Live Nation Entertainment, the world largest promoter and amphitheater operator, is putting one of its most critical revenue streams at sheds on the line with its announcement today that it will begin serving locally grown produce, meat products certified under animal welfare programs recognized by the Humane Society of the United States, and for the first time, will introduce vegetarian meal options in its 38 owned and operated amphitheaters across North America.
Beginning this month, the produce that tops the hundreds of thousands of hamburgers Live Nation sells each summer will be sourced from farms local to each venue. For example at the Bank of America Pavilion in Boston, produce will be sourced from one of three local farms: Wilson Farms in Lexington, Mass., Maitland Mountain Farm in Salem, Mass., or Eva Garden’s in Dartmouth, Mass.
“This is the first bold step to make food options healthier and easier on the conscience and concerts,” says Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore. “Let’s hope that the initiative is taken up by more companies and venues around the world.”
Additionally, all of the hamburgers, hot dogs, Italian sausages and chicken tenders served in Live Nation amphitheaters will now carry either Certified Humane, Global Animal Partnership or Animal Welfare Approved certification.
Live Nation amphitheaters will also offer veggie burgers for the first time, and will also introduce a signature vegetarian meal item which is being developed by Chef Hugh Acheson, widely respected in the restaurant industry for his dedication to tapping local, sustainable and organic food sources for his restaurants.
Live Nation says it sells more than 800,000 meals in its amphitheaters each summer, and although there may be short periods of time when it is not feasible to source locally grown produce and Certified Humane meat products due to supply chain issues, the company will endeavor for 100% compliance to these new standards. Live Nation will absorb any cost increases related to the new policies, so music fans across the country will not see an increase in meal prices based on similar product size.
Live Nation amphitheaters make the bulk of profits off ancillaries such as sponsorships, concessions and other ancillaries, so absorbing these costs is no insignificant endeavor for the promoter. That said, the move will surely play well with a wide range of artists and music fans.
“I know in my own home it’s important for my family to buy locally grown produce, to know where our meat comes from, and to have a variety of vegetarian options whenever possible,” says Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino in a statement. “We know from working so closely with the artist community and from the fans that come to our events, that it’s important to many of them as well. So we felt as a company that we should be able to deliver the same quality food to our millions of fans, and we will continue to look for ways in which we can improve the concert experience for the people that come to our amphitheaters every summer.”