Live Nation Rolls Out Reusable Cups At Festivals And Venues

LN Turn
The return bin system in place of a traditional trash or recycling can at Live Nation events. (Picture collage provided by Live Nation)

Live Nation Entertainment announced a strategic investment in reusable cup system operators TURN Systems, and that it will begin rolling out reusable cups at its venues and festivals.

The TURN system includes reusable cups, collection bins and mobile washing systems powered by an incentive-based software offering. “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,” according to the press release announcing the investment.

Visitors of Live Nation events will be able to use the return bin system in place of a traditional trash or recycling can, marking another step in the company’s goal to eliminate single-use plastics and work toward zero-waste concerts.

Michael Rapino, Live Nation’s president and CEO, commented, “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.”

According to a recent study by Live Nation, live music goers are eager to play a bigger role in protecting the environment with 82% saying they strive to maintain an environmentally sustainable lifestyle.

Live Nation deployed the TURN system at several recent events. At Bonnaroo in June, reusable TURN cups were used in place of single-use plastic cups. By Live Nation’s own admission, the program was a huge success with fans returning 88% of the cups.

See: Bonnaroo, A Leader In Green Fests, Faces Climate Change Risk

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.

Festivals and venues this year, where the TURN system will be in place, include Lollapalooza, Sea.Hear.Now, and Austin City Limits Festival, projecting to displace more than 1 million single-use cups this year.

Lucy August-Perna, Live Nation’s director of global sustainability, said, “We know that live music goers are motivated to engage in sustainable practices at live events, and so we want to make sure we’re providing sustainable options for fans that are easily accessible and convenient to use. With our investment in TURN, we will use our venues and festivals to demonstrate the effectiveness of large-scale reuse programs with the hopes of inspiring more rapid adoption of solutions that tackle the global waste and plastic pollution challenge.”

Live Nation’s pledge to eliminate single-use plastics from its own events is a key pillar in the company’s overall Green Nation global sustainability program. Also furthering this effort, the company’s partnership with Liquid Death canned water helped avoid the usage of over 5 million plastic bottles so far with fans encouraged to refill at free water refill stations located throughout the 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: “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: “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.”

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.”

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