Nominees Announced For 30th Annual Pollstar Awards

Several Nashville artists, executives, and venues earned top nominations in the recently-announced 30th annual Pollstar Awards.

Taylor Swift is among the nominees for Major Tour of the Year for her reputation tour, alongside tours from Beyoncé & Jay-Z, Bruno Mars, Drake, Ed Sheeran and U2. Swift is also nominated for Best Pop Tour. Nashville resident and Tennessee native Justin Timberlake is also nominated for Best Pop Tour, for his Man Of The Woods tour.

In the Best Country Tour are Chris Stapleton (Chris Stapleton’s All-American Road Show Tour), Kenny Chesney (Trip Around the Sun Tour), Luke Bryan (What Makes You Country Tour), Keith Urban (Graffiti U World Tour), Thomas Rhett (Life Changes Tour 2018), and Shania Twain (NOW Tour).

Kane Brown is nominated in the Best New Headliner category, as well as the Best Support/Special Guest category for his opening slot on Chris Young’s Losing Sleep World Tour. Luke Combs is also nominated in the Best New Headliner category.

Country artists take three of the Best Support/Special Guest category nominations, with Brown nominated alongside Kacey Musgraves (for her opening slot on Harry Styles’ tour) and Kelsea Ballerini, nominated for her opening slot on Keith Urban’s Graffiti U World Tour.

Manchester, Tennessee’s Bonnaroo festival was nominated in the Music Festival Over 30K Capacity category, while the Ryman Auditorium earned a Theater of the Year nomination. Bridgestone Arena earned an Arena of the Year nomination, while Ascend Theater earned a Best Outdoor Concert Venue nod.

Brad Paisley‘s campaign with Nationwide Insurance earned a nomination for Best Brand Partnership/Live Campaign, while Vince Gill earned a Best Touring Musician nomination for his work with The Eagles.

Among the nominees for Marketing/PR exec are Essential Broadcast Media’s Ebie McFarland, and Sacks & Co.’s Asha Goodman. The Back In The Day award nominees include Morris Higham Management’s Dale Morris, and McGhee Entertainment’s Doc McGhee. Among the nominees for the Bill Graham Promoter of the Year honor are Live Nation’s Brian O’Connell and AEG Presents’ Ali Harnell. WME’s Jay Williams is also nominated for the Bobby Brooks Agent of the Year honor.

The 30th annual Pollstar Awards will conclude the Pollstar Live! conference, to be held Feb. 11-13 at Los Angeles’ Beverly Hilton Hotel.

The nominees were selected by a panel of more than 2,000 agents, managers, promoters, venue operators, and professionals who work in the live entertainment industry. Pollstar has also revealed changes to the program for the 30th anniversary event, both in terms of award categories and in the methodology calculating winners. These changes are geared to increase relevancy, recognize the evolution of the industry, and acknowledge the standard-bearers for the preceding touring year. While the Pollstar Awards will remain predominantly an industry peer-voted honor, Pollstar will for the first time weigh actual box office performance (gross revenue and ticket sales) as factors in determining winners for many awards. Also, certain executives and artists must be affiliated with specific tours, venues and events from the preceding touring year in order to maintain relevance to the year being considered.

“For 30 years, the Pollstar Awards have been the definitive recognition for achievement in the touring industry, and we are honored and privileged to again recognize the elite artists, venues, and executives in the world of live entertainment,” said Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group, parent company of Pollstar. “This is a thrilling time to be in the business of live, and we remain inspired by the level of professionalism, creativity and fan engagement exhibited by those who make up our nominees for the 2019 Pollstar Awards, and across the industry.”

New categories have been added, including some honoring new headliners, residencies, and non-music tours. Other, more irreverent, categories recognize the awards’ 30th anniversary, and will honor some of the industry’s larger-than-life personalities and the unique aspects of the touring business. These categories include “The Unavailable,” “Best Hang,” “Most Dreaded Phone Call,” and the “Back In My Day” awards.

