FIRST LOOK: Bicycle Bell-ero

Isabel Hicks | Aug 2018

Around 500 people enjoyed watching the unique Bicycle Bell-ero, a one-off, free event which was created for IF: Milton Keynes International Festival 2018. Produced by music organisation The Stables, Bicycle Bell-ero was organised in partnership with Pedalling Culture.

Performed on Sunday 22 July, this unusual project saw bicycle bells become musical instruments, cyclists become musicians and musicians become cyclists. A collaboration between Milton Keynes composer-conductor Craig McLeish and around 40 cyclists, Bicycle Bell-ero saw regular bicycle bells swopped for brightly coloured bells, crafted from a repurposed instrument.

These specially tuned bells were then played as cyclists travelled the Redways around Campbell Park and then gathered at The Milton Keynes Rose to perform Craig’s newly composed piece of music, Bicycle Bell-ero.

Project Manager, Graeme Surtees said: “The Festival was delighted to work in partnership with Pedalling Culture to create Bicycle Bell-ero. The event really captured people’s imagination and even with only a few workshops, people soon picked up how to play the specially created bells, whilst being conducted by Craig. These bells were in different colours and were awarded to each cyclist as a memento of their being part of this unique event. A number of international visitors at the Festival saw the performance of Bicycle Bell-ero at The Milton Keynes Rose and have shown an interest in creating or hosting a similar project in their country – you can imagine that this would be a considerable event in a place like the Netherlands with its cycling culture! It looks as if something made in Milton Keynes could go international…”

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