Host Lewis Black kept the sometimes humor-impaired crowd in stitches, yet there were plenty of emotion-laden moments including Talent Buyer Of The Year Melissa Miller’s combined acceptance / farewell speech, as she is leaving the business.

Assisted by members of the Laker Girls, the awards were handed out by a bevy of celebrity presenters including Firesign Theatre funnyman Peter Bergman; the Chambers Brothers; an always colorful George Clinton; REO Speedwagon‘s Kevin Cronin; The Motels’ Martha Davis; Grand Funk Railroad‘s Mark Farner; the members of Gaelic Storm; Sophie B. Hawkins; disco diva Thelma Houston, who serenaded the audience; John McEuen and Bob Carpenter from the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band; Sam Moore; a George Bush-bashing Johnnette Napolitano; Berlin’s Terri Nunn; the members of Oleander; Ambrosia singer David Pack; Alan Parsons; Paul Revere; Father Guido Sarducci; a person who we think was Michelle Shocked wearing a burqa made from an American flag; Ike Turner; the Von Trapp Children; and “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” actor Tom Lenk.

Major Tour Of The Year winner Paul McCartney accepted his honor via videotape – in which he taunted fellow Brit Mick Jagger. The Rolling Stones made a video appearance as well, congratulating Road Warrior Of The Year Jake Berry for his hunk of hardware, announced at the production awards luncheon earlier in the day.

Among some of the newcomers to the awards stage were the folks behind the Down From The Mountain tour, winner for Most Creative Tour Package; the Bonnaroo Festival, which won Music Festival Of The Year for its inaugural outing; and John Mayer, who beat out a tough field for Best New Artist Tour.

Congratulations to the 2002 Pollstar Concert Industry Awards Winners:

Major Tour Of The Year: Paul McCartney

Most Creative Tour Package: Down From The Mountain

Most Creative Stage Production: The Rolling Stones

Best New Artist Tour: John Mayer

Music Festival Of The Year: Bonnaroo Music Festival, Manchester, Tenn.

Artist Development Executive Of The Year: Marc Friedenberg, Interscope/Geffen/A&M

Road Warrior Of The Year: Jake Berry, The Rolling Stones

Lighting Company Of The Year: LSD / Fourth Phase

Sound Company Of The Year: Clair Brothers Audio

Transportation Company Of The Year: Rock-It Cargo

Staging / Equipment Company Of The Year: Mountain Productions

Nightclub Venue Of The Year: 9:30 Club, Washington, D.C.

Theatre Of The Year: Kodak Theatre, Hollywood

Best New Major Concert Venue: Dodge Theatre, Phoenix, Ariz.

Red Rocks Award / Best Small Outdoor Venue: Greek Theatre, Los Angeles

Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue: The Gorge Amphitheatre, George, Wash.

Arena Of The Year: Madison Square Garden Arena, New York

International Venue Of The Year: Auditorio Nacional, Mexico City

Nightclub Talent Buyer Of The Year: Michael Yerke, House of Blues Chicago

Independent Promoter Of The Year: Jam Productions, Chicago

Talent Buyer Of The Year: Melissa Miller, House of Blues Concerts

Facility Executive Of The Year: Jim McCue, Rose Garden Arena, Portland, Ore.

International Promoter Of The Year: O.C.E.S.A / CIE Events

Booking Agency Of The Year: Creative Artists Agency

Boutique Booking Agency Of The Year: Little Big Man Booking

International Booking Agency Of The Year: The Agency Group

Third Coast Agent Of The Year: John Huie, Creative Artists Agency

Personal Manager Of The Year: Terry McBride, Nettwerk Management

Bill Graham Award / Promoter Of The Year: John Meglen & Paul Gongaware, Concerts West

Bobby Brooks Award / Agent Of The Year: Chip Hooper, Monterey Peninsula Artists