My Jingle Ball Tour Highlights!

By Rachel Kaplan, Assistant Photo Editor

I attended my first Jingle Ball in 2008, when Rihanna and Chris Brown performed together— my YouTube account peaked at 25k views because of a blurry video that I took of ‘Breezy’ singing “Forever.” Kanye West, Katy Perry, and Lady Gaga (in her “Just Dance” days) were also in the lineup.


I worked my first Jingle Ball as an editor in 2011— Lady Gaga and Katy Perry were back on