CMA Touring Awards to Take Place in February

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photo from CMA

This year’s CMA Touring Awards will again be hosted by Country superstar Keith Urban and will take place Monday, Feb. 12 in Nashville, TN.

Additionally, Ron Baird, industry veteran and former head of Creative Arts Agency’s (CAA) Nashville office, will be posthumously honored with the CMA Touring Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is given to an individual who has positively impacted and contributed to the growth of touring throughout the years. It honors an individual that has proven to have an unprecedented historical impact on Country Music fans and the industry alike, and whose presence will have a long-term positive impact on Country Music and CMA for generations to come.

“Honoring our touring community is something I look forward to every year,” says Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “Each time I attend a show, hear a new tour being announced, or see footage from an unforgettable night, I am reminded again of the importance, dedication and resilience of our touring community. I am also especially excited to add five additional categories this year, including a Crew of the Year honor. They are the road warriors that keep Country Music alive all over the world, and I can’t wait to celebrate them on February 12!”

“As someone who spent years not only setting up all my own equipment at shows, but was also for a time a lighting guy and crew member for a band, I know the hard work that goes in to keeping shows on the road,” says Urban. “I’m honored to once again be asked to host the CMA Touring Awards and acknowledge and shower some love on all the hard workers behind the scenes that make it all happen.”

New this year, the 2023 CMA Touring Awards will add five categories to its 15 categories. CMA members will have the opportunity to vote for Backline Technician, Stage Manager, Support Services Company, Unsung Hero and Crew of the Year.

CATEGORY 1 – CREW OF THE YEAR
“All American Road Show Tour” Crew – Chris Stapleton
“The Outsiders Revival Tour” Crew – Eric Church
“I Go Back Tour” Crew – Kenny Chesney
“Country On Tour” Crew – Luke Bryan
“2023 World Tour” Crew – Luke Combs
“One Night At A Time World Tour” Crew – Morgan Wallen
“No Bad Vibes Tour” Crew – Old Dominion
“Home Team Tour 23” Crew – Thomas Rhett

CATEGORY 2 – BACKLINE TECHNICIAN OF THE YEAR
Jason Baskin – Zac Brown Band
Melvin “Melvis” Fults – Kenny Chesney
Carlos Gutierrez – Dierks Bentley
Jason Herndon – Blake Shelton
Joel “Tico” Jimenez – Thomas Rhett
Jeremiah Langdon – Jelly Roll
Chris Miller – Keith Urban
Zach Rickard – Brothers Osborne

CATEGORY 3 – BUSINESS MANAGER OF THE YEAR
Renee Allen – Arnie Barn, Inc.
David Boyer – Flood, Bumstead, McCready & McCarthy, Inc.
Duane Clark – Flood, Bumstead, McCready & McCarthy, Inc.
Catherine Morris – Farris, Self & Moore, LLC
Caleb See – Curo Financial, LLC
Michael Vaden – Vaden Group/Elliott Davis
Kris Wiatr – Wiatr & Associates, LLC

CATEGORY 4 – COACH/TRUCK DRIVER OF THE YEAR
Ronnie Brown – Zac Brown Band
Josh Easter – Morgan Wallen
Rhett Evens – Thomas Rhett
Caleb Garrett – Luke Bryan
Justin Pullin – Old Dominion
Erin Siegfried – Lainey Wilson
Chris Simms – Jelly Roll
Wayne “Wayno” Sullivan – Blake Shelton/Keith Urban

CATEGORY 5 – FOH (FRONT OF HOUSE) ENGINEER OF THE YEAR
Brendan Hines – Jelly Roll
Aaron Lain – Morgan Wallen
Todd Lewis – Luke Combs
Ben Rigby – Eric Church
Arpad Sayko – Chris Stapleton
Trey Smith – Thomas Rhett
Ian Zorbaugh – Old Dominion

CATEGORY 6 – LIGHTING DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
Zac Coren – Morgan Wallen
Philip Ealy – Kenny Chesney
Kevin Lichty – Old Dominion
Mac Mosier – Chris Stapleton
Kevin Northrup – Luke Combs
Taylor Price – Miranda Lambert
Austin Strain – Jelly Roll
Alec Takahashi – Thomas Rhett

CATEGORY 7 – MANAGER OF THE YEAR
Narvel Blackstock – Starstruck Entertainment
Virginia Bunetta – G-Major Management
Martha Earls – Neon Coast
Kerri Edwards – KP Entertainment
Clint Higham – Morris Higham Management
Marion Kraft – ShopKeeper Management
Mandelyn Monchick – Red Light Management
John Peets – Q Prime South

CATEGORY 8 – MONITOR ENGINEER OF THE YEAR
Bryan “Opie” Baxley – Kenny Chesney
Mark Davis – Jelly Roll
Logan Hanna – Brothers Osborne
Andy Hill – Zac Brown Band
Nathan Lowe – Eric Church
Jimmy Nicholson – Thomas Rhett
Dean Studebaker – Old Dominion
Scott Tatter – Dierks Bentley

