Actor Danny Trejo’s tacos, served in his restaurants in Los Angeles, are now at Live Nation amphitheaters. (Courtesy Live Nation)

Live Nation has tapped into the celebrity chef craze as part of upgrading the food operation at its amphitheaters. 

The company, in tandem with Legends Hospitality, the food provider at most of those venues, has signed deals with Texas barbecue specialist Tim Love, Italian restaurateur Fabio Viviani and Oprah Winfrey’s personal chef, Art Smith, for his signature fried chicken recipe.

In addition, actor Danny Trejo (tacos) and musician QuestLove (vegan cheesesteaks), a member of the hip-hop group The Roots, have signed deals with Live Nation to feature their authentic dishes at some amphitheaters. 

“We were the first entertainment venue to introduce the (meatless) Impossible Burger (in 2018), and QuestLove is on a mission to create cheesesteaks leveraging that brand and product,” said Tom See, Live Nation’s president of U.S. venues.

Trejo, a prolific actor known for his tough-guy roles in movies and TV dating to the mid-1980s, owns the popular Trejo Tacos in Los Angeles, with seven locations in the region. Under the Live Nation agreement, steak, chicken and mushroom “street tacos” are on the menu.

“Danny’s a chef by night and makes an amazing taco with high appeal,” See said. 

QuestLove’s Cheesesteaks, Art Bird fried chicken and Trejo’s Tacos will be served at about 20 amphitheaters. QuestLove’s Cheesesteaks are available in general concession stands. Most of the other items will be featured in specialty stands.

Tim Love BBQ is restricted to venues in Dallas; Tampa, Fla.; and Wantagh, N.Y., as Live Nation and Legends test certain items before expanding them on a larger scale. Fabio Viviani’s fried ravioli and truffle potato skins will be served at a dozen amphitheaters.  

Separately, Live Nation signed a deal with Dog Haus, a Pasadena, Calif., family-owned restaurant that has expanded to 30 locations across the country over the past few years, to serve its hot dogs and tater tots at 16 amphitheaters.

 For Live Nation, beverage sales generate a much higher percentage of revenue than does food. Officials signed a deal with renowned Denver bartender/mixologist Sean Kenyon to develop signature cocktails themed for the artists performing at amphitheaters. 

“We don’t have to use the band’s name in the title, but it’s just knowing the DNA of their fan and what they like to drink and coming up with something that will cater to them,” See said.

Editor’s Note: This story differs from the print version. Pasadena, Calif.-based Dog Haus has expanded to 30 locations.


Summer refreshments: Live Nation starts rolling out renovations at amphitheaters