Audience members provide the power for off-grid music festival

05 August 2022
Pedal-powered music festival 'Wax + Gears'
Pedal-powered music festival 'Wax + Gears'

Audience members were encouraged to ‘keep the pedals spinning so the records keep turning’ at a music festival with a difference. 

Birkenhead venue Future Yard hosted the Wax + Gears festival where all the event’s power was generated by audience members on a bank of dynamo bikes next to the stage. The power generation was matched to a cycle-themed soundtrack of ‘You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)’ by Dead or Alive, ‘Ride on Time’ by Black Box and ‘Ticket to Ride’ by the Beatles. 

Described as a ‘one-day festival of emerging music, cycling culture and climate activism’, Wax + Gears featured off-grid sets from Podge, Munkey Junkey and Seagoth, as well as DJ sets from Subcora and Louisa from She Drew The Gun. 

Future Yard's off-grid festival Wax + Gears
Wax + Gears at Future Yard

The music venue, based on Argyle Street in Birkenhead, launched their own ‘Sustainability Roadmap’ in March, laying out their plans to become the first carbon-neutral grassroots music venue in the North of England.

Future Yard’s Co-Founder Craig Pennington said: “We have been working in partnership with Liverpool John Moores University’s Low Carbon Eco-Innovatory to shape the long-term design of our building, understand our energy consumption and develop a range of policies to ensure we operate as sustainably as possible.”

“We are committed to ensuring that we create a place that has a net positive environmental impact, one that takes carbon out of the atmosphere and plastic out of our oceans.”

The festival came just a fortnight after Future Yard’s New Noise Club <18 saw performers wearing upcycled outfits designed by Wirral students to raise awareness about the environmental and social impacts of fast fashion.

Photos: Colm Kuan