Backbeat: Kenny Chesney, Neil Diamond, Irving Azoff, Coran Capshaw, Many More at Billboard Touring Conference
Backbeat: Kenny Chesney, Neil Diamond, Irving Azoff, Coran Capshaw, Many More at Billboard Touring Conference

waddell Billboard's Ray Waddell cuts loose with Kenny Chesney after the Touring Awards. (Photo: Ryan Muir)

The 9th annual Billboard Touring Conference & Awards were held last week at the Roosevelt Hotel in a weather-flogged Manhattan still recovering from Hurricane Sandy and its associated power outages, not to mention a nor'easter that blew through the area on the first day of the conference. Despite all that, the conference brought in a record 650-plus attendees, who saw a rare keynote Q&A with Live Nation Entertainment Chairman Irving Azoff; the creators of Coachella discussing their challenging first year and how they've grown into the global brand they've become; a high-powered investor-driven panel featuring Mark Cuban, Guggenheim's Todd Boehly, C3's Charlie Walker and others; and of course the Billboard Touring Awards, hosted by comedian Sandra Bernhard, which featured tributes to both Neil Diamond and to Ray Waddell, Billboard's Executive Director of Content and Programming for Touring and Live Entertainment. Kenny Chesney presented Ray with the Legend of Scribe Award, celebrating 25 years of covering the live music industry. You can read all of our reporting on the conference here -- but below check out some candid shots of the action at and around the 2012 Billboard Touring Conference & Awards. See you next year!

irving (L-R): Live Nation chairman Irving Azoff chats with CAA's Rob Light, Billboard editorial director Bill Werde, Neil Diamond and Diamond's wife/manager, Katie McNeil. (Photo: Michael Seto)

grand Grand Funk Railroad's Mark Farner (center) with wife Lesia and Aram Rush, City of Sioux City Events and Facilities. (Photo: Ryan Muir)

group Kenny Chesney (center), flanked by actress Leslie Uggams (right) and Jonelle Precope from Humanitarian Award winner the Apollo Theater. (Photo: Ryan Muir)

promoter (L-R): MSGE's Jim Cooperman, Fuse/MSGE Concerts' Liana Huth, ASCAP's Jon Bahr (Photo: Ryan Muir)

shapiro Peter Shapiro of Brooklyn Bowl and Port Chester's Capitol Theater holds court during the Agency Forum. (Photo: Michael Seto)

meado Bridget Harding, Emma Womack and Bill Garland, all from Meadowbrook US Cellular Pavilion in New Hampshire (Photo: Michael Seto)

coran Red Light founder Coran Capshaw at Thursday's cocktail reception. (Photo: Ryan Muir)

marcie Billboard publisher Tommy Page with MAC Presents' Marcie Allen. (Photo: Michael Seto)