Solar Sound system powers speakers with bikes and solar panels

Written by on October 29, 2017

Solar Sound System is peddling renewable energy in a fun way.

Although the party is held in the 14 th arrondissement of Paris, it is completely off the grid.

The entire DJ rig, speakers and turntables, are powered solely by two large solar panels and two bikes linked to generators, peddled by attendees.

“We can party all night, after the sun has gone down,” says Cédric Carles, founder of Solar Sound System, the collective that has put on the gig. “If the pedaling stops, it means people don’t want any more music.”

However, for Carles it goes far beyond a party. His aim is to create a business model for eco-friendly music events, which, in turn will pay towards research into sustainability.

Each branch, except for the main Paris location of the company, is set up as a franchise and pays 20% of its profits back to Solar Sound.

Peddle your way to sustainability

Each Solar Sound site often hosts free public parties, paid for by the profits accumulated by renting out the technology for private events, drinks proceeds, as well as sponsors such as Enercoop-a renewable electricity co-operative.

Currently, there are 15 DJ systems across their branches, each costing about 25 000 Euros to construct.

The purpose of these gigs is to make the idea of renewable energy feel concrete to people. The choice of venue for the events also adds to the ethos, including using bus stations or a former hospital to highlight the reality we are facing, as well as the possibility to change.

“Most rhetoric and campaigns about energy are anxiety-inducing,” says Carles. “They make people afraid, with talk of climate change and taxes. Here the idea is to have a celebration, to inverse this tendency we have to associate energy with feeling pressured. For us, energy is a party.”

Solar Sound System is bringing the noise to sustainability!


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