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Director Steve Larkin talks about pedal powered workshops:

See WORKSHOP page for more details

Cyc du Soleil at Wood Festival - the UK’s greenest!

Cyc du Soleil has been producing pedal powered and solar powered events and workshops for a number of years and is now formalising as a Community Interest Company with the following aims:

  1. To promote long-term change in the entertainments/arts sectors by demonstrating practical alternatives to fossil-fueled transport and energy use,

  2. To use solar and cycle powered technology as a fun, interactive tool for arts/entertainment and for environmental education,

  3. To provide a platform for creative responses to climate change and other social justice issues, in order to raise public awareness and promote public action,

  4. To raise the profile of artists whose work relates to sustainability and social justice,

  5. To break down barriers and challenge misconceptions about sustainable technology through entertainment and advocacy, thus reducing opposition and building support for renewable energy and greener transport options,

  6. To provide a platform for voices and perspectives that are marginalised or under-represented in public arts and culture,

  7. To use the potential of a mobile, pop-up, self-powered stage to bring arts and culture to places that are less well-served by existing arts organisations and infrastructure,

  8. To promote cycling as part of a healthy lifestyle,

  9. To provide high-quality entertainment with a low carbon footprint.

Cyc du Soleil was set up by former Greenpeace activist Steve Larkin - a university lecturer, poet, musician, and promoter (the man behind Hammer & Tongue) and Danny Chivers - environmental activist, poet, and author of the No Nonsense Guide to Climate Change, with generous support from the Funding Network, Lush, and Artists Project Earth.

Initially they took a simple pedal powered generator to festivals and into schools and colleges where they would entertain people with their own music and poetry and that of regular collaborators such as Pete the Temp and Jonny Fluffy Punk. 

Having a wealth of experience in education at all levels and a wealth of environmental knowledge they designed sessions for schools that proved to be particularly effective in generating creative responses to climate change (more info on the WORKSHOP page).

They then upscaled to a solar powered rig and presented programmes of music, comedy, and poetry at festivals and events such as:  the Big Green Day Out, Cock & Bull Festival, Cowley Road Carnival, Common People, Lush Fest, Reading Science Fair, and Soap Box City, working with organisations such as Oxford Playhouse, Pegasus Theatre, The Museum of Rural England, and Natural England, and with a whole host of artists such as the comedian Rob Newman, who has become a champion, helping out with a fundraising show for the organisation.

Recently Cyc du Soleil upgraded its equipment with the procurement of a giant Cycles Maximus cargo tricycle and a battery bank and inverter capable of powering 5000 Watts, which is more than enough power to help them get their artists heard! They also procured light weight staging and large awnings made of sailing boat sails.

The system is currently transportable over very short distances.

Cyc du Soleil plans to fund raise and work towards being able to electrify a number of tricycles and bicycles and match the power capabilities with an ergonomically designed light weight sound system.

This will enable the organisation to take a traveling festival tent significant distances in Oxfordshire and beyond on solar and pedal power alone, helping many more people share in the delights of a carbon neutral venue showcasing new and established artists, and enabling potentially path changing workshop experiences for coming ‘generations’!

For more details about the system and what it can do please see our FESTIVALS/EVENTS page.

As part of our expansion we openly invite any individual or organisation who feels that they can be a potential collaborator, we are already in discussion with a University about giving students real-world experience of working on an engineering/social engineering project.  If such a collaboration interest you please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us through our CONTACT page.