“The changes made for the 2019 Pollstar Awards reflect our ongoing efforts to present the most relevant and accurate representation of the ‘year in touring’ and the highest achieving artists and professionals that make up this dynamic, passionate business,” said Ray Waddell, president of OVG’s Media & Conferences division. “We also wanted to try and have some fun because, while this industry is definitely made up of the hardest working men and women in show business, they also know how to have a good time.”


30th Annual Pollstar Awards Nominations

Major Tour of the Year
Ed Sheeran | ÷ Tour
Taylor Swift | Reputation Tour
Bruno Mars | 24K Magic World Tour
Beyoncé & Jay-Z | On The Run II Tour
Drake | Aubrey & The Three Amigos Tour

Best Rock Tour
Foo Fighters | Concrete and Gold Tour 2018
Panic! At The Disco | Pray for the Wicked Tour
Metallica | WorldWired Tour
Imagine Dragons | ƎVOLVE World Tour
Def Leppard/Journey | Def Leppard & Journey Tour
Eagles | An Evening With The Eagles

Best Hip-Hop/R&B
Drake | Aubrey & The Three Amigos Tour
Beyoncé & Jay-Z | On The Run II Tour
Post Malone | Beerbongs & Bentleys Tour
Travis Scott | Astroworld: Wish You Were Here Tour
Top Dawg Entertainment (Kendrick Lamar, SZA, Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock & More) | The Championship Tour
Childish Gambino | This Is America Tour

Best Pop Tour
Ed Sheeran | ÷ Tour
Pink | Beautiful Trauma World Tour
Taylor Swift | Reputation Tour
Bruno Mars | 24K Magic World Tour
Justin Timberlake | The Man Of The Woods Tour
Harry Styles | Harry Styles: Live On Tour

Best Country Tour
Chris Stapleton | Chris Stapleton’s All-American Road Show Tour
Kenny Chesney | Trip Around the Sun Tour
Luke Bryan | What Makes You Country Tour
Keith Urban | Graffiti U World Tour
Thomas Rhett | Life Changes Tour 2018
Shania Twain | NOW Tour

Best Latin Tour
J Balvin | Vibras Tour
Luis Miguel | México Por Siempre Tour
Ozuna | Aura Tour
Shakira | El Dorado World Tour
Romeo Santos | Golden Tour
Bad Bunny | La Nueva Religion Tour

Best Comedy Tour
Kevin Hart | The Kevin Hart Irresponsible Tour
Sebastian Maniscalco | Stay Hungry Tour
Dave Chappelle & Jon Stewart |
Jim Jefferies | The Night Talker Tour
Jerry Seinfeld | Jerry Seinfeld Live
Steve Martin & Martin Short | Steve Martin & Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget For The Rest of Your Life

Best Support/Special Guest
Kacey Musgraves | Harry Styles – Harry Styles: Live
Kane Brown | Chris Young – Losing Sleep World Tour
Kelsea Ballerini | Keith Urban – Graffiti U World Tour
The Struts | Foo Fighters – Concrete and Gold Tour 2018
Migos | Drake – Aubrey & The Three Amigos Tour
Lauv | Ed Sheeran – ÷ Tour

Best Residency
Billy Joel | Madison Square Garden Arena
Bruce Springsteen | Walter Kerr Theatre
Celine Dion | Colosseum at Caesars Palace
Elton John | Colosseum at Caesars Palace
Jennifer Lopez | Zappos Theater in the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino
Backstreet Boys | Zappos Theater in the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino

Best Soft Ticket Act
10,000 Maniacs
Air Supply
Donny & Marie
Earth Wind & Fire
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Best Non-Music Tour of the Year
Pod Tours America
Becoming: An Intimate Conversation With Michelle Obama
Peppa Pig’s Surprise
WWE Monday Night Raw
Cirque du Soleil Crystal
Disney Junior Dance Party On Tour Presented by Pull-Ups

Best New Headliner
Greta Van Fleet
Billie Eilish
Harry Styles
Luke Combs
Kane Brown
Post Malone