CATEGORY 9 – PRODUCTION MANAGER OF THE YEAR
Chris Alderman – Blake Shelton
John Garriott – Chris Stapleton
Meesha Kosciolek – Eric Church
Erik Leighty – Miranda Lambert
Chris Nathan – Jake Owen
Earl Neal – Jason Aldean
Kevin Twist – Thomas Rhett
Ed Wannebo – Kenny Chesney

CATEGORY 10 – PUBLICIST OF THE YEAR
Janet Buck – Essential Broadcast Media
Paul Freundlich – PFA Media
Quinn Kaemmer – Big Machine Label Group
Tyne Parrish – The GreenRoom PR
Carla Sacks – Sacks & Co.
Jessie Schmidt – Schmidt Public Relations
Wes Vause – Press On Publicity
Jennifer Vessio – 1220 Entertainment Publicity

CATEGORY 11 – STAGE MANAGER OF THE YEAR
Sam “Sambo” Coats – Eric Church
Donnie Floyd – Morgan Wallen
Todd Green – Chris Stapleton
Matt Hornbeck – Luke Combs
Josh “Dude” Marcus – Jason Aldean
Tom Nisun – Kenny Chesney
Richard Rossey – Old Dominion
Justin Sumrall – Thomas Rhett

CATEGORY 12 – SUPPORT SERVICES COMPANY OF THE YEAR
4 Wall Entertainment
Clair Global
Dega Catering
Master Tour by Eventric
Moo TV
Richards & Southern

CATEGORY 13 – TALENT AGENT OF THE YEAR
Meredith Jones – CAA
Joey Lee – WME
Jonathan Levine – Wasserman Music
Darin Murphy – CAA
Adi Sharma – The Neal Agency
Aaron Tannenbaum – WME
Elisa Vazzana – UTA
Jay Williams – WME

CATEGORY 14 – TALENT BUYER/PROMOTER OF THE YEAR
Bradley Jordan – Peachtree Entertainment
Patrick McDill – Live Nation Nashville
Louis Messina – The Messina Group
Rich Schaefer – AEG Presents
Aaron Spalding – Live Nation Nashville
Ed Warm – Joe’s Concerts
Adam Weiser – AEG Presents

CATEGORY 15 – TOUR MANAGER OF THE YEAR
Matt Anderson – Old Dominion
Jason Hecht – Chris Stapleton
Luke Holton – Brothers Osborne
Chuck Hull – Keith Urban
Meg Miller – Lainey Wilson
Ethan Strunk – Luke Combs
Chris Thacker – Dierks Bentley
Jon Townley – Thomas Rhett

CATEGORY 16 – TOURING MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR
Rob Byus (Bass Guitar) – Blake Shelton
Paul Franklin (Steel Guitar) – Chris Stapleton/Vince Gill
Ben Helson (Guitar) – Dierks Bentley
Lee Hendricks (Bass Guitar) – Eric Church
Harmoni Kelley (Bass Guitar) – Kenny Chesney
Chris Kimmerer (Drums) – Thomas Rhett
Danny Mitchell (Piano) – Miranda Lambert
Kurt Ozan (Guitar) – Luke Combs

CATEGORY 17 – TOUR VIDEOGRAPHER/PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR
Mason Allen – Old Dominion
Andy Barron – Chris Stapleton
Zach Belcher – Dierks Bentley
David Bergman – Luke Combs
CeCe Dawson – Lainey Wilson
Tanner Gallagher – HARDY
Grayson Gregory – Thomas Rhett
Andy Pollitt – Jelly Roll

CATEGORY 18 – TOUR VIDEO DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
Josh Clark – Miranda Lambert
Jay Cooper – Kenny Chesney
Houston Creswell – Dierks Bentley
Ron Etters – Chris Stapleton
Nate Fountain – Zach Bryan/Blake Shelton
Chris Jones – Jelly Roll
Ricky Krohne – Thomas Rhett
Michael Todd “M.T.” Stembridge – Eric Church

CATEGORY 19 – VENUE OF THE YEAR
Ascend Amphitheater – Nashville, TN
BankNH Pavilion – Gilford, NH
Bridgestone Arena – Nashville, TN
Choctaw Casino Resort – Durant, OK
Grand Ole Opry House – Nashville, TN
Joe’s on Weed Street – Chicago, IL
Paycom Center – Oklahoma City, OK
Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO

CATEGORY 20 – UNSUNG HERO OF THE YEAR
Dallas Bowsier – Eric Church
Josh Castle – Dierks Bentley
RJ Estrella – Luke Combs
Kayla Carter Greear – Luke Bryan
Kelsey Maynard – Old Dominion
Todd Molle – Jake Owen
Mel Murphy – Live Nation Nashville
Tyler Rhodes – Thomas Rhett