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The Pretenders tour offers only vegetarian fare at metro New York concerts

By Bob Grossweiner & Jane Cohen

Fans going to the two New York metropolitan area Pretenders concerts -- August 9 at the Stone Pony Summer Stage in Asbury Park, NJ, and August 10 at the Central Park SummerStage in New York, NY -- might want to get a bite to eat before they enter the venues.

Concert promoter Live Nation is supporting Chrissie Hynde's vegetarian initiatives by removing all meat products from the venues, as well as providing a special vegetarian BBQ for radio contest winners at the Central Park show. Hynde is a longtime and well-known vegetarian and PETA activist.

The Pretenders, who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005, are touring behind their ninth album, "Break Up The Concrete," playing a mix of sheds and theaters. Opening acts are Cat Power and Juliette Lewis. Tour dates are confirmed through September 4 at Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage, CA.

"I'm always surprised when I meet meat eaters," Hynde recently told Scotland On Sunday. "I just think why on earth do you do that? You could put a gun to my head and say, 'If you want to live you have to eat steak,' and I'd say, 'Time to go.' I don’t want that kind of blood on my soul."

Generally, promoters only serve vegetarian meals backstage to the artists and crew while the venue retains its full menu. However, artists sometimes have their own standing rules when it comes to touring and their vegan and vegetarian lifestyles. Paul McCartney has even told his crew not to wear leather belts or any other leather clothing while on his tour.


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