‘On Your Bike’ was a series of three free outdoor events hosted by Derby LIVE in Derby Market Place, the finale of which was the Pedal Powered Party, conceived and produced by Charity Shop DJ.
The Pedal Powered Party was a large and ambitious event underpinned by the motifs of community empowerment and interdependence. These motifs were illustrated and presented through the provision of a cycle powered generator system which powered sound equipment on stage in Derby Market Place.
Charity Shop DJ produced this finale event which featured an eclectic mix of performance spread across three stages. We also managed the provision of the bike generator system, which was also used to link the two other ‘On Your Bike’ events on 18 and 25 August.
The Pedal Powered Party featured live bands, DJs, street performers and theatre groups, interspersed by members of Derby’s diverse communities who played their choice of music, mentored by Charity Shop DJ’s resident DJs.
The Main Stage hosted live bands, including Derby’s own Trinity Band and was headlined by the UK’s leading Queen Tribute band, QEII.
The Village Green was the setting for a ‘flamboyant village fete’, populated by local street performers, acoustic musicians, theatre and dance groups.
‘The Shed’, possibly the smallest venue in Derbyshire was just that – a common and garden shed which featured acoustic sessions, including a massed choir of 80 members.
a) To provide the concept and communicate the ethos of the finale event
b) To produce the finale event
c) To manage the provision of the bike generator and the community interdependence link between the three events
d) To ensure that the spirit of the Paralympics and Accessibility was reflected in the finale event
e) To manage the project’s legacy
In order to manage the provision of the bike generator system, Charity Shop DJ teamed up with Dave Clasby of Sustrans, who facilitated and delivered this essential part of the project. The generators were the literal and metaphorical link throughout and were provided by Electric Pedals - experts in the field, and featured in the BBC programme: 'Bang Goes The Theory: Human Power Station', The company also specialises in knowledge transfer and, in their own words, ‘making themselves redundant'.
On 2 and 3 June we held two workshops at Derby Silk Mill to build a four-bike generator system which was to stay permanently in Derby as the project’s legacy. Dave Clasby led on this and twenty volunteers completed the workshops which were ran by Electric Pedals.
On 3 June we tested the generator for the first time at a free party at the Silk Mill – a well attended and banging party, powered entirely by bikes.
Two mini events were also produced on the 18 and 25 Aug, which featured the four-bike generator as a sideshow to maintain the community interdependence link. Visitors to the Market Place had the opportunity of finding out about the bike generators and having a go themselves.
The Pedal Powered Party mashed up musical genres and performance styles across the site, ranging from a Queen tribute band on the Main Stage to a brass band on the Village Green.
The party vibe invited unselfconscious and good natured participation and attracted a diverse audience of different age groups and different backgrounds. The event was delivered from within Derby and Derbyshire, using the budget available to spend amongst Derby and Derbyshire artists and businesses
205 artists and performers took part across the site and its 3 stages, and around 5000 people joined in a range of activities, including bunting and medal making, hula hooping, a Shakespearean Workout, riddle sessions, and, of course, pedalling the bikes. Some pedallers were presented with medals made in the workshops. 72 people shared their musical memories by joining the World Record Holders Gallery
The Main Stage hosted the best in live bands, including Baby People’s David Gibb, bluegrass band Grassoline, Kaleidoscope Choir, Trinity Band and QE2. The Village Green was powered solely by five bikes and featured theatre, performance, a brass band and acoustic sets. It was programmed and hosted by Derby’s own ‘MisAchivement’, Antoinette Burchill. The Shed has been described as an intense experience for both performer and audience due to its close confines – and became a very real participatory experience as both sides literally came face to face with each other.
The bike generators were a literal and metaphorical motif to illustrate the interdependence between Derby’s communities, businesses and organisations.
In the months preceding the event, we launched an appeal for ‘Pedal Power’, and booked out ‘pedal time’ to Derby-based businesses, charities, and community organisations. On the day the bikes were populated by teams from Hewlett Packard (25 people), legal company Freeth Cartwright (5 people), Domino’s Pizza (5 people), the Cast Trust charity (7 people), Community Action Derby (8 people), the Derby Socialist Workers Party (5 people), Cycle Derby (20 people), and the Derby Braves American Football Team (4 people). Lisa Higginbottom Mayor of Derby also gave her pedal power. Big thanks to all of you for powering the party!
There were 25 adult bikes, 9 kids bikes, 1 wheel chair bike, 2 hand cranked bike. 5 of the adult bikes were on the Village Green. The bikes were permanently 100% occupied. ‘Walk-on’ audience members and pre-booked teams (as above) comprised the numbers. Nearly 1000 people pedalled and powered the performances of 205 artists.
We wanted to provide, as far as we were able, an environment where everyone felt comfortable and were able to participate if they wanted to.
