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Monday, September 14, 2015

Oakland to Host World's Largest Pedal-Powered Concert Sunday

Posted By on Mon, Sep 14, 2015 at 10:55 AM

The Bay Area loves its bicycles, so it's fitting that this Sunday over 3,000 people will use them to generate electricity for another thing the Bay Area loves: a free, day-long music festival.

Artists often say they get their energy from the crowd's response. Well, at Bicycle Music Festival VIII performers will literally be powered by the audience. Instead of just doing a bunch of drugs in a big open field, fans will jump on a bank of stationary bikes, positioned next to the stage, that are specially designed to harness human energy. Their hard work will power the P.A. system (and provide them with front row seats).

Bicycle Music Festival VIII + Climate Rally is a community event timed to coincide with Oakland's third annual Love Our Lake Day, which starts at 11 a.m. at Lake Merritt. 

"This will be the world's largest pedal-powered concert, and we are thrilled to host it in Oakland, in conjunction with Love Our Lake Day," Paul Freedman, co-founder of Bicycle Music Festival, said in a statement.

The festival’s bike-powered equipment is provided by RockTheBike, an Oakland-based business also run by Freedman. The festival is 75 percent music and 25 percent climate rally, so there will also be poetry and speakers. RockTheBike is dedicated to developing pedal-powered activities that help everyday people experience their power to create change. 

"When the audience provides the power for the performers, there's a symbiotic relationship between them that increases the connection people feel with the music," he said. 

Organizers encourage attendees to bring a bike and join the LiveOnBike tour, which departs from Lake Merritt Amphitheater at 5 p.m.. The entire audience will be invited to pedal through the streets of Oakland to the night-time music venue at Omni Commons while Major Powers and the Lo-Fi Symphony provide a live soundtrack from an 8-foot-wide mobile stage towed by a single, strong-legged cyclist. 

Full lineup and details here.

Bicycle Music Festival VIII + Climate Rally, 12 p.m. Sunday, September 20, 2015 @ Lake Merritt Amphitheater

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About The Author

Matt Saincome

Matt Saincome

Matt Saincome is SF Weekly's former music editor.


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