WILTERN, LOS ANGELES — On the heels of a historic win at the Grammy Awards, Taylor Swift has added yet another honor to her stacked resume by winning “Major Tour of the Year” at the 35th annual Pollstar Awards held at the Wiltern in Los Angeles on Feb. 7.
Swift wasn’t in attendance to receive the award because she’s performing four consecutive nights at the Tokyo Dome in Japan, but Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich was on hand to accept the band’s award for Rock Tour of the Year.
“Forty-two years ago, we started not too far from here. A little rock band started in Downey. … I was 17, James [Hetfield] was 18, and the idea that we could win awards like this 42 years later would at that time seem so fucking preposterous and just like a total mind fuck to be in the same category as artists like Bruce Springsteen and [Dead and Company].”
Dave Chappelle also stopped by the Wiltern to accept the Comedy Tour of the Year honor.
“I used to take this shit for granted, but this last tour was hard as fuck,” he said. “I want to thank everyone at Live Nation, everybody on that team … everybody at Netflix. This was a real special tour. It was a hard one, but man this shit is great.”
With Beyoncé, P!NK and Karol G — all of whom performed in stadiums last year — taking some of the night’s biggest honors, the awards show underscores the notion that women propelled the live entertainment industry to remarkable heights in 2023. Queen Bey’s “Renaissance Tour” captured the R&B Tour of the Year award, the “Summer Carnival Tour” from P!NK won Pop Tour of the Year and Karol G received the Latin Tour of the Year honor for her “Mañana Será Bonito Tour.” Brandi Carlile also took home the Support/Special Guest of the Year award.
Pollstar also recognized Swift’s marketing prowess with the theatrical exhibition of her “Eras Tour” film at AMC Theatres capturing the Brand Partnership/Live Campaign of the Year award.
Post Malone’s “If Ya’ll Weren’t Here, I’d Be Crying Tour” earned him Pollstar’s Hip-Hop Tour of the Year, and Morgan Wallen won the Country Tour of the Year for his “One Night At A Time Tour.”
The ceremony, which was hosted by comedian Tom Papa, took the time to honor legendary agent Howard Rose, who worked with major artists including Elton John and Jimmy Buffet. Rose received the inaugural Pollstar Lifetime Achievement Award. Bob Roux, Live Nation president of U.S. concerts, handed the award to his friend, and Elton John submitted a video to celebrate his longtime agent.
Earlier in the day, Jon Bon Jovi was presented with a Milestone Award in recognition of Bon Jovi’s 40th anniversary during his keynote Q&A, “How To See A Million Faces And Rock Them All.” JBJ thanked his team including his manager, “King Irving,” Oak View Group co-founder/CEO Tim Leiweke (who he referred to as his “dear friend”), Live Nation, LN President/CEO Michael Rapino and CAA Head of Music/Partner/Managing Director Rob Light, who interviewed the rock star during the keynote Q&A.
Another first for the Pollstar Awards was presenting a Visionary Award given to James Dolan, executive chairman and CEO of Sphere Entertainment Co. Dolan, who spoke at the Pollstar Live! conference earlier that day for a “Fireside Chat” with Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke, was given the honor for “innovation, inspiration and vision that will have a positive and lasting impact on the live entertainment industry.” His dream project, Sphere, won the New Concert Venue of the Year (Over 5,000 Capacity) award.
Jelly Roll, who graced the Pollstar cover last September, received New Headliner of the Year honor, and U2’s run at Sphere earned the renowned band Residency of the Year.
Louis Messina of Messina Touring Group was recognized as Promoter of the Year, C3’s Amy Corbin was named Talent Buyer of the Year and John Silva won a second consecutive Personal Manager of the Year award. Other live industry luminaries to be honored include Moody Center’s Jeff Nicker (Venue Executive of the Year), Arthur Fogel of Live Nation (International Promoter of the Year), Independent Artist Group’s Adam Kornfeld (Agent of the Year) and Emma Banks of Creative Artists Agency (International Booking Agent of the Year).
Wasserman Music was the recipient of the Booking Agency of the Year award.
The venues recognized by Pollstar include Inglewood’s SoFi Stadium (Stadium of the Year), The 02 Arena in London (International Venue of the Year), Austin’s Moody Center (Arena of the Year), 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. (Nightclub of the Year), Ryman Auditorium (Theatre of the Year), Hollywood Bowl (Red Rocks Award – Outdoor Concert Venue of the Year) and The Salt Shed in Chicago (New Concert Venue of the Year — Under 5,000 Capacity).
Major Tour of the Year
Taylor Swift, The Eras Tour
Rock Tour of the Year
Metallica, M72 World Tour
Hip-Hop Tour of the Year
Post Malone, If Y’all Weren’t Here, I’d Be Crying Tour
R&B Tour of the Year
Beyoncé, Renaissance World Tour
Pop Tour of the Year
P!nk, Summer Carnival Tour
Country Tour of the Year
Morgan Wallen, One Night At A Time Tour
Latin Tour of the Year
Karol G, Mañana Será Bonito Tour
Comedy Tour of the Year
Dave Chappelle, It’s a Celebration Tour
Support/Special Guest of the Year
Brandi Carlile, P!NK
Residency of the Year
Family, Event or Non-Music Tour of the Year
Cirque du Soleil – Corteo
New Headliner of the Year
Music Festival of The Year (Global; over 30K attendance)
Austin City Limits Music Festival, Austin, TX
Music Festival of The Year (Global; under 30K attendance)
The Ohana Festival, Dana Point, CA
International Music Festival of The Year
Glastonbury Music Festival, Somerset, UK
Nightclub of the Year
9:30 Club, Washington, DC
Theatre of the Year
Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, TN
Arena of the Year
Moody Center, Austin, TX
Red Rocks Award – Outdoor Concert Venue of the Year
Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood, CA
Stadium of the Year
SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, CA
Casino/Resort Venue of the Year
Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT
New Concert Venue of the Year (Over 5,000 Capacity)
Sphere, Las Vegas, NV
New Concert Venue of the Year (Under 5,000 Capacity)
The Salt Shed, Chicago, IL
International Venue of the Year
The O2 Arena, London, UK
Venue Executive of the Year
Jeff Nickler, Moody Center, Austin, TX
Talent Buyer of the Year
Amy Corbin, C3 Presents
Small Venue Talent Buyer of the Year (Under 10,000 Capacity)
Donna Busch, Goldenvoice
Bill Graham Award / Promoter of the Year
Louis Messina, Messina Touring Group
International Promoter of the Year
Arthur Fogel, Live Nation Global Touring
Bobby Brooks Award – Agent of the Year
Adam Kornfeld, Independent Artist Group
International Booking Agent of the Year
Emma Banks, Creative Artists Agency
Booking Agency of the Year
Independent Booking Agency of the Year (Global)
High Road Touring
Rising Star Award
Molly Warren, Live Nation
Personal Manager of the Year
John Silva, Silva Artist Management
Road Warrior of the Year
Jerome Crooks, Tool, Duran Duran, Billie Eilish
Transportation Company of the Year
Concert Visuals Company of the Year
Concert Sound Company of the Year
Tour Services Company of the Year
Brand Partnership/Live Campaign of the Year
AMC, Taylor Swift Eras Tour Theatrical Exhibition
Marketing/PR Executive of the Year
Allison McGregor, Creative Artists Agency