Author: Jem Aswad
Anyone who’s been to a concert knows the sound: The crunch of hundreds of plastic cups underfoot, which are used once and thrown away, creating countless acres of garbage.
Live Nation Entertainment has made a move to reduce that waste at its venues and festival via a strategic investment in Turn Systems, which operates a leading reusable-cup system that also includes collection bins and mobile washing systems. According to the announcement, a single reusable Turn cup has the potential to displace up to 100 single-use cups and can break even on its environmental impact in as few as three uses. (For more on Turn Systems, see the company’s website.)
As the primary option for beverages at participating Live Nation events, fans can easily use the return-bin system instead of a traditional trash or recycling bin. Similar systems have been successfully deployed at major European festivals for many years.
According to the announcement, it is “another step in the company’s goal to eliminate single-use plastics and work toward zero-waste concerts.”
Live Nation successfully deployed the Turn system at several recent events, according to the announcement. At the Innings Festival in February, the reusable Turn cups were used in place of single-use plastic cups, and fans returned 86% of them. As part of the Turn pilot program at PNC Music Pavilion in Charlotte, NC, the venue avoided the use of 13,000 single-use cups, with fans returning 90% of the cups. Turn systems use software that allows customers to calculate their reuse impact, seeing the difference that simply using a non-disposable cup can make. According to a recent study by Live Nation, 82% of concert-goers say they strive to maintain an environmentally sustainable lifestyle.
According to the announcement, Live Nation will be rolling out Turn Systems across select festivals and venues this year, projecting to displace more than 1 million single-use cups this year. In recent months, the company also has partnered with Liquid Death canned water to avoid the usage of over 5 million plastic bottles last year with fans encouraged to refill at free water refill stations located throughout venues. Additionally, at Live Nation venues, food and beverage items are currently served in compostable and recyclable packaging and dedicated sustainability teams at each venue sort through all waste which is then donated, recycled and/or composted at local facilities.
Artists playing at Live Nation venues featuring the Turn program have voiced their support for the initiative. Jack Johnson, a leader in promoting green touring, says, “I’m excited to see Live Nation taking their commitment to reduce plastic pollution to the next level by launching reusable cup programs at some of their concert venues this summer. It’s inspiring to see a music industry effort to offer alternatives to single-use plastic and to give music fans the option to choose reusables.”
5 Seconds of Summer added, “We are stoked to partner with Live Nation to promote a more sustainable touring environment, where our fans will leave behind a smaller footprint across several venues this summer and for many more to come. Reusable materials can be a wholly more sustainable and enjoyable experience and we hope to see this innovative program rolled out in more venues soon.”
Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino said, “By investing in Turn, Live Nation is able to make events at our venues and festivals more sustainable. By rolling out real world solutions at scale we hope this helps the whole industry find solutions.”
Ryan Everton, Founder and CEO of Turn Systems, added: “To mitigate the worst effects of the climate crisis, we need to take meaningful steps to reduce carbon emissions, divert waste from landfills and oceans, and create circular economies at scale. We are thrilled to partner with Live Nation to move the needle forward in achieving these ambitions. By deploying Turn across Live Nation’s extensive reach, we hope to not only reduce the environmental impact of these events but also to inspire others to take climate action at their own events and in their daily lives.”