Nashville executive Sally Williams is leaving Opry Entertainment, where she rose to the top over a two-decade tenure there, to join Live Nation’s regional office as the president of Nashville music and business strategy, the company announced Monday.
Live Nation said Williams will not only lead programming and marketing for their concerts in the area, and head up operations at the Ascend Amphitheatre and other local venues, but work with Nashville-based artists on their global vision, according to the company.
“Sally is a Nashville music industry icon, and the perfect executive to oversee Live Nation’s growing footprint in Nashville,” said Bob Roux, Live Nation’s president of U.S. concerts, to whom she’ll report, in a statement.
Since 2017, Williams had served as the Opry Entertainment Group’s SVP of programming & artist relations and general manager of the Grand Ole Opry, a dual title that had her responsible for booking, programming and artist relations at venues including the Ryman Auditorium and Grand Ole Opry House as well as the locally sacred duty of overseeing the venerable Opry program itself. Prior to that, she was general manager of the Ryman, one of the nation’s most loved concert halls.
During her time with the Opry and affiliated venues, Williams had received awards including Pollstar’s Facility Executive of the Year, the TJ Martell Frances Preston Outstanding Music Industry Achievement Award, and the Academy of Country Music’s Don Romeo Talent Buyer of the Year and Promoter of the Year.
Williams recently participated in the Television Critics Association’s press tour on behalf of Ken Burns’ “Country Music” miniseries, due to the Opry joining forces with Burns for a yet-to-air all-star concert special filmed at the Ryman.
“For decades, Nashville has not only been my home, but also my passion,” Williams said in a statement. “It’s been a privilege to be in the middle of such incredible growth, and I’m excited about what’s on the horizon. Live Nation has built a strong business here and has a terrific team in place. It will be an honor to collaborate with them to create world class experiences for fans and artists here in Nashville and beyond.”
She’ll be on duty at Live Nation starting Sept. 9, one month after her last day with Opry Entertainment August 9.