Food and music are two of my favorite things, and when you combine them, I am pretty much in heaven. Over the past decade, as I have become more aware of sustainable food systems, whenever I go to a concert, I have found myself wondering about the food available. What’s in it? Where does it come from? Often, I get no answer or I don’t like the answer I get.
That’s why I was so excited to hear Live Nation announcing it will be getting its food from “locally sourced produce, responsibly raised meats,” and will be offering vegetarian options at all Live Nation Amphitheaters.
There are 38 Live Nation amphitheaters across North America and the locally-sourced produce will come from about a 100-mile radius of each venue. In addition, all meat served will carry either Certified Humane or Global Animal Partnership certification.
Considering that they sell over 800,000 meals in its amphitheaters each summer, the decision is likely to have a significant economic impact, and to influence other promoters and facilities to follow suit.
I was surprised to hear that they had not previously offered any vegetarian options. To correct this oversight, they are not only going to be offering a veggie burger, but Live Nation has partnered with Chef Hugh Acheson to develop an entirely new vegetarian menu option. Acheson is well known for his work in sustainable food and farming, and his appearances on “Top Chef.”
The philosophy behind this decision? “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,” said Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino. “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.”
The company also points out that it is resource intensive to transport produce over long distances. So, it is working to avoid the environmental issues associated with buying produce from far away.
As Live Nation notes, while they are working for 100 percent compliance at all of its facilities, there are bound to be shortages and issues from local food sources. This is inevitable when you eat with the seasons and buy locally grown produce you have to deal with what mother nature gives you. Sometimes that might mean shortages or other problems.
Even better news for music fans is that Live Nation is absorbing any cost increases related to its new food policies so we should not see an increase in meal prices.