Are Zero-Waste Concerts Possible? Live Nation Shifting to Reusable Cups

Live Nation reusable cups
  • Save

Live Nation reusable cups
  • Save
Photo Credit: Live Nation

Live Nation is investing in reusable cups at its concerts to eliminate single-use plastics from live events.

The company has announced a strategic investment in TURN Systems, which operates the reusable cup system. Alongside the investment, Live Nation will begin rolling out reusable cups at its venues and festivals in an attempt to work toward zero-waste concerts and live events.

The TURN system includes reusable cups, collection bins, and mobile washing systems powered by an incentive-based software offering. Live Nation believes a single reusable TURN cup can displace up to 100 single-use cups. The reusable cups will break even on their environmental impact in as few as three uses. Fans will be able to return the cups to the bin system – much like trash or recycling cans.

“By investing in TURN, Live Nation is able to make events at our venues and festivals more sustainable,” says Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino. “By rolling out real-world solutions at scale we hope this helps the whole industry find solutions.”

Live Nation says 82% of concert-goers the company surveyed said they strive to maintain an environmentally sustainable lifestyle. The TURN system has been deployed at several recent events, including Bonnaroo in June 2022. Music lovers there returned 88% of the cups. Meanwhile, a pilot program at PNC Music Pavilion in Charlotte, NC, saw 90% of the cups returned.

“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,” adds Lucy August-Perna, Director of Global Sustainability for Live Nation.

“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 will be rolling out Turn systems across a number of its festivals and venues this year. These events include Lollapalooza, Sea.Hear.Now, and the Austin City Limits Festival. Live Nation expects to displace the need for more than one million single-use cups just through these events.