Music Festival Over 30K Capacity
Coachella | Indio, CA
Lollapalooza | Chicago, IL
Stagecoach | Indio, CA
Austin City Limits Music Festival | Austin, TX
Bonnaroo | Manchester, TN
BottleRock Napa Valley | Napa, CA
Outside Lands | San Francisco, CA

Music Festival Under 30K Capacity
Newport Folk Festival | Newport, RI
The Hangout Beach, Music & Arts Festival | Gulf Shores, AL
Desert Daze | Lake Perris, CA
Forecastle | Louisville, KY
Moon River | Chattanooga, TN
The Ohana Fest | Dana Point, CA

Nightclub of the Year
Brooklyn Steel | Brooklyn, N.Y.
9:30 Club | Washington, D.C.
The Anthem | Washington, D.C.
Irving Plaza | New York, N.Y.
Brooklyn Bowl | Brooklyn, N.Y.
Thalia Hall | Chicago, IL

Theatre of the Year
Ryman Auditorium | Nashville, TN
Radio City Music Hall | New York, NY
Beacon Theatre | New York, NY
Chicago Theater | Chicago, IL
Fox Theater Oakland | Oakland, CA
Fox Theatre Atlanta | Atlanta, GA
Arvest Bank Theatre At The Midland | Kansas City, MO

Arena of the Year
The Forum | Inglewood, CA
Madison Square Garden Arena | New York, NY
Bridgestone Arena | Nashville, TN
Barclays Center | Brooklyn, NY
Golden 1 Center | Sacramento, CA
02 Arena | London, UK

Best Outdoor Concert Venue
Red Rocks Amphitheatre | Morrison, CO
Hollywood Bowl | Los Angeles, CA
Forest Hills Stadium | Queens, NY
Greek Theatre | Los Angeles, CA
Ascend Amphitheatre | Nashville, TN
Gorge Amphitheatre | George, WA
Merriweather Post Pavilion | Columbia, MD

Best New Concert Venue
The Sylvee | Madison, WI
Avenir Centre | Moncton, New Brunswick, CA
Fiserv Forum | Milwaukee, WI
Pier 17 At South Street Seaport | New York, NY
Metropolitan Opera House | Philadelphia, PA
The Armory | Minneapolis, MN
Elsewhere | Brooklyn, NY

Venue Executive of the Year
Keith Sheldon, Barclays Center
Jeff Nickler, BOK Center
David Kells, Bridgestone Arena
Laurie Jacoby, MSG
Chris Wright, NYCB Live, home of The Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
James Rasmussen, Golden 1 Center
Becky Colwell, Greek Theatre

Talent Buyer of the Year
Stacy Vee, Goldenvoice
Amy Corbin, C3 Presents
Don Strasburg, AEG Presents
Geoff Gordon, Live Nation
Huston Powell, C3 Presents
Sonia Grover, First Avenue
Stacie George, Live Nation

Bill Graham Award-Promoter of the Year
Louis Messina, Messina Touring Group
Ryan McElrath, Live Nation Touring
Brian O’Connell, Live Nation Country
Gregg Perloff, Another Planet Entertainment
Arthur Fogel, Live Nation Global Touring
Ali Harnell, AEG Presents

International Promoter of the Year
Simon Moran, SJM Concerts
Barrie Marshall, Marshall Arts Ltd
Jim King, AEG Presents
Denis Desmond, MCD Productions
Michael Chugg, Chugg Entertainment
Folkert Koopmans, FKP Scorpio

Bobby Brooks Award – Agent of the Year
Marty Diamond, Paradigm Talent Agency
Jay Williams, William Morris Endeavor
Andrew Simon, Creative Artists Agency
John Marx, William Morris Endeavor
Adam Kornfeld, Artist Group International
Cheryl Paglierani, United Talent Agency
Cara Lewis, Cara Lewis Group

International Booking Agent of the Year
Emma Banks, Creative Artists Agency
James Whitting, CODA
Neil Warnock, United Talent Agency
Rod MacSween, International Talent Booking
Steve Strange, X-Ray Touring
Jon Ollier, Creative Artists Agency

