LiveNation, one of the world’s largest concert promoters, announced this week it will ban all single-use plastics at its venues and festivals by 2021. That includes things like plastic straws and food trays, in addition to water bottles.
The move is part of a new set of goals outlined by Live Nation’s coalition Green Nation, which addresses sustainability, including reducing fossil fuels, using more renewable energy sources, and finding more sustainable sources for food and beverage at concerts and festivals.
Live Nation’s status in the music world can’t be understated: the company holds around 35,000 events worldwide every year and claims that, on average, a Live Nation show starts every 16 minutes around the world.
That includes major festivals like the CMA Fest (71,000 attendees in 2018), Bonnaroo (80,000 attendees), Reading and Leeds (over 90,000 attendees), and Download (110,000-person capacity). Do the math, and that’s a lot of single-use water bottles and beer cups.
The challenge of replacing plastic bottles at something like a music festival is finding an alternative that’s both safe and cost-efficient. Festivals and concert venues typically forbid any kind of glass beverage container, and while plenty of major CPGs are experimenting with alternative packaging, they’ve yet to find an industry-standard replacement for the plastic bottle.
Live Nation has said it will trial plant-based water bottles across Europe throughout the rest of 2019.
The company joins a growing number of festivals, many in the UK, that have committed in some form over the last several months to ditch single-use plastics. Most notably, the Glastonbury music festival banned single-use plastic drinking bottles earlier this year and announced that food/bev vendors at the show will no longer be allowed to offer plastic containers for drinks, either to festival-goers or backstage. Billboard notes that in 2017, the most recent edition of the festival, more than 1 million plastic bottles were sold at the festival.
The Green Nation coalition’s new goals also build on Live Nation’s Sustainability Rocks program, which has worked to eliminate plastic straws at U.S. venues, bring plant-based food options (like the Impossible Burger) to concerts, and add onsite composting programs at venues.