San Francisco’s Bicycle Music Festival Shoots for Carbon Negative Fun – Momentum Magazine

Looking for an excuse to head to San Francisco for Summer Solstice? Why not check out the 2009 Bicycle Music Festival (BMF), the largest 100 per cent bicycle-powered music festival in the world. The free, all-day – and late into the night – event rocks out in San Francisco on the Saturday closest to the longest day of the year, which this year falls on June 20.

Festival organizers promise that the Third Annual Bicycle Music Festival will bring together outstanding local music, cruiser rides, LiveOnBike mobile performances, and a 1500-watt pedal-powered stage. Setting up and tearing down four times throughout the day to move to different locations, the mobile festival turns up in parks and plazas, where volunteers charm onlookers to join in the pedal power effort. Fans support the bands by pedalling and by throwing tips in the buckets of the “Golden Goose” mascots.

Rather than aiming to be carbon neutral, the Bicycle Music Festival claims to be the first “carbon negative” music festival in the world, a claim that reflects the powerful, inspiring, and lasting positive effect that BMF has on participants. How do they do this? According to Codirector Paul Freedman, the festival inspires regular people to pull their dusty bikes out and start replacing car trips with bike trips year round. BMF also provides volunteer-run repair stations at the event so people can address the little quirks that keep them from riding.

Turning ordinary people into bike people, the Festival aims to reduce car use, celebrate local culture, and spread the bike message throughout the year. The message has become so popular that other cities – including Los Angeles, Brooklyn, and Chico, California – now also host their own Bicycle Music Festivals.

More information on Rock The Bike’s Pedal Powered Stage is available at www.rockthebike.com/pedalpoweredstage

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• Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

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