Six years ago, the Beyond The Stage team was texting furiously in anticipating of our first issue release. With Kalin & Myles on the cover, we planned for social media support, texting our family and friends and doing our best to promote something that we truly believed in and worked hard to create. When we released that issue, we didn’t know how far this would go, how many people would support us and how much we would grow.
In 2020, we launched our official Internship Program, dedicated more time to political and social justice issues and battled how we can support the live music scene and our local stages during a global pandemic. Not only has our team gotten stronger, but we’ve learned to adapt our skills and adapt our minds to conquer every single one of these challenges.
While 2020 has been an extraordinary year, the Beyond The Stage team continues to show passion for what we do, reflecting on moments that have ultimately, created some of their favorite pieces of work that they’ve ever created.
In celebration of our six-year anniversary, we wanted to share what we love and how it happened.
- I would say that my favorite piece that I have written for Beyond The Stage has to be my first ever news article. It was about Bruce Springsteen releasing a new single for his upcoming album. It was not the content of the article itself, but the feeling I got while writing it and then seeing it up on the website with my name next to it. Seeing your name in the byline will never get old, at least for me. I had not written a news piece since May and to pick that up back in September, that too in the field of music, gave me an immense sense of joy. It felt right, and it felt like I was doing work that I could see myself doing day in and day out. I am grateful I got the opportunity to get back into writing, and I am thankful to Beyond The Stage for that! – Abhigyaan Bararia, Writing & Editorial Intern
- From early on in the Beyond The Stage life, I learned that connections and relationships were possibly the most important thing in the music industry. While juggling between our day-to-day publicists, the BTS team has established relationships with the iHeartMedia and iHeartRadio community. Through iHeart, we’ve been able to cover events like iHeartRadio’s Jingle Ball many years in a row, iHeart Country and many more, exposing our team to some of the biggest names in music in some of the largest venues. – Addie Whelan, Editor In Chief
- This is a difficult choice to make because I have had so many great experiences covering events & artists for Beyond the Stage over the years but my favorite experience has to be photographing Voodoo Music & Arts Festival 2017 in New Orleans. This festival had it all – a lineup blending rock, pop, rap, and EDM, a haunted house experience while you walked between stages, and it all took place in a city with the most character anywhere in the US. This year, Post Malone played a side stage and I even got to cross seeing Tom Morello off of my bucket list. Looking back on it, experiencing both of those in the same weekend sounds crazy, and it was. I also interviewed amazing artists Flint Eastwood and Colony House in the middle of the festival for the December 2017 issue. It was an action packed incredibly fun weekend, and it has become one of my favorite festivals to attend. – Alyssa Buzzello, Senior Contributor
- My EP review of elated! by Bea Miller is important to me because I believe it is my strongest writing from this internship. As only my second review with Beyond the Stage, I can see the growth from my first one, especially in my comprehension and in-depth accounts of each song and their connection to the rest of the tracks. I think this review took me to the next level from being a news writer to being more of a music writer. I was inspired to do this EP review because I have kept up with Miller since she was a contestant on The X Factor USA. Because of my love for her unique voice and vulnerable lyrics, I had written a news post about her single “wisdom teeth” before this review, which she even shouted out on her Instagram story (see below). – Amanda Restaino, Writing & Editorial Intern
- One of my all-time favorite contributions to Beyond the Stage was the Lumineers show I photographed last February, at The Enterprise Center in my home city, St. Louis. I remember that day vividly: it was the first arena show I had ever shot and I was shaking from anxiety. The day itself was surrounded in chaos: from the roads being icy, to not being able to find parking, to running 5 blocks in the freezing cold because I got off work late. We shot the show from the soundboard, a large distance from the stage that I was not quite used to. However, when the Lumineers came out the adrenaline took over and I was more focused than I’d ever been. It was the opportunity to prove to myself that my goals were not unobtainable. I remember watching from the crowd afterwards, consumed in the music, feeling more alive than ever before. It was a moment and a feeling that I’ll never forget, even long after the pictures are buried in an old hard drive. – Audrey Battis, Contributing Photographer
- In March of 2019, I had the chance to photograph an absolute legend;
Robyn. As a pop music fanatic, it doesn’t get any better than Robyn.
Body Talk will forever be one of favorite albums, and there arguably
isn’t a song that’s had a bigger impact on me than “Dancing On My Own”.
