festivals, including “hiring” the remainder of the bands. The Revolution will provide roughly 40% of the acts for the bill in each city, the human powered sound system, a web site template, and promo materials and/or templates.
In 2007, the Ginger Ninjas became the first band in the history of rock and roll to tour by bicycle unsupported by automobile. On a 5000 mile odyssey
to the pyramids of southern Mexico, they promoted transportation cycling while also exploring the frontiers of pedal-generated electricity, using their own bikes to power a hyper-efficient sound system. Originally conceived as a one-time adventure/statement/experiment, the band got addicted, and is now in the midst of a world tour while planning an extended stay—and new take on the adventure—in Europe.
Bicycle Music Festivals
June 21, 2008 marked the second annual Bicycle Music Festival: the next evolution of the world’s only 100% bicycle-based festival. With 30 volunteers, 15 bands, 7 festival stops, no prices, no permits, Critical Mass-style bicycle party caravans between the festival stops, a 1200 Watt pedal-powered P/A system, and zero use of cars and trucks, San Francisco’s Bicycle Music Festival
may be the greenest music festival ever conceived. It differs from a conventional festival in that it has several venues throughout the city and as the day progresses the bands and crews and fans bike from one venue to the next, creating a rolling cruiser ride/critical mass/music festival hybrid. And of course the sound is all human powered.
We are looking at a biking route (and potentially some rail) that roughly will/may include these cities, from approximately June 1 to Oct 31 2009:
Paris, London, Belgium, The Hague, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Malmo, Berlin, Vienna, Budapest, Zurich, Geneva, Marseille, Barcelona, Madrid, Porto, Paris
Looking for Traveling Crew and City Volunteers
If you live in one of these cities and would like to help put on a local bicycle music festival this summer (or would like to suggest/coordinate another city) please contact us. Include in your correspondence: where you live, skills and relevant experience (such as festival production, connections to the local music or bike scene, activism/organizing, web, design, local bike route knowledge, etc), and a rough estimate of time you´d consider committing.
We will also be looking to recruit some Europeans to our traveling crew, possibly including:
a band or solo musical act
one or more bicycle mechanics
human power system engineer
Interested bike headz should send a resume, cover letter, and audio samples (for musical acts) to firstname.lastname@example.org
. These positions may be paid, depending on tour funding.
Other ways to help
Please send suggestions of festivals, venues, funding sources, lodging hosts, meals hosts, bike routes to: <em>email@example.com
Prospective Bands and Artists
The traveling caravan of invited musicians is round and diverse, deep with world class talent both known and unknown: the California folk/funk/activist masters Clan Dyken; to folk goddess Diane Patterson; the twisted delightful Leprecacious provocateur Obo Martin; the enchanting forest spirit Somer Moon; the original bike rapper Fossil Fool; and the Congolese world/hip-hop/folk/ballet master, Borrina Mapaka.
Clan Dyken, Diane Patterson, Fossil Fool, Obo Martin, Borrina Mapaka
As a truly street level event, the organizers will rely on broad networks of like-minded bicycle advocates and grassroots musicians to promote the events. This has worked spectacularly in San Francisco. General media interest in the Pleasant Revolution has been high so far, and more is expected with its landfall in Europe.
Education Activism and Outreach
Members of the Bicycle Music Festival, Kipchoge Spencer, Lauren Larken, and Clark Clark, are seeking opportunities to facilitate skill shares and workshops in each city that we visit and are available for private events, panels and conferences and can speak on topics ranging from: the 2000 watt super efficient bicycle powered sound machine, d.i.y. bike safety solutions, culture jamming, and public art making. They have spoken and presented at: Barnard University, USC, City University of New York, The New School, Brown University, the Oregon Country Fair, Haas School of Business, and Webster. For inquiries contact: Larken at LaurenLarken@gmail.com
Impact on Cycling
Transportation cycling and the idea of the “bicycle lifestyle” were included in the tour press release, promoted by the principals and featured in nearly every media placement. One of the primary aims of the tour was/is to show people around the world that (a) it IS possible to carry most everything you need on your bike for short or even long distances, and (b) that doing so is “cool” and to be encouraged and celebrated, not just something you do because you can’t afford the alternative, but because you choose to.
Unlike conventional bicycle tourists, who ostensibly show that wealthy people do ride bikes, too, and that you can carry stuff on bikes, the Pleasant Revolution tours show “wealthy” people working and living by bicycle, not just traveling. And more importantly, the association with music and American rock-and-roll shows bicycles in a light that is unknown in most of the world—as symbols of pride and freedom, similar to their heavier 4-wheeled counterparts.
Bicycle Powered Electricity
The Ginger Ninjas’ mobile human-power stage
is the first of its kind in history. Coupling super efficient digital amplifiers, lightweight components, and generators attached to working bicycles (as opposed to purpose-built stationary bikes), and drawing from the pioneering work of Rock the Bike
and Shake Your Peace!
, the system allows a band to play off-grid anywhere, wall outlet or no, and to also carry the system to a gig on the same bicycles (Xtracycle
sport utility bicycles, a company started by Spencer). This enables a new kind of completely self-sufficient bicycle touring, sans automobile support. On the band’s most recent tour, the system and touring style enabled them to avoid generating close to 60,000 pounds of CO2, or 95% of what a similar sized band creates in a similar tour.“One of the best concerts of my life.” - Arturo Garcia, Meretrices Literary Review
“With each number the crowd got louder, larger and more appreciative. Between songs, a man wearing riding chaps and a Stetson came up and said that he never liked American rock music—until now. For the rest of the set people were practically fighting each other for the opportunity to pedal-power the band.” – Stanford Magazine article