St. Augustine Amphitheater makes historic change in live music industry

The St. Augustine amphitheater will become the first live music venue in the world to ban single-use plastic cups and enforce a reusable plastic cup system.

The venue created a Green Hands program in 2014 to make their oceanside, outdoor performing arts venue more eco-friendly.

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Over the past five years, their administration has implemented changes to towards their goal. Monday, they announced a partnership with r.Cup to eliminate single-use plastic cups at their venue.

“On average concertgoers purchase about two drinks per show, and with each drink they purchase you get a different plastic cup,” said Dianya Markovits, the venue's marketing and community manager.

“So if we have a sold-out show, that’s 4,700 people here, you multiple that by two that’s 9,000 single-use plastic cups that end up in the landfill or recyclable or in the ocean and that’s just a lot.”

Markovits is the venue’s Marketing and Community Relations Manager. She showed Action News Jax the new reusable cups they will start administering at Wednesday’s show.

Each cup will cost $3 and can be reused throughout the venue. Each cup is composed of non-toxic level 5 reusable plastic materials.

Markovits said patrons could bring the cups back to another show to be used, as well. The patron also has the option to return the cup at the end of the show and be refunded for the price of the cup.


“It’s not about the money, it’s about stopping the unnecessary waste that happens with the thousands and thousands and thousands of cups,” Markovits said.

The venue has also installed more LED lights, created a compost system, built a garden backstage, and offered water refill stations. They implement small changes to create a lasting effect in our local ecosystem.

“We’re on a state park, this is critical,” Markovits said. “We’re on the ocean, everything leads out to that water, so as much as we can to stop that waste going in there, it’s better for all of us.”

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