Booking Agency of the Year
William Morris Endeavor
Paradigm Talent Agency
Creative Artists Agency
United Talent Agency
Artist Group International
Agency for the Performing Arts

Rising Star
Joe Giordano Jr., BOK Center
Michael Owens, Chesapeake Energy Arena
Jared Braverman, Live Nation
Brittanie Delava, AEG Presents
Cheryl Paglierani, United Talent Agency
Lesley Olenik, Live Nation

Personal Manager of the Year
John Silva, Silva Artist Management
Stuart Camp, Grumpy Old Management
Irving Azoff, Full Stop Management
Coran Capshaw, Red Light Management
Jeffrey Azoff, Full Stop Management
Dre London, London Entertainment

Road Warrior
Jake Berry | U2
Gus Brandt | Foo Fighters + Team Coco
Keith Keller | Drake
Marty Hom | Fleetwood Mac, Shakira, Paula Abdul
Jim Runge | Empire Of The Sun
Bob “Hydro” Mullin | Justin Timberlake

Best Production/Transportation Company
Upstaging, Inc.
Rock-it Cargo
Premier Global Production
Beat The Street
Egotrips, Inc.

Best Brand Partnership/Live Campaign
Honda Civic Tour w/ Charlie Puth
Nationwide Insurance w/ Brad Paisley
Ikea w/ Boston Calling
Bud Light w/Post Malone
Hollister w/ Khalid
American Express w/ Ariana Grande
Gap w/ Leon Bridges

Best Touring Musician
John Mayer, Dead & Company
Elton John
Mike Campbell, Fleetwood Mac
Mark Rivera, Billy Joel
Trey Anastasio, Phish
Vince Gill, Eagles

Marketing/PR Exec
Michele Bernstein, William Morris Endeavor
Allison McGregor, Creative Artists Agency
Ebie McFarland, Essential Broadcast Media
Michelle McCarthy, Prudential Center
Asha Goodman, Sacks & Co
Eddie Clemens, United Talent Agency
Kate McMahon, Messina Touring Group
Kathi Brennan Scharnikow, AEG Presents

Best Hang
The Forum Club @ The Forum
Greek Theatre
Austin City Limits Music Festival
BOK Center

The Lifer
Larry Vallon, AEG Presents
Ron Delsener, Live Nation
Alex Hodges, Nederlander Concerts
Bob Roux, Live Nation
Dan Weiner, Paradigm Talent Agency
Frank Riley, High Road Touring

The Unavailable Award
Jeffrey Shuman, Goldenvoice
Johnny Beach, Bowery Presents
Bob Roux, Live Nation
Irving Azoff, Full Stop Management
Jay Williams, William Morris Endeavor

Most Frequently Name-Dropped
Irving Azoff, Full Stop Management
Michael Rapino, Live Nation
Marc Geiger, William Morris Endeavor
Coran Capshaw, Red Light Management
Rob Light, Creative Artists Agency
Scooter Braun, SB Projects

The Back In My Day
Ron Delsener, Live Nation
Alex Hodges, Nederlander Concerts
Dale Morris, Morris Higham Management
Don Fox, Beaver Productions
Doc McGhee, McGhee Entertainment
Jason Stone, Live Nation

Most Dreaded Phone Call
Irving Azoff, Full Stop Management
Aaron Pinkus, Paradigm Talent Agency
Kirk Sommer, William Morris Endeavor
Don Fox, Beaver Productions
Gerry Barad, Live Nation
Howard Rose, Howard Rose Agency
Jeff Frasco, Creative Artists Agency

Most Terrifying Agent
Marsha Vlasic, Artist Group International
Brent Smith, William Morris Endeavor
Cara Lewis, Cara Lewis Group
Marc Geiger, William Morris Endeavor
Frank Riley, High Road Touring
Howard Rose, Howard Rose Agency
Ken Fermaglich, United Talent Agency





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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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