If the box office-driven honors are the meat and potatoes of the Billboard Touring Awards, the special honors are the gravy. Apart from the trophies based on Billboard Boxscore data, the Touring Awards also give special recognition in a variety of sectors. Those honors include the Concert Marketing & Promotion Award, determined by a panel of judges, and the Eventful Fans’ Choice Award, determined by online fan voting.
In addition, George Strait will be the first country artist honored as Legend of Live (see story, page 56), and presenting sponsor Shell Rotella will induct 10 members into the newly established Haul of Fame, recognizing the production/transportation side of the touring industry for the first time.
The Fans’ Choice Award is determined by fans who vote at Eventful.com, and voters choose from among the top Boxscore tours and Eventful “demands” of the year. It has become one of the most coveted awards since it debuted in 2008, when Kenny Chesney took home the inaugural honor. “The Fans’ Choice Award for best concert tour of the year is the only award determined by fan voting, and Eventful is thrilled to power this award and give the fans a say in this prestigious industry event,” Eventful CEO Jordan Glazier says.
The 25 acts for whom fans will vote for this year are Strait, Chesney, Bon Jovi, Beyoncé, Blake Shelton, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Bruno Mars, Dave Matthews Band, Depeche Mode, Fleetwood Mac, Jason Aldean, Jay Z, Justin Bieber, Kid Rock, Luke Bryan, Maroon 5, Miranda Lambert, New Kids on the Block, One Direction, P!nk, Rascal Flatts, Rihanna, the Rolling Stones, Taylor Swift and Tim McGraw.
MOVE ‘EM OUT
The Haul of Fame celebrates the hardworking trucking and touring community by naming the music industry’s top 10 “haulers” of the past decade. The class is determined through analysis of Boxscore data, with input from managers (artist, tour and production), producers and other touring professionals. Shell Rotella will welcome the following inductees as its inaugural class: Chesney, McGraw, the Stones, Bon Jovi, Brad Paisley, Dave Matthews Band, Rascal Flatts, Toby Keith, U2 and the Vans Warped tour. All of these tours have moved veritable armies of trucks and buses during the past 10 years, and one of those inductees will be named Live Music Hauler of the Decade.
“The Shell Rotella brand is excited to again be part of the Billboard Touring Conference & Awards, and to shine a spotlight on the trucking, van and coach companies that work hard behind the scenes to help America’s top artists conduct their tours,” Shell Rotella global brand manager Chris Guerrero says. “We look forward to welcoming these iconic groups and tours as inductees into the Shell Rotella Haul of Fame and to celebrating their contributions to the touring industry.”
Corporate America has seen the value in brands attaching themselves to tours since Jovan sponsored the Stones’ 1980 tour. Band-brand partnerships have evolved substantially in the ensuing decades but, not surprisingly, the Stones are still on the cutting edge as a finalist for the Concert Marketing & Promotion Award.
The award was instituted at the Billboard Touring Awards in 2007 to recognize a sponsorship or promotion that benefited the concert industry at large by stimulating attendance to live events, providing value to fans and promoting the artist and brands involved. The award went to McGraw and Faith Hill’s partnership with Jeep the first year, followed by Jonas Brothers and Burger King (2008), Keith Urban and KC Masterpiece-Kingsford (2009), Lady Gaga and Virgin Mobile (2010), Swift and CoverGirl (2011) and McGraw and Pennzoil (2012).
The 2013 finalists run the gamut in terms of genre, but all are multiplatform, creative, interactive and innovative. The seven finalists are the Stones’ 50 & Counting tour and Citi; Zac Brown Band and Landshark; Scooter Braun Projects and ConAgra; Swift’s “Red” tour and Elizabeth Arden, Keds and Diet Coke; Beyoncé’s Mrs. Carter World Tour and Pepsi; One Direction and Nabisco; and Bud Light’s 50-50-1 concert promotion.