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Celebrating Four Years of GBTRS

Four years ago, Girls Behind the Rock Show was born. Here, our team reflects on the history of the group and the excitement that comes with being a part of this movement.

Shelby:
For the past three years, I’ve blogged on the anniversary day of GBTRS, retelling the year, how we go to where we are and how I’m so utterly grateful. And while the sentiment hasn’t changed, this year I felt it was more important to hear from our team. As always, GBTRS has been the greatest gift of my life. It’s been a pleasure to work on and to have been able to see so many young women and gender nonconforming find a space in the industry to help guide them as they navigate through it. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to help others, for the allowance of me into all of your lives and for what you all have collectively taught me.

But I’m also incredibly grateful for these young women who have sacrificed their time, efforts, knowledge and love to help curate a community that we are all able to begin our thriving journeys together in. They’ve become my best friends, my family, my teammates in so many aspects of life. I find myself surrounded by young women who make me the best version of myself, and who are supportive as I learn alongside all of you. So please read on and thank you for four wonderful years.

Jess:
I get super reflective on planes, and this is a little something that I journaled recently-ish:

I was lucky to have positive interactions with music people early on. I started out with really basic event staff jobs, “guarding” the production office/dressing rooms or whatever it might be for an amphitheater that was really close to my house growing up. I put “guarding” in quotes because I am a small 5’3” woman and many crew members were quick to joke with me about how scary I was as a guard. Anyways, it sticks in my mind how people who held significant positions within the touring crews treated me with so much respect and believed in me even at an entry level. People who saw the potential in me. And that made me feel like I was capable and ready to pursue more.

Especially in the very beginning, you are so ready to have someone tell you that you aren’t cut out for it, or your goals are ridiculous. I got lucky. Some of the interactions that I’ve had now as a more established human with a vision have been really unpleasant, but I had the benefit of experience, built-up confidence in my abilities over the years, and a knowledge of a certain way I have to carry myself for the less “woke” people in the industry to take all 5’3” of me more seriously. I believe that 2014 me would have taken those interactions to mean that I was pursuing the wrong thing and I wasn’t fit for this dream. Like I said, I got lucky.

It means a lot that I have such a strong support system. It feels like I have a large community of people through GBTRS that I can lean on. So to be a small piece in helping to create that community has been so fulfilling for me.

There have been times where I’ve had a particularly bad work day — where someone clearly tried their hardest to make me feel small. On those days, I find myself even more motivated to work on GBTRS. To know that we’re creating opportunities where women who are starting out can have positive work experiences in healthy environments. To have that peace of mind that I can channel the emotions surrounding a bad experience into something good.

I should take plane rides more often so I can force myself to reflect a little bit more, but that would really start to add up.

Madeline:
Being a part of GBTRS for the past three years has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve been able to do in my life so far. I’ve had some unforgettable experiences and I’m glad to work with high-quality humans who are also high-quality friends. Can’t wait to see where we will be in the next four years and beyond that!

Sam:
For the last four years, the amazing and wonderful Shelby has been working incredibly hard on this baby we call Girls Behind The Rock Show. When I first met Shelby, I wondered how someone could have their life so together that they’d want to start a non-profit to help other young women in the industry. Turns out no one has their life together. Not you, not me, not anyone. But regardless of any hurdles, Shelby and the rest of the GBTRS team overcome them as a family. When I joined this team a year ago I had no idea what I was getting myself into. It’s been a year of incredible growth and learning, and of wonderful opportunities.

Four years ago, a movement was started. Four years ago, Shelby created something that would eventually impact thousands of young women and non-binary people in the industry without even knowing how large the impact would be. I’m so thankful for everything GBTRS has given me and for the family I now have.

And don’t forget to stream Ginger by Brockhampton.

Tess:
Girls Behind the Rock Show is incredible. The music industry is extremely male-dominated, so to have a space dedicated to empowering, educating, and giving opportunities to women/non-binary folx is a game-changer. I have been able to collaborate with an incredible team and offered opportunities I would not have otherwise found without GBTRS. Overseeing the editorial team has been incredibly rewarding and oh-so-much fun! It’s an honor to work for Shelby and this magical organization, and I don’t see myself leaving this group – ever.

Aliyah:
Girls Behind the Rock Show came into my life in November 2017. At that time, I had been on this crazy music industry journey for about three years. After numerous closed doors and being two months into an industry-related degree, I began questioning if all my hard work was really worth it. One night, I had asked for a sign if I should continue this dream of mine. Then GBTRS x SWMRS Roadie for a Day came along. I submitted my application and couldn’t stop thinking about it. Sure enough, I was selected to be SWMRS’ roadie for a day in D.C.! Getting to live out a part of my dream job for a day was that sign that I was going down the right path. Next thing I know, I’m brought on as GBTRS’ writer! From the minute I discovered Girls Behind the Rock Show, I’ve experienced nothing but love, encouragement, teamwork, and friendship. From our weekly meetings to interviewing my favorite band to even taking a 10-hour road trip with these absolute gems of human beings to be a part of PlanetRoo at Bonnaroo 2019, GBTRS has been a light in my life that continually inspires not only me but others to put 110% into our passion to defy the odds.

Sydney:
Girls Behind the Rock Show has been my guiding light in this crazy industry. I absolutely wouldn’t be where I am today without the group and all the incredible people that are a part of it. To my fellow Girls teammates: you are all rockstars and I love you all so much. Here’s to another incredible year of love, support, and kicking ass.

Moira:
[H]appy anniversary to the best company that I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with 🙂

Although I’ve been a part of the team for less than a year, I wouldn’t trade them for anything. I love every single one of them with my whole heart and I know my life has changed for the better since being a part of GBTRS. I’m eternally grateful that I’m allowed to be a part of something as meaningful and wonderful as GBTRS. This team has become my whole world.