Touring on biodiesel-fueled trucks is so 2009. While it’s commendable that everyone from Sheryl Crow to Arcade Fire is working with green nonprofit Reverb to reduce the transportation carbon footprint of support vehicles, a few brave musical souls are thinking outside the van altogether. This summer, Ben Sollee’s Ditch The Van Tour 2010 will be bicycling to get to performances — everywhere from California to Pennsylvania to Kentucky — totally car-free!
Cellist Ben Sollee isn’t the first to tour car-free. The Ditty Bops, for example, went on a bike-fueled tour in 2006. And Ben himself isn’t new to car-free gigs. He biked himself and his cello from Lexington, Ky., to Manchester, Tenn., to perform at Bonaroo last summer. And last winter, Ben biked 500 miles while touring between Wilmington, N.C., and Jacksonville, Fla.
But The Ditch the Van Tour will be Ben’s biggest bike tour yet. The three-month journey is made up of four regional tours that kick off in San Diego on Aug. 18 and it ends with a final concert in Frankfort, Ky., on Oct. 8.
Plus, Ben’s concerts tend to be very community oriented — and often offered free to the public. In the Los Angeles area, for example, Ben will be performing as part of Santa Monica Museum of Art’s annual Tour da Arts bicycle-friendly festivities. Two-wheeling Angelenos will ride around town on their bikes, exploring the city close-up while making cultural stops to hear Ben’s performance and to watch a performance by The Actor’s Gang.
Check the Ditch The Van Tour 2010 schedule to find out when Ben will be performing near you. If you’re in the L.A. area, I’ll see you at Tour da Arts. That is, if you’ve already signed up for the cultural ride — because the free bike event is very popular and registration is now full!