When I saw that Robyn’s Honey Tour was playing Seattle – which is a 5
hour drive from where I live – I knew I had to go. Despite the potential
long drive and without high expectations, I put in a request to
photograph the show that was eventually approved. I freaked out a
little. Taking photos of Robyn while only feet away from her was an
unreal experience, made even better by the hour and a half of singing
and dancing that followed. Seeing Robyn live was everything I hoped it
would be, and getting to photograph her was an honor. Nights like this
are greatly missed, but the photos and the memories will be enough for
now. – Blake Charles, Contributing Writer & Photographer
- Without question, photographing The Who has been my absolute favorite
assignment for BTS. When I first started shooting shows in tiny, dimly
lit venues with no photo pit, I never imagined that anyone would trust
my skills to cover bands as legendary as The Who. Standing in the middle
of a buzzing, crowded arena, surrounded by industry professionals,
photographing bonafide rock legends was one of the most electric,
heartening moments in my concert photography career. These photos are
more than just snapshots of an incredible night. They are a testament to
where a lifelong love of music, years of practice, and an unbelievably
supportive community has taken me. Fittingly, they remind me just how
far the impact of music stretches beyond the stage. – Dana Jacobs, Contributing Photographer
- In June of 2019, I had the honor of interviewing BENEE and it was undoubtedly one of the most fun interviews I’ve ever done. Stella’s personality and energy was infectious. She was so much fun to be around, and we had a blast taking photos after the interview too. This has grown to be one of my favorite pieces not only because of how much fun it was in the moment, but also because it’s been incredible to see how much she’s grown as an artist since then. She’s become a viral sensation in so many ways, so getting to see her grow and flourish has been such a treat. I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more. In August of 2019, I was lucky enough to be able to review an intimate Jonas Brothers performance at Webster Hall in New York City and it will always be one of my favorite shows I’ve had the privilege of covering. For over half of my life, I’ve been such a big fan of the Jonas Brothers—they played a massive role in my want and yearning to work in the music industry from such a young age. Getting to cover such a special and intimate show at my favorite venue in New York City was a dream. Ava Max also opened the show, and at the time she was our cover star so it was really cool to be able to see her live and watch fans embrace her music. The entire show I felt like I was 12 years old again, and I could tell that every fan in the venue felt the same way. – Gina Scarpino, Managing Editor
- Getting to interview The Vamps and writing a feature on them has to be my favorite thing I’ve done so far for BTS. I had the opportunity to listen to their album early which was incredible and interview the band, really getting to know the stories and inspirations behind the album. The Vamps are a band and group of people who I’ve since the beginning of their career and are incredible people so to be able to talk with them and write a piece on such an incredible album was a dream come true. – Ivy Sandoval, Contributing Writer
- Bumbershoot 2018 was just a festival filled with ‘firsts,’ and is an event I remember fondly. It was the largest festival I had covered, and even though I lived in the Pacific Northwest for 18 years it was the first year I had ever gone. In addition to photographing and reviewing the festival, I got the opportunity to do features with Carlie Hanson and Sasha Sloan. Even though covering festivals are tiring and I find myself exhausted halfway through, they’re always incredibly fun and worth it. Music festivals hold some of my favorite music memories of all time. With all the different music artists and fellow creatives in one place, festivals are full of opportunities and Bumbershoot 2018 was jam-packed of them for me. – Joe Hernandez, Digital Content Manager
- When thinking about my favorite piece I’ve done for BTS over the years, it was actually quite easy. While I have had the pleasure of writing pieces about tons of great artists, getting the opportunity to write a feature cover article about lovelytheband as they were rising in radio popularity was amazing. It was the first cover feature I was really really proud of, I really felt like I got to put my best work forward through this wonderful interview with these three great musicians. This feature really showed how much BTS had grown since the start and where it was headed, much like the band who was being interviewed. On top of the parallels between the band and our publication, this piece is such a standout to me because of the easy, relaxed flow of the conversation. Sometimes with an interview, it can feel very disjointed or a bit chaotic, but that was not the case for this one. It went through all the phases of the lovelytheband story with ease and kept us wanting more (in the best way). – Lauren Klonowski, Deputy Editor
