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Terry Lowe

The Industry’s Highest Honor for Live Event Professionals

Since 2001, scores of our highest achievers and most admired innovators have been awarded a Parnelli Award. The award recognizes pioneering, influential professionals and their contributions, honoring individuals, companies, and game-changing products. It is truly the “Oscar®” of the Live Event Industry.

Founded by Patrick Stansfield (1944-2014) and Terry Lowe, publisher of FOH and PLSN magazines, it has grown in stature every year. In what started off as a small dinner in a Southern California Restaurant where Lowe and Stansfield handed out one award – Lifetime Achievement Honoree to Tour/Production Manager Brian Croft – has grown into a gala production where more than 25 awards are handed out. The “Lifetime” category has grown to three: “Lifetime” which typically goes go tour/production managers; “Parnelli Audio Innovator” which goes to a pioneering and/or key influencer in the pro audio world; and “Visionary” which goes to a pioneering and/or key influencer in the visual aspect of concert touring – typically lighting, but also has included top staging, rigging, and video professionals.

When Stansfield passed away, founding Board of Advisor member Marshall Bissett took over as chairman. Today the Board includes 20 of the industry’s top professionals representing all disciplines and spread out across the country.

Patrick Stansfield

It’s prestigious enough to bring out the stars, and past shows had Brooks & Dunn, Paul Anka, Tom Petty, Kenny Chesney, and other artists wanting to come in person to honor those who work behind the scenes enabling great live events to happen. Previous Emcee’s have included Todd Rundgren, Alice Cooper, Dennis DeYoung, Fee Waybill, Kevin Lyman, and Adrian Belew, among others.

In 2017, the decision was made to move the show to Anaheim, and make it part of the NAMM Convention. (Lowe and NAMM Chairman discuss this historic partnership where production meets performance in this article here.) But from our first show to our 20th and beyond, we go forward with fulfilling the Parnelli Awards Mission: Allowing one night a year when the microphone is on for and the spotlight shines on those individuals who spend their careers behind the scenes.