Bike generators at events

Since 2009 we have provided pedal power systems as an environmentally friendly power source for events. After some initial experimentation we built a sound and power system which worked so well we were able to hold our own in an industry which is traditionally heavily reliant on fossil fuels. See more about our history here

Working since 2009 in festival arenas alongside some big fossil fuel guzzlers we have proven and improved the technology again and again. Our system now works better than ever with up to eight, high power adult bike generators and 2 kids bikes powering a system suitable for up to 600 people! (or even more!)
Expand the sections below the image to find out why else it’s so great!

Pedal power is renewable, uses no fossil fuels and requires no large battery system with a high embodied energy. The food people eat will effect environmental impact but most people in the UK eat far more than the need to anyway! The only emissions come from transportation which would be required for any event regardless of the power supply.
Pedal power is the ultimate backup power supply. The only resource required is an audience. A small audience requires less volume from the PA system. A large audience provides more abundant power with a better pedaling to audience ratio.
Peddling on the bikes is actually more fun than you might imagine. Many people will attest to not “getting enough exercise” and bike generators are a great way to get back on a bike after a hiatus. We have even had people become avid cycling enthusiasts after trying cycling for the first time at our events. Exercise improves peoples mood and can even save your life! When you compare this with a traditional diesel generator which spews fumes out all day long into the very air we breath it’s clear that pedal power is the healthy choice!
Because we don’t use huge batteries our systems are much lighter than most comparable renewable energy systems. This means we can travel using less fuel and can actually carry the entire system by hand beyond road and vehicle access! Meaning more flexibility and choices for you!
We need some people to pedal almost all the time in order to keep the system powered up . There is a power meter to show how much power there is in the Ultracapacitor. So the audience understands that they are a vital part of the performance! We like to have the bikes in a prominent position and regularly get on the mic to thank the cyclists by encouraging the other audience members to show their appreciation. We have been doing this for a long time so we know how to involve people unobtrusively using the microphone and our power level meter.
The cyclists on the bike generators are working together towards a shared goal. There is always a good sense of comradery on the bikes. It’s a great place to chat with other people who you might not otherwise have met.
Battery technology is the weak link in renewable energy. Our pedal power systems don’t use batteries at all. Instead we use Ultracapacitors which are more efficient and last for millions of charge cycles!

The idea is that people are always pedaling on the bikes and directly powering the music. The small (1Ah) Capacitor we use instead of a battery is only a buffer to smooth out the power levels. We offer a comparatively lightweight and easily transportable system which opens up a lot of opportunities for doing events in hard to reach areas and further reduces our environmental impact from travel.

Our bike generators are open to the public to use. We have a special bright voltage meter which makes it clear to the audience how much power we have.

At a festival we would adjust the volume of the PA to balance the system’s power consumption with the incoming power from the bikes. We need at least one person on the bikes at all times. When more people are pedaling the engineer can increase the volume, Only small adjustments are generally necessary and such adjustments are hard to notice when done slowly.

Our engineers are experienced professionals who are enthusiastic about all kinds of music. When doing a band stage we normally bring a 4 way monitor setup, 16 channel mixing desk, and an assorted box of top quality microphones. All our kit it top notch (BSS, Allen and heath, etc). Our crew members have strong legs and can get the system going and keep it going for quite a while as the party warms up.

Here are some pictures of Eden festival where we use pedal power to power the sound system all weekend!

Kids love the bikes at school or at events. They actually even produce a useable amount of power and we have been known to power small to medium stages for hours off young person power! Sometimes we have to save a bike for adults when the bands get livelier and after a certain point later in the evening we make the bikes adult only. Regularly running late into the early hours!

Since its so important that the show goes on we have recently developed a solar generator system and have found it works with the bikes brilliantly.