- I am so grateful for Beyond the Stage for allowing me to photograph my last concert for a long while – COIN at the House of Blues Orlando on March 12, 2020. It was a whirlwind before the show. I was already planning on attending as I was going to follow COIN from Florida to Nashville over my spring break, the same spring break that ended up lasting six months. The concert itself was a crazy experience. We had all heard of COVID-19 in some capacity but nobody understood the seriousness of it. Sure Sure dropped out of the Dreamland tour right before the show so it was a COIN only concert. It was an unreal experience to see everybody join together with the common goal to have a great night with their favorite band on the brink of the upcoming pandemic. – Maggie Montgomery, Contributing Photographer
- My favorite piece of content that I’ve ever created for Beyond The
Stage Magazine would be the cover shoot I did with AJ Mitchell. I felt
very honored to be trusted and be given the responsibility of taking
photos of AJ for his cover story. We went to the Venice Canals and had a
very fun and laid-back time taking some of my favorite pictures I’ve
ever taken. It’s so empowering when you see your own work in a magazine
spread, let alone a cover! It was one of the last portrait sessions I
had done before the pandemic hit so it holds a very special place in my
heart for many reasons. It’s the first shoot I think of when I reminisce
on getting outside and taking photos for and with PEOPLE. – Marlowe Teichman, Contributing Photographer
- There have been a lot of shows that I’ve been able to photograph for BTS that have been important to me including the first and being able to shoot Heffron Drive for their cover story. But there’s always something really special about being able to cover one of your favorite band’s shows. The Front Bottoms is a group I discovered right when I was starting college, they were something that became synonymous with my college experience and has remained important to me because of that. The show in LA was not only a fun show to cover because I love The Front Bottoms but because it turned into a challenge for me to photograph when the crowd started literally pushing over the barricade and I personally always love a challenge. – Marissa Sandoval, Project Manager & Contributing Photographer
- The piece I have written for Beyond the Stage Magazine that I am most proud of is the album review on Jillian Dawn’s debut album, 20/20. Jillian is a personal friend of mine and the ability to connect with her through the lens of this magazine was an incredible way to support both a friend and an up and coming artist. To speak about her songs for the audience of BTS gave me the opportunity to speak truthfully from the heart. I had so much fun getting to talk to Jillian through her music and relay the poetic beauty she poured into each lyric. I am thankful for this magazine because it gives a voice and a platform to up and coming artists who can use it to collaborate, advertise and share their truth. I look forward to writing more about Jillian Dawn’s discography as well as other up and coming artists who have touched so many audiences with their music. The ability to stay connected to new music is one of the many reasons why I love writing for Beyond the Stage. – Nick Browne, Writing & Editorial Intern
- When looking back on the work that I have created for BTS, it’s photographing concerts that stand out amongst all else. The show that tops the list for me has to be Houndmouth at Scoot Inn in Austin, Texas. I live nowhere near Texas, but when one of my best friends moved south from our hometown of Milwaukee, I jumped on the opportunity to visit and check out how they do live music in Austin. Let’s just say it didn’t disappoint. Their set was great, the venue was lovely AND outdoors (something the Wisconsin winters would never tolerate!) and I had some great conversations with fellow photographers and concert-goers. It was a beautiful sentiment of music’s ability to bring a group of strangers together to create a community. – Quinn Beaupre, Contributing Photographer
- My favorite piece of Beyond the Stage content is the first ever Get to Know article I did as a member of BTS. It was a Get to Know article for Bryce Vine. This was the first artist I had ever interviewed, and it was truly something I will not ever forget. That article helped me grow into the writer I am now, and I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to interview someone as cool and humble as Bryce! As hard as I tried not to be, I was still a little nervous, but as soon as he and I started talking it felt like we were old friends just having a conversation, which I thought was super cool. Bryce is just one of those people who can make anyone feel comfortable when he is talking to you. He is such a humble artist! – Samantha Aneed, Contributing Writer
- Interviewing The Amazons for BTS was one of my favorite experiences while being a part of this team. I’ve been a long time fan of The Amazons so getting to speak with them in-depth about their music and create photos with them over two days in NYC was truly a dream come true. Hearing just how passionate artists your admire really are first hand is one of my favorite things about being a music journalist and without BTS I never would’ve gotten this kind of opportunity. This interview is one of my all time favorite interviews I have done. Alongside doing an interview I was proud of, I also shot some of my favorite portraits during my two afternoons spent with The Amazons. Incredibly from working on this interview and getting to know the band, they went on to hire me to take live photos of them the next time they were in NYC! – Sara Feigin, Contributing Photographer
Thanks for reading our anniversary memories! We’re so happy to celebrate such a big day with you. Want to keep celebrating? Check out our always updated, Spotify playlist below.