Sherry May was one of the visionaries behind the annual concert series Live at the Garden when it made its debut in early 2000. Twenty-one years later, now the Co-Director, she has created a local platform for emerging artists and met with music icons like Diana Ross, Hall & Oats, and Madonna. Along the line, she has also learned when to say “no” to odd celebrity’s requests and how to manage a sold-out venue, rain or shine. As a native Memphian and lifelong music lover, Sherry is proud to uphold the city’s music legacy.
1:15– Sherry May shares what it felt like to be “back” after a pandemic hiatus.
5:55 – Sherry explains how a year worth of work was curated in 8 weeks as COVID-19 restrictions were lifted.
“There was a lot of blood left on the field this year.”
10:15 – Radians Amphitheater sponsorships make room for new opportunities at Live at the Garden.
11:25 – Sherry shares the legacy of Bill Dunavant and his impact on the Live at the Garden stage.
13:30 – Sherry reminisces on Live at the Garden’s first show on June 15, 2001 featuring Isaac Hayes.
“Memphis believed it in so much.”
14:30 – Transitioning from year 2 to 3, Sherry discusses the “growing pains” of launching a new venture.
“What did I hear yesterday? Oh, ‘Always do something you love and it will never be work.’ That’s exactly how I feel about Live at the Garden.”
15:50 – Sherry explains how she spearheaded a capital campaign responsible for building a 6.5-million-dollar stage.
“We can hold our own with anyone.”
18:18 – Memphis food is Sherry May’s secret to attracting well-known artists.
18:55 – From Joe Crocker to Seal, Sherry May remembers some of her favorite shows.
“Seal is such a lovely, beautiful human being. I’ve seen him talk to a St. Jude patient an hour after the show. There are so many experiences I have been fortunate to have that I will take with me forever.”
21:25 – So how do touring artists spend their time after a show?
“I know Kevin Cronin with REO Speedwagon went down to Beale Street the next day.”
22:55 – What’s the weirdest request Sherry May has ever received? Three words, “white leather furniture.”
27:30 – Sherry talks about the roles of music and community.
“I think we need things like Live at the Garden, Levitt Shell, and the Music Series in Collierville to make our communities a great place for people to stay.”
Learn more about Live at the Garden and upcoming shows here: