MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Memphis Botanic Garden’s largest annual fundraiser is canceled.
Organizers announced Tuesday that Live at the Garden’s 20th anniversary concert series is canceled. The season lineup was scheduled to be announced May 6 during a Facebook Live event.
Organizers say touring music acts have canceled their summer and fall commitments, forcing Live at the Garden to cancel their season.
“This season was to be our 20th anniversary and we had a lot of exciting things planned to celebrate,” said Sherry May, co-director of Live at the Garden. “However, three of the acts we had booked for this season have understandably canceled their tours due to the unpredictability of restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are of course devastated as are all of our patrons who have made this music series a part of their lives, some for our full 20 years."
Live at the Garden has reached out to those who purchased tables for the season. All table holders and sponsors have been offered the choice of converting their investment in the season into a tax-deductible donation to the Memphis Botanic Garden, applying the money toward a table or sponsorship for 2020 or receiving a full refund or a combination of all three.
“Live at the Garden is the single largest fundraising source for the Memphis Botanic Garden, accounting for approximately 25 percent of annual revenues,” said Michael Allen, executive director of the Memphis Botanic Garden. “This cancellation, combined with other losses of earned income such as rentals, educational programming and daily admissions is seriously affecting our ability to operate and provide programming at the Garden. I am hopeful that our patrons will convert their payments for this year into a donation to the Garden.”
Live at the Garden hopes to hold a 20th anniversary concert later in the year to celebrate the milestone. That will be dependent on rules for gatherings and potential artists available. Live at the Garden is also exploring online opportunities and will offer commemorative merchandise to celebrate the milestone.