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AC/DC named major tour of the year by Pollstar

By Bob Grossweiner & Jane Cohen

Hard rock band AC/DC was voted Major Tour of the Year at the 20th Annual Pollstar Concert Industry Awards that were presented on January 30 at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles. Pollstar's annual awards honor acts, promoters, agents, managers, venues and production companies, who are voted on by their peers; the winners are voted on by Pollstar subscribers. The awards represent 2008 concert activity.

Also nominated for Major Tour of the Year were Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Coldplay, Kenny Chesney and Madonna. In Pollstar's 2008 year-end charts, Madonna was the top grossing tour of the year internationally, while Bon Jovi was the top grossing tour in North America, according to box office grosses, but the awards are based on excellence in the category.

Most Creative Tour Package Award went to Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. The duo were the lone co-headliners in the category, which was mostly comprised of headliner/ opening acts: Jay-Z / Mary J. Blige; Journey / Heart / Cheap Trick; Keith Urban / Carrie Underwood; Mayhem Festival: Slipknot / Disturbed; and Reba McEntire / Kelly Clarkson.

Jonas Brothers were named Best New Touring Artist in a category that also included Duffy, Katy Perry and Sara Bareilles. Family show Walking With Dinosaurs bested AC/DC, Kanye West, Madonna, Nine Inch Nails, Rascal Flatts and Trans-Siberian Orchestra as Most Creative Stage Production.

Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival (Indio, CA) won for Music Festival of the Year (non-touring) with Austin City Limits Festival (Austin, TX), Bonnaroo Music Festival (Manchester,TN), Strictly Bluegrass (San Francisco, CA), Lollapalooza Festival (Chicago, IL), Rothbury Festival (Rothbury, MI) and Virgin Festival (Baltimore, MD) also on the ballot. Glastonberry Festival (UK) won for International Music Festival of the Year with Reading / Leeds Festival (UK), Rock am Ring / Rock am Park (Germany), Rock Werchter (Belgium), Summer Sonic (Japan) and Wacken Open Air (Germany) also in the competition.

Nightclub of the Year went to 9:30 Club (Washington, DC) with Club Nokia (Los Angeles, CA), Commodore Ballroom (Vancouver, BC), House Of Blues (Dallas, TX) and The Pageant (St. Louis, MO) also nominated. Arena of the Year was won by Madison Square Garden (New York, NY), with American Airlines Center (Dallas, TX), BankAtlantic Center (Sunrise, FL), Palace Of Auburn Hills (Auburn Hills, MI), Sommet Center (Nashville, TN), Sprint Center (Kansas City, MO), Staples Center (Los Angeles, CA) and Xcel Energy Center (Saint Paul, MN) runner ups.

California venues won four awards. Theatre of the Year was won by Nokia Theatre L.A. Live (Los Angeles, CA,) followed by Beacon Theatre (New York, NY), Chicago Theatre (Chicago, IL), Fox Theatre (Atlanta, GA), Radio City Music Hall (New York, NY), Ruth Eckerd Hall (Clearwater, FL) and Ryman Auditorium (Nashville, TN).

Nokia's sister venue Club Nokia (Los Angeles, CA) was the Best New Major Concert Venue with BOK Center (Tulsa, OK), House Of Blues (Houston, TX) and Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre At Encore Park (Alpharetta, GA) also in the running. Red Rocks Award for Small Outdoor Venue went to the Greek Theatre (Los Angles, CA) with Chastain Park Amphitheatre (Atlanta, GA), Filene Center At Wolf Trap (Vienna, VA), Greek Theatre (Berkeley, CA) and St. Augustine Amphitheatre (Saint Augustine, FL) also finalists.

Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue was won by Hollywood Bowl (Hollywood, CA) with The Gorge (Quincy, WA), Nikon At Jones Beach Theatre (Wantagh, NY), Nissan Pavilion At Stone Ridge (Bristow, VA) and Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre At Encore Park (Alpharetta, GA) also on the ballot.

The two international awards were won by London, UK venues. International Theatre of the Year went to the Royal Albert Hall, with Apollo Hammersmith (London, UK), Auditorio Nacional (Mexico City, MEX), Auditorio Telmex (Guadalajara, MEX), The Bridgewater Hall (Manchester, UK) and Olympia (Paris, FRA) also in the running. International Arena of the Year went to the 02 Arena, with Bercy (Paris, FRA), Manchester Evening News Arena (Manchester, UK), O2 World (Berlin, GER) and Wembley Arena (London, UK) also nominated.

In the Executives category, Lee Zeidman (Staples Center, Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles, CA) was named Facility Executive of the Year, with Brenda Tinnen (Sprint Center, Kansas City, MO), Hugh Lombardi (Sommet Center, Nashville, TN), John Bolton (BOK Center, Tulsa, OK), Michael Marion (Alltel Arena, North Little Rock, AR) and Ron VanDeVeen (Meadowlands, East Rutherford, NJ) also on the ballot.

The Bill Graham Award for Promoter of the Year went to Rick Mueller (Live Nation - Los Angeles) with Charles Attal (C3 Presents), Gregg Perloff (Another Planet Entertainment) Jim Glancy (The Bowery Presents), Michael Smardak (Outback Concerts) and Paul Tollett (Goldenvoice) finalists. Independent Promoter of the Year went to Bill Silva (Bill Silva Presents) with Bill Rogers (BRE Presents), Don Fox (Beaver Productions), John Ruffino (Red Mountain Entertainment), Mike Thrasher (Mike Thrasher Presents), Sue McLean (Sue McLean & Associates) and Seth Hurwitz (I.M.P.) also in the running.

Uber industry mogul Irving Azoff (Eagles, et al) was Named Personal Manager of the Year, with Bill Silva (Jason Mraz), Coran Capshaw (Dave Matthews Band), Jared Paul (New Kids On The Block), John Silva (Beck, Foo Fighters), Jon Landau (Bruce Springsteen) and Paul Korzilius (Bon Jovi) also on the ballot.

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