After six years at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City, the Billboard 7th Annual Touring Conference & Awards, moved over to the Sheraton New York on November 3-4, 2010. While attracting the most delegates in its history, the trade publication Billboard got a larger room for the two days of music industry panels, but the awards show was held in a compressed space.
The panels covered mostly touring issues, including ticketing, merchandising, branding and sponsorships, VIP packages, artist development, new media and other live music , tech people issues. The conference attracts booking agents, artist managers, concert promoters, record company executives, venue professionals and a few indie artists.
The highlight of the concert was a keynote case study with the hot country group Sugarland along with its manager and agent, but the real treat was Sugarland -- Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush. Nettles has a big hit, "Who Says You Can't Go Home," with Bon Jovi back in 2006.
The main thread running through the 10 panels was that ticket prices were too high and how to cut them, which is the same theme of almost every touring conference over the past decade. Live Nation has greatly discounted tickets at its sheds and clubs when the ducats failed to sell quickly, and consumers have been waiting for the discount to come through rather than buy quickly thus polarizing the industry.
The concert industry is heading to diversified pricing like in the airline industry where the person sitting next to you paid a different price for his or her seat.
The awards show is based upon Billboard touring chats, mostly gross receipts as well as two by attendance, for the period. between October 1-September 30. In early 2011, the magazine will issue its comprehensive 2010 charts. Two special awards went Rush for Legends of Live and Jack Johnson for the 2010 Billboard Humanitarian Award.
While the Canadian trio Rush has toured for over 40 years and has drawn staggering numbers in attendance and gross receipts, Johnson has become one of the most eco-friendly artists in the history of touring. For his tour this year, he had promoters filter tap water rather than sell water in plastic bottles, thus having less garbage at the end of the show and in the dumps.
Following is a complete list of this year’s Billboard Touring Award winners:
Taylor Swift with Kellie Pickler and Gloriana
TOP COMEDY TOUR
ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Feb. 18, 20, 22
Donington Park, Castle Donington, U.K.
O2 Arena, London
TOP VENUE - UNDER 10,000 SEATS
Radio City Music Hall, NYC
TOP VENUE - UNDER 5,000 SEATS
The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas
9:30 Club, Washington, D.C.
Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles
Live Nation Entertainment
TOP INDEPENDENT PROMOTER (U.S.)
C3 Presents, Austin, Texas
TOP INDEPENDENT PROMOTER (International)
T4F, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Creative Artists Agency
Front Line Management Group
CREATIVE CONTENT AWARD
Yo Gabba Gabba Live!
CONCERT MARKETING & PROMOTION AWARD
Virgin Mobile Presents the Monster Ball starring Lady Gaga
EVENTFUL FANS’ CHOICE
LEGEND OF LIVE