Funded! This project was successfully funded on June 14, 2012.

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A free street spectacle on a monster truck, "GO Roadshow" will be a joyous pop-up musical celebration.

Project Description

We want to make a free street spectacle aboard a monster truck. GO Roadshow will be a chamber-rock celebration that moves from park to school to festival to neighborhood. We Squonkers hail from Pittsburgh and have performed on 3 continents and in over 25 states. We are a group of artists and musicians who have studied at universities throughout the U.S., including RISD, Washington University in St. Louis, Eastman School of Music, CMU, The Hartt School and the University of Pittsburgh, among others. The New York Times called us "ingenious, hallucinatory, hypnotic" and the Washington Post described us as "Debussy meets Godzilla,” although we suspect that last one may have been an insult. This is the model of what we want to build at full scale:

This show-making machine will be retrofitted with truck-horn calliope, a screen made of rotors and a spinning grand piano – played while it wheels around!  It will be a rolling ruckus that opens up like a mechanical blossom to make street life vibrant, just like the medicine shows, circus parades and holiday pageants that opened up the heartland of this country before we were all webbed up.  That’s right, interact with people: face to face, mano a mano. We will engage directly with the public, in the public space, with this mobile, self-contained stage.  

We Need Your Help!

These performances will be free and open to the public and so we need your help! Your donation will help cover the expenses associated with creating our “trumpet peacock,” our “Gatling trumpets” and our giant blimp.

The Trumpet Peacock

We are ordering custom-made German Schalmein, which are bulb trumpets with metal double reeds used for truck horns. Here's a photo of them in production at the German shop:

We want to turn several of these horns into an animated musical costume, like a peacock with the shameless display behavior of birds, beasts and Mardi Gras partiers.

The Gatling Trumpets

We also want to put some of these horns on the truck cab where they usually are, but put an operator up there to play them. 

And we want these to undulate in syncopated waves while being played, like a glorious flag, a musical Rube Goldberg machine, a Gatling gun of melody.

The Blimp

We want to announce this show with a blimp above the truck that can be seen for miles! It will be as large as a truck, but floating weightless above.


We want the blimp to have a mouth that actually opens by pulling down, like an inverted marionette, to announce the show with a call to celebration.

We want to paint it with a skin of road sign arrows, leaving the belly and face a blank slate for night show projections. It will not have eyes, so that at night it can have the eyes of audience members projected onto it, site-specific faces on an adaptable everyman/woman of revelry. 

We plan to do 20 free shows every summer, starting in our hometown of Pittsburgh, then Baltimore, Cleveland, and then across the country. We are already working with Public schools and festivals, community orchard planting celebrations and neighborhood parties. This pop-up show will begin with a marching band, inviting locals into pedestrian parades. We want to make a public American art that is poetic and brazen, funny and inclusive.

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Funding period

- (30 days)