Alessi Nehr
General Manager
Ascend Amphitheater

Alessi Nehr’s has one foot backstage and one in an open field.

“I’ve been lucky to gain industry experience in both the venue and the festival side of the business,” said Nehr, general manager of Ascend Amphitheater in Nashville, Tennessee. She participated in the launch of several festivals, including the country fest Faster Horses in Michigan and Dierks Bentley’s Seven Peaks in Colorado.

“It’s truly remarkable to see an empty field grow into a full-fledged experience,” she said. “I also greatly enjoyed my time as assistant general manager at Shoreline Amphitheater in northern California.”

She attended concerts from an early age.

“I remember thinking that I wanted to do something that made me feel as happy as I was leaving those shows,” she said. “Once I realized there was a career in putting on concerts, I was hooked.” Given her unique perspective working on festivals and at permanent venues, Nehr sees opportunities to bring more festivals to facilities where the vision of the festival teams and the operating experience of the venue staff combine. She’s learned from some of the most respected names in the business.

“I cut my teeth in the Live Nation Detroit office, and wouldn’t be here if Marcy Szabo, Rick Franks and Gary Meyer hadn’t given me a shot,” she said. “I’m forever indebted to the Country Nation festival team, especially Jim Reid, Brian O’Connell, Marcy Szabo and Julie Matway. They taught me that family isn’t always defined by blood. On the venue side, I’m extremely grateful to Tom See, Karl Adams, Trevor Ralph, Larry Wethers, Andy Yates and DJ Lindfors for having had my back relentlessly since I started in the Venue Nation team.”

She said the days of “fake it ‘til you make it” for her generation are gone. “We’re not afraid to admit what we don’t know and we take full advantage of the experienced leaders who know more than us,” Nehr said. “I’ve always been a proponent of striving to be in a room with people smarter and more experienced than me, and then I find out how I can strategically fill in the gap in the strategy.”