CMA Touring Awards

September 28, 2023


Five New Categories Added in Addition to More Substantial Balloting Process

NASHVILLE—The Country Music Association, the premier trade association of the Country Music industry, has announced expansive changes to its CMA Touring Awards, which recognize vital behind-the-scenes members of the Country Music touring community.

New this year, the 2023 CMA Touring Awards will add five categories to its current 15 categories. CMA members will soon have the opportunity to vote for Crew, Backline Technician, Stage Manager, Support Services Company, and Unsung Hero of the Year. Additionally, a CMA Touring Lifetime Achievement Award is determined each year by CMA’s Board of Directors.

• Crew of the Year – This award honors the entire crew of a Country Music tour that executed a multi-city run of shows during the eligibility period. The award recognizes the crew that has consistently demonstrated outstanding professionalism, skills, teamwork, hospitality, innovation, and excellence in all aspects of their work. The crew has raised the bar to the level that others aspire to reach by delivering unforgettable live music experiences. This award is not necessarily for the team supporting the biggest or top selling tour of the year, but for the crew that has clearly demonstrated the most heart and spirit on the road, making the biggest overall contribution to elevating Country Music.

• Backline Technician of the Year – This award goes to a Backline Technician who has demonstrated technical proficiency in ensuring exceptional musician and/or artist support on a Country tour during the eligibility period.

• Stage Manager of the Year – This award goes to a Stage Manager who has been instrumental in organizing and executing a Country tour during the eligibility period.

• Support Services Company of the Year – This award goes to a Support Services Company that has maintained high professional standards and delivered creative and innovative ideas through their services provided to a Country tour during the eligibility period. This may include video, lighting, merchandise, security, sound equipment leasing, transportation, catering, staging, and other touring support services companies.

• Unsung Hero of the Year – This award goes to a Touring Professional who has made invaluable contributions behind the scenes and served as a vital part of a Country tour during the eligibility period. The recipient of this award has gone above and beyond their assigned duties and has worked tirelessly to elevate the overall experience for everyone on the tour. Individuals who are eligible to be nominated in the other CMA Touring Award categories are not eligible to be nominated for this award category.

In addition to these new categories, the balloting process for the 2023 CMA Touring Awards has also been updated. A Nomination Round will take place between Friday, Oct. 6 and Thursday, Oct. 19, allowing eligible CMA Professional voting members in the Affiliated, Artist, Composer, Entertainment Services, Musician, Personal Manager, Record Company, Talent Agent, Advertising/Marketing/Communications, Venue, Talent Buyer/Promoter and Touring Personnel categories of membership the opportunity to nominate individuals/companies in all 20 categories while providing a brief explanation for their nomination. A CMA Touring Awards Nominations Task Force will then review the Top 20 nominated individuals/companies in each category and determine the finalists. The task force is comprised of individuals who are knowledgeable in the field of Country Music touring. A Final Round of voting between Wednesday, Dec. 13 and Thursday, Dec. 28 will allow eligible CMA Professional voting members to cast their vote amongst the Top 5 to 8 finalists in each category. CMA members are encouraged to keep an eye on their inbox for balloting information.

"So often, those within our hard-working touring community are the unsung heroes of our business," says Jay Williams, WME Nashville Partner/Co-Head and CMA Awards & Recognition Committee Chair. "As CMA honors excellence within the genre throughout the year, we recognize the Touring Personnel category of CMA's membership is the second largest within the organization. I'm thrilled that our Board has unanimously made the decision to expand our support with the addition of these new categories and processes."

Stay tuned for additional details regarding the 2023 CMA Touring Awards ceremony, expected to be held in Nashville in early 2024. Music industry professionals working within any genre, as well as college and high school students, can learn about the many benefits of CMA membership at

About the CMA Touring Awards The CMA Touring Awards, originally called the SRO (Standing Room Only) Awards, were created by the CMA Board of Directors in 1990 to honor outstanding professional achievement within the touring industry. The first awards were presented at a black-tie gala hosted by K.T. Oslin and Roger Miller during CMA’s Entertainment Expo, also known as the Talent Buyers Entertainment Marketplace. The SRO Awards were renamed the CMA Touring Awards in 2016.

About the Country Music Association Founded in 1958, CMA is the premier trade association of the Country Music industry. Representing professionals making a living in Country Music globally, the organization serves as a critical resource of support and information, honors excellence in the genre and provides a forum for industry leadership. CMA is dedicated to expanding Country Music around the world through a number of core programs and initiatives including the organization’s three annual television properties—the CMA Awards, “CMA Fest” and “CMA Country Christmas,” all of which air on ABC. The organization’s philanthropic arm, the CMA Foundation, works tirelessly to provide equitable access to music education in order to create impactful change for students and teachers across the United States.