Event held Nov. 9.
The Rolling Stones' Bigger Bang tour was a big winner at the Billboard Touring Awards, which were given out tonight (Nov. 9) in the Grand Ballroom at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. The awards, based on box-office figures reported to Billboard Boxscore, wrapped up the third annual Billboard Touring Conference. The Stones' tour was recognized as the top tour, based on gross dollars, and top draw, based on ticket sales.
The band grossed nearly $230 million for the period that the awards cover (Dec. 1, 2005-Sept. 29, 2006), and drew nearly 2 million fans to shows all over the world.
Another multiple winner was Madonna, a finalist in four categories. She won the top boxscore award for her $22 million, eight-sellout stand at London's Wembley Arena on her Confessions tour, while Madonna's team of Guy Oseary and Angela Becker won the top manager award.
For the second consecutive year, Kenny Chesney received the top package nod for his multi-artist Road and the Radio tour. Nickelback picked up the breakthrough act award, given to a band still in its first decade of touring that breaks Billboard's top 25 tours for the first time.
There were two new awards: top comedy tour went to Larry the Cable Guy; Cirque du Soleil's "Delirium" won for creative content.
Sir Elton John was honored at the reception as Billboard's 2006 Legend of Live, recognizing his significant and lasting impact on the touring industry. John was the first artist to receive this award.
Music Rising, the instrument replacement fund for Gulf Coast musicians founded by Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz, producer Bob Ezrin and U2's the Edge, received Billboard's Humanitarian Award. Former President Bill Clinton recognized Sir Elton and Music Rising in a taped congratulation played at the reception.
For the third consecutive year, Live Nation (formerly Clear Channel Entertainment) was named top promoter, and Jam Productions of Chicago was given the top independent promoter award. With such mega tours as Bon Jovi's and the Tim McGraw/Faith Hill Soul 2 Soul trek under its steerage, Creative Artists Agency was named top agency.
For venues and events, there were three three-time winners: Madison Square Garden in New York for top arena; Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tenn., for top festival; and the Colosseum at Caesars Palace for top small venue (resident).
The Fox Theatre in Atlanta received the top small venue (nonresident) award for the second straight year. Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre in Wantagh, N.Y., was named top amphitheater, and House of Blues Atlantic City was named top club.