Accessibility was fundamental to the event and underpinned its planning. Derby City Council Diversity Officer, Ann Webster and the Disability Syndicate were involved from the outset in an advisory capacity. Both Ann and the Disability Syndicate actually became performers themselves at the event, with Ann DJing at the Launch event at the Silk Mill and young people from the Disability Syndicate DJing on the 9 Sept.
Electric Pedals undertook successful feasibility studies and were able to provide 1 wheelchair bike generator and 2 hand-cranked bike generators. These were constantly in use throughout the event and energetically demonstrated by the Derby Wheelblazers wheelchair basketball team .
It was a fantastic party, and we all had a great time. And it doesn’t stop here.
The party saw the birth of the Hubbub Theatre Company, a performance group with a mixed background of abilities, led by Jen Sumner (Story Moves). They performed a piece specially commissioned for the event, with the aid of an Arts Council England ‘Grant for the Arts’ award, tangible benefits of which were drawn into the ‘On Your Bike’ project. The company also used their ‘Clown Powered Vehicle’ to convey Mayor of Derby Lisa Higginbottom and her consort, Rory Slater to unveil a new Olympic Milestone.for Derby.
The four-bike generator system has stayed in Derby and has been busy already.
The 2 and 3 June workshops were attended by twenty volunteers who will take their knowledge into their organisations/ workplace.
The Pedal Powered Party provided a comfortable space for other events to happen, including the unveiling of Derby’s Olympic Milestone, which was successfully integrated into the event’s programming, and which now stands outside Quad as a permanent reminder of a happy Olympic summer.
The Pedal Powered Party was created and powered by the energy of our partners: Derby LIVE, Antoinette Burchill, Dave Clasby (Sustrans), Colin Tonks (Electric Pedals).
We all want more – and will be looking at ways of taking these partnerships forward into new projects.
The Shed was a great hit, and we will now be looking at ways of taking it on tour to untraditional spaces as an acoustic venue. Transition, Permaculture organisations and a gardening publication have expressed an interest in backing it.
Download pdf version here
Over the weekend of 2 & 3 June, working with Dave Clasby (Sustrans), Electric Pedals, and Antoinette Burchill, a team of 20 volunteers built a four-bike generator system in Derby’s Silk Mill. This generator system is the On Your Bike cultural legacy – and is now available for schools and community groups to power their events and activities.
On 3 June, we held an experimental Pedal Powered Party at the Silk Mill to test out the capacity of the bike generator kit. We disconnected ourselves from the national grid, plugged into the bikes - and party guests pedalled hard to power a line-up of fine DJs, who gave their time voluntarily. Big thanks to:
See some images here
Another Pedal Powered Party .... Please !!
Great on all counts. Fantastic! Highly successful event.
Saw lots of acts and community groups I would not have heard of otherwise. Really enjoyed performing ourselves.
Awesome event, well done! EVERYONE I spoke to said they really enjoyed themselves and it brought out an absolutely wonderful feeling of community! :) thankyou xxx
We had a great time yesterday. My lad was on the bikes pretty much non-stop Look forward to doing it again soon!
A truly inspiring day fuelled by people and pedal power - Again again! :-)
"On behalf of QEII, a massive thank you for having and looking after us yesterday at The Pedal Powered Party. We had a great day and it was a pleasure to share a stage with such amazing talent, not forgetting the Pedalers who kept the whole day Rocking!! Keep up the good work and hopefully we'll get to work together again soon!!!"
I want to thank you for making Sunday such a wonderful experience, the atmosphere in the Market Square was unbelievable and I do not know of anyone who did not enjoy themselves. Paul Pegg, Councillor for Mackworth Ward
Was great to see so many people of all ages from different cultures all engaging and interacting to achieve a common goal! To keep the party going. Loved it!
It was a brilliant event for the city which brought people from all walks of life together.
it was a great way to bring a diverse community together to actually work together on something tangible with such clear mutual benefit
It brought Derby people and visitors together.
It showed that cycling can be sexy and fun, that we take energy for granted but that you really have to work hard to produce it.
Bought home important messages about conserving energy resources whilst giving people the opportunity at a time when times are difficult for many
The concept was so important and such a great, fun way to introduce the idea of sustainability in a practical easy way.
Fantastic fun, diverse crowd, people helping to make it work not just expecting others to do it all.
Great atmosphere. Great opportunity for us to perform. Lots of interesting acts.
being from a disability group its quite rare to be incorporated so seamless into a 'mainstream' event.
Charity Shop DJ are legends for bringing Derby together!
A blog about the Pedal Powered Party produced by Faye Warburton, a CSDJ volunteer
A blog produced by Hubbub Theatre which tracks the development and delivery of their specially commissioned performance piece
Short promo film produced by 17-year-old Derby film-maker, Joe O’Brien
A Flickr album by Derby based photographer Ken Ryan
A Flickr album by Electric Pedals
Short video by Electric Pedals
Phil Trow’s Breakfast Show on BBC Radio Derby, which featured an interview with Antoinette Burchill about the Pedal Powered Party
Facebook event page