Live Nation’s Brian O’Connell Honored At CMA Touring Awards

2018 CMA Winners
Donn Jones/CMA
– 2018 CMA Winners
Winners of the sixth annual CMA Touring Awards on Monday at Marathon Music Works in Nashville. (l-r): Rob Beckham, WME Nashville and CMA Board President Elect; Jody Williams, BMI and CMA Board President; Kix Brooks; Ashlee Stokely; Danny Shelnut; David Kells; John Breslin; Logan Kornegay; Dave Butzler; Mark Earp; Brian O’Connell; Duane Clark; Clarence Spalding; Louis Messina; John Garriott; Darin Murphy; Nathan Barlowe; Arpad Sayko; Jake Basden; Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer; Jerrod Niemann; Bill Simmons, The Fitzgerald Hartley Company and CMA Board Chairman.
The Country Music Association Touring Awards were presented at Marathon Music Works in Nashville Jan. 22 and the man of the hour was Brian O’Connell, Live Nation’s President of Country Music Touring, who earned the CMA Touring Lifetime Achievement Award.
O’Connell accepted the award, presented by CMA Board member Kix Brooks, and was the subject of remarks from Dierks Bentley and Rob Beckham of WME Nashville, along with video messages from numerous other artists.
“He’s in the trenches with us every day,” Bentley said. “He’s on the road. He understands us. He gets this. You are either on the road or you’re not. There’s no in-between. You either get the road or you are not on it, and he is out there.”
O’Connell has been responsible for the growth of Live Nation’s Country Megaticket and country music festivals, like WatershedFaster HorsesLakeShake, and Route 91 Harvest. His staff joined him onstage as he accepted the award. 
Other CMA Touring winners include Maverick’s Clarence Spalding for Manager Of The Year; Logan Kornegay as Tour Manager Of The Year for his work with Thomas RhettCAA’s Darin Murphy for Talent Agent Of The Year; Louis Messina of Messina Touring Group for Talent Buyer/Promoter Of The Year; Nathan Barlowe as Touring Musician Of The Year for his work with Keith Urban; Big Machine Label Group’s Jake Basden as Publicist Of The Year; and Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena as Venue Of The Year. 
Angie Gentry, the widow of Troy Gentry, also appeared at the ceremony to present the Coach/Truck Driver of the Year Award to Danny Shelnut for his work with Montgomery Gentry.