Live Nation Entertainment announced 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, MA, Maitland Mountain Farm in Salem, Mass., or Eva Garden's in Dartmouth, Mass.
In addition, 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.
In addition to a veggie burger being offered for the first time, Live Nation 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 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.
"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. 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."
In addition to developing a unique vegetarian meal option for Live Nation's amphitheaters, award winning chef Hugh Acheson, who is perhaps best known by television audiences as a contestant on Bravo's "Top Chef Masters" and as a judge on "Top Chef," will help guide the company's food policies moving forward.
Mr. Acheson commented on this first step Live Nation is taking: "For 20 years I have invested in my community in the way I purvey food and assemble meals, investing in local and sustainable produce and meats that mean so much to me and my own backyard. I am looking forward to assisting a great team at Live Nation to find the best in food in all the communities Live Nation operates in."
The Humane Society of the United States supports Live Nation's new program. "Live Nation is putting its money where its mouth is" said Matthew Prescott, The HSUS' food policy director. "Countless people are looking for more responsibly-produced meat and incorporating more vegetarian foods into their diets, and it's both an ethical and savvy business move for Live Nation to go in that direction."