Company Company 2019: The Year in Live Events | Vivid Seats December 17, 2019 by Stephen Spiewak 2019: The Year in Live Events New artists. New venues. New genres. As the world of live events continues to change, one timeless truth remained the same in 2019: There was simply no substitute for being there in person. From a first-time World Series champion to another Patriots Super Bowl victory, bands that have been touring for six decades (Rolling Stones, anyone?) to emerging mega stars like Lizzo, the 2019 year in live events was a celebration of the old and new. The established icon and the breakthrough rookie. The sounds that have reverberated around concert halls for decades and the new notes that are delighting crowds on the world's biggest stages. Vivid Seats broke down the 2019 year in live events and cast an eye toward 2020, which will no doubt present more evolution to the live events landscape. But amid the change, the experience of being there, in person, in the crowd, will remain the sameĂ?Â˘??a moment of energy and excitement that can't be replicatedĂ?Â˘??or easily forgotten. Overall Artist of the Year BTS BTSĂ?Â˘?? momentum only accelerated in 2019. After becoming the first K-pop act to perform at a U.S. stadium (with a concert at Citi Field in October), BTS outdid themselves with a mammoth six-concert tour that featured stops at the Rose Bowl, Solder Field and MetLife Stadium, smashing records along the way. Podcast of the Year My Favorite Murder Murderinos came out in full force in 2019. The popular true crime-comedy podcast was a live event sensation, culminating with "My Favorite Weekend"Ă?Â˘??an interactive weekend that could serve as a model that other podcasts follow in the future. K-pop Group of the Year BTS is not only the K-pop group of the year, but the overall top artist of 2019. What canĂ?Â˘??t the K-pop mega starsĂ?Â˘??and their fansĂ?Â˘??do? K-pop Solo Artist of the Year Sunmi Group acts dominated the U.S. K-pop scene in 2019, but Sunmi stood out as a solo performer. Fans flocked to see Sunmi's Ă?Â˘??WarningĂ?Â˘?? tour in smaller, more intimate venues like the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco and New York's Town Hall. Rap Artist of the Year Post Malone His hit "White Iverson" dropped in just 2015, but it feels like Post Malone has been a rap star for far longer. In 2019, Post Malone was unstoppable, from his massive concert tour to a loaded lineup of artists for Posty Fest at AT&T Stadium. Pop Act of the Year Jonas Brothers The 2019 year in music saw several comeback tours, none more prominent than that of the Jonas Brothers, whose Ă?Â˘??Happiness BeginsĂ?Â˘?? tour drew huge crowds in nearly all major markets. Rock Artist of the Year Rolling Stones Though it was delayed due to Mick Jagger's illness, the Rolling Stones' 2019 tour brought fans of all ages to some of the largest venues in the U.S. to enjoy the Stones in their sixth decade (!) of live performances. R&B Artist of the Year Khalid With mega-popular hits such as "Talk" and "Better," Khalid catapulted into mainstream stardom and delighted crowds along the way at his 2019 Free Spirit tour. Country Artist of the Year Luke Combs The former high school football player from the mountains of North Carolina etched his place among country music royalty in 2019. He's not quite a household name yet ala Garth Brooks and George Strait, but Luke Combs is drawing fans to his shows with equal fervor. Breakout K-pop Group of the Year Stray Kids Stray Kids narrowly edged out fellow K-pop senstations TxT to capture Vivid Seats 2019 Breakout K-pop Group honors. Breakout Pop Star of the Year Maggie Rogers The 25-year-old NYU grad took her concert tour to venues like New York's Hammerstein Ballroom, Nashville's Ryman Auditorium and The Tabernacle in Atlanta. By 2020, expect her to be playing even larger shows as she continues to blossom into a bona fide indie pop star. Breakout Country Star of the Year Tyler Childers Childers earned a well-deserved GRAMMY nomination for his hit song "All Your'n.Ă?Â˘?? His 2019 tour was massively successful, and he shows no signs of slowing down in 2020, with a full slate of tour dates locked in alongside Sturghill Simpson. Breakout R&B Artist of the Year Summer Walker Summer Walker trimmed down her scheduled tour but still outsold countless R&B stars with more established careers. Expect to see a re-energized Walker occupy an even bigger space in the R&B scene next year. Breakout Rapper of the Year Lizzo In any other year (perhaps 2020), Lizzo could be the rapper of the year or the overall artist of the year. That's how impressive her 2019 was. The Minnesota-proud singer and songwriter delivers a one-of-a-kind concert experience and is rapidly building one of the most loyal fan bases in the industry. Breakout Alternative Act of the Year LANY The three-member band embarked on its Malibu Nights tour in 2019 to much fan fare. With an appearance scheduled for next year's Something in the Water festival, a 2020 tour could be in the cards as LANY continues to skyrocket into stardom. 2020 Look Ahead Sports City of the Year Las Vegas With a thriving NHL franchise, a deluge of NCAA basketball conference tournaments and an assortment of other events, Vegas will be the place to be for sports fans in 2020. That's not to mention the arrival of the NFL... Concerts City of the Year Knoxville It was good to be a music fan in Knoxville in 2019, a memorable year in which Garth Brooks performed at Neyland Stadium. It will be even better in 2020, as music fans will have more options than ever for compelling concerts. Comedy City of the Year Buffalo A veritable Who's Who caravan of top comedy acts will parade through Buffalo in 2020, including Trevor Noah, Jim Gaffigan, Jeff Dunham and Mike Epps. And that's just in the first half of the year. Festival City of the Year Columbus, Ohio Thought the best festival city in America is in SoCal? Guess again. The Buckeye Country Fest boasts Florida Georgia Line and Kenny Chesney, while Sonic Temple 2020 features Metallica. Columbus is the place to be in 2020 for music festival lovers. Musical City of the Year Cincinnati In 2020, the Queen City will play host to The Lion King, Buddy Holly, Les Miserables and even a musical parody of The Office. A loaded slate of theater shows should get even more attractive when Hamilton returns. MMA City of the Year Tampa MMA continues to rise in popularity, but its most passionate fans seem to reside in Tampa, where diehards have purchased more tickets per capita than any other metro market in the country. Ballet City of the Year Raleigh, N.C. The Carolina Ballet is one of the best-kept ballet secrets across the country. Raleigh will enjoy a strong series of ballet options including Cinderella, MacBeth and Rhapsody in Blue. Best City for Opera Sarasota, Fla. Sarasota has quietly become a mecca for those escaping the cold--and those who enjoy great opera. The Sarasota Opera House will play host to La Boheme, Romeo and Juliet, Elixir of Love and more. Best City of Podcast Lovers Chicago Windy City residents must heat up in the winter by indulging in podcasts. Chicago edges Seattle and Portland as the top city for podcasts as live events. Best Small City for Sports Auburn-Opelika The Auburn area is a sports fan's dream. Not only can residents and visitors take in top-notch SEC action across all sports right in town, but Atlanta, Montgomery and Birmingham are all easy drives to bigger cities, presenting an even wider array of sports action to enjoy. Best Small City for Music Napa Those who visit Napa know what residents have realized for a while: There is so much more to the area than wine. The music scene is thriving around Napa Valley, and it will only continue to get better in 2020. Best Small City for Theater Durham Theater fans in Durham will be able to check out Come From Away, Rent, Mean Girls and Les Mis--all in just the first three months of 2020. Best Small City for Comedy Atlantic City Atlantic City is absolutely a destination for comedy fans. The lineup of comedians slated to perform there in 2020 represents an eclectic mix of styles and personalities that includes Jerry Seinfeld, Sinbad, Bob Saget and Tiffany Hadish. Plan your trip to the Jersey Shore accordingly. Golf City of the Year Milwaukee Ryder Cup 2020--need we say more? The entire golf universe will center around Whistling Straits in the fall of 2020, making Milwaukee the place to be for golf fans. Minor League Baseball City of the Year Charlotte Minor league baseball is thriving in Charlotte. Taking in a Charlotte Knights game at BB&T remains an experience that any baseball fan should add to the bucket list.