Pollstar Awards Go Purple

The 16th annual Pollstar Concert Industry Awards show at The Wiltern LG in Los Angeles, sponsored by Clear Channel Entertainment, honored many first-time winners while notching up three-in-a-row awards for others.

The sold-out, February 4th event was again hosted by Lewis Black, who spared no one with his biting commentary on the industry.

The big highlight this year was Prince, who stunned the crowd when he walked onstage to accept his major tour of the year honor in person. Prince offered thanks to promoters John Meglen and Paul Gongaware of Concerts West / AEG Live for making last year his most successful tour ever.

Two dozen agents joined Rob Light onstage as Creative Artists Agency won agency of the year for the third straight time. Little Big Man Booking also got a trifecta for boutique booking agency of the year. Harvey Leeds also got a three-peat for artist development executive of the year, and Rock-It Cargo had a hat trick for transportation company.

Madison Square Garden and the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival were named arena and music festival of the year, respectively, for the second time in a row, as was Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium for theatre of the year.

Another Planet Entertainment LLC won independent promoter of the year and Leon Ramakers of Mojo Concerts in the Netherlands accepted the international promoter of the year honor.

AEG’s Debra Rathwell, who happened to be celebrating her birthday that night, landed the Bill Graham Award for promoter of the year. Larry Hagman, who had a liver transplant five years ago, presented the plaque, telling the audience that not only was it “great to be here,” but it’s great to be anywhere.

Chip Hooper got the Bobby Brooks Award for agent of the year and John “Bugzee” Hougdahl got road warrior of the year for his work with Prince and Bon Jovi. John Huie accepted his third coast agent award from Sarah Kelly, a new CAA client he promised everyone would be hearing more about this year.

Brian Avnet won personal manager of the year for his work with Josh Groban while his client accepted, via videotape, for new touring artist. Bob Dylan / Willie Nelson landed most creative tour package for their minor league baseball stadium tour. Prince got most creative stage production, which was a remarkable accomplishment for “just a 10-truck tour.”

Karl Denson, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Mickey Thomas, KC, Jon Anderson, Al Jardine, Jack Blades and Larry Blackmon were among the dozens of celebrity presenters.

Here’s the complete list of winners:

Major Tour of the Year: Prince

Most Creative Tour Package: Bob Dylan / Willie Nelson

Most Creative Stage Production: Prince

Best New Touring Artist: Josh Groban

Music Festival of the Year: Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

International Music Festival of the Year: Glastonbury Festival

Nightclub of the Year: House of Blues, West Hollywood

Theatre of the Year: Ryman Auditorium

Best New Major Concert Venue: Glendale Arena

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

Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue: Hollywood Bowl

Arena of the Year: Madison Square Garden

International Small Venue of the Year: Royal Albert Hall

International Large Venue of the Year: Wembley Arena

Nightclub Talent Buyer of the Year: Sean Striegel

Independent Promoter of the Year: Another Planet Entertainment LLC

Talent Buyer of the Year: Jim Glancy

Facility Executive of the Year: Michael Marion

Bill Graham Award / Promoter of the Year: Debra Rathwell

International Promoter of the Year: Mojo Concerts

Booking Agency of the Year: Creative Artists Agency

Boutique Booking Agency of the Year: Little Big Man Booking

International Booking Agency of the Year: Helter Skelter

Third Coast Agent of the Year: John Huie

Bobby Brooks Award / Agent of the Year: Chip Hooper

Personal Manager of the Year: Brian Avnet

Artist Development Executive of the Year: Harvey Leeds

Road Warrior of the Year: John “Bugzee” Hougdahl

Lighting Company of the Year: Bandit Lites Inc.

Sound Company of the Year:Sound Image

Staging / Equipment Company of the Year: All Access Staging & Productions

Transportation Company of the Year: Rock-It Cargo

Video Company of the Year: ScreenWorks