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From U2 to Willie Nelson to Matisyahu, summer concerts offer appealing variety

SHARE From U2 to Willie Nelson to Matisyahu, summer concerts offer appealing variety

Summer is on its way, and that means summer concerts.

The schedules already have taken shape at USANA Amphitheatre and Red Butte Garden. And the Deer Valley Amphitheatre has added some more shows, as well.

But music hasn't produced the only high note for local venues. This past spring, the 20,000-seat USANA Amphitheatre received "The Greenest Show in Utah" award, presented by Rocky Mountain Recycling, for its ongoing efforts to reduce concert-goers' carbon footprints.

In 2009, according to Rocky Mountain Recycling, the USANA Amphitheatre recycled more than 10 tons of material during its summer concert season.

Teresa Mooney, United Concerts' vice president of marketing, said the award, given to the amphitheater in March, was a surprise.

"We didn't know they were doing anything like that," Mooney told the Deseret News. "I thought it was great."

The USANA Amphitheatre was one of the first venues to start a green initiative plan, even before a lot of emphasis was placed on reducing large venues' carbon footprint, Mooney said.

"It was truly an effort," Mooney said. "The first couple of years was a training process to get people to understand the recycling process.

"We haven't been educated a lot on recycling here in Utah, and it's never been a primary initiative. But it's been going well out there. One of the things that helped us is we have a volunteer Green Team who are at every show, helping the audience understand what goes where."

Rocky Mountain Recycling issued statistics on the impact of USANA's recycled material on the environment.

The 10.01 tons of recycled material saved 170 trees; 3,804 gallons of oil; 33 cubic yards of landfill space; 40,040 kilowatts of energy; 70,070 gallons of water; and energy equal to 2,193 gallons of gasoline.

The recycling also reduced 600.6 pounds of air pollution, according to the chart.

"It was neat to see that these (recycled) materials are actually recycled into other products," Mooney said, "and not just recycling paper into paper."

Each year, the USANA Amphitheatre takes on a different green initiative project, such as forming a carpool lot.

This year, Mooney said, the amphitheater is working on a contest called "The Art of Recycling," which was inspired by the same contest held last year at the Coachella Music Festival in California.

"We asked companies and individual artists to come out and grab a can and paint it into their design and have it on display," Mooney said. "We're going to announce the winner prior to the Jack Johnson show, and the winner will get two tickets for every show for the 2011 USANA summer concert season."

This year also marks a change in venue for the 2010 Twilight Concert Series.

The series, which was at the Gallivan Utah Center, will move to Pioneer Park.

The Gallivan Center plaza is under renovation. The Twilight Concert Series, which will run Thursdays from July 8 to Aug. 26, is free and open to the public.

For a full list of summer concerts, click here.

e-mail: scott@desnews.com