2012. July 19.
E.ON Dance Plant at Balaton Sound
In close connection with the electro-mobility and energy efficiency programs, E.ON was present at the Balaton Sound festival this year with an unusual installation – partiers at this outstanding event of electronic music were able to generate energy by having fun at the E.ON Dance Plant, where the dance floor transformed the energy of the dancers’ motion into electric power. The goal was to have the visitors to the E.ON Dance Plant dance up enough energy during the festival to power an electric car around Lake Balaton. The possibility to do this was provided by the charging station network opened around the lake in mid-July.
Balaton Sound, which has been held at the beginning of July since 2007, is special for several reasons: the four-day festival is located directly on the Balaton shore (more precisely at Zamárdi Beach), and the performers are major names in Hungarian and foreign electronic music.
Sowing the seeds of green thinking
This year was the first time E.ON has participated in a summer music festival for young people. “Energy companies have the image of being old-fashioned and directing their communication at the older generations. Our goal in participating at the Balaton Sound festival was to open up to young people since they are our future customers and what they think about us matters,” explained Head of Communications Zsuzsanna Károlyi, who then added: “We turned over operation of the e-car charging station network around Lake Balaton to our partners on the same day as the festival’s day zero. Since e-mobility is the transportation of the future, it is only natural that we would like to direct this primarily at young people because their age makes them the most receptive to thinking about sustainability. One of the special things about Balaton Sound was the E.ON Dance Plant, where we linked energy generation to young people’s dance experience. We offered more than music; we actually got the festivalgoers in the mood to party.”
The map above the dance floor showed how far an e-car could go around Lake Balaton with the energy that had been generated in the Dance Plant since the beginning of the festival. “It was our intention for the revelers to be able to generate enough power by the end of the festival to get an e-car all the way around the Balaton,” Ms Károlyi said.
Energy generated by motion
“The E.ON Dance Plant is, in essence, an energy-generating entertainment medium that powers itself by converting human kinetic energy into electricity. The dance floor is made of connected modules, which all together make up a miniature power plant. The electric power is created by the 10-mm play in the floor, which allows the dancers’ steps to activate the built-in generator. The various entertainment feedback systems show the amount of energy that was generated, and the most fundamental feedback is the LED light built into the modules. Energy generation depends solely on the number of people dancing on the floor and the intensity of their dancing,” explained communications expert Emese Barta.
Charge up for the party!
Although one of the main goals of the E.ON Dance Plant is to generate energy while partying, the venue was, to use the expression popular in the world of electronic music, definitely somewhere to chill out. This is why the visitors could also look forward to an oxygen bar, massages and bean bags. There was also an energy duel for 2–5-member teams. The winner was the team that generated the most energy on the dance floor and thereby covered the pre-agreed 50–100-meter distance quicker than the opponents, helping E.ON’s e-car move along the road around Lake Balaton in the shortest possible time. “A hundred meters doesn’t appear to be much at first, but your opinion changes very quickly if you have to dance out the energy needed to cover this distance,” said Alexandra Kovács, who, as an E.ON employee, helped to get the Dance Plant’s main message out to the partiers.
“Some people are captivated by the lights and displays, while others are more interested in massages or our bean bags. But we hope the visitors understand our messages about sustainability and energy efficiency. It would really be great if we succeed in dancing out the energy needed to go around Lake Balaton by the end of the festival,” she added.
Well, we succeeded. The dancers at the E.ON Dance Plant were able to complete the 206-kilometer trip around Lake Balaton on the last day of the festival, and, for good measure, they were also able to dance out an emergency reserve that would be enough to do another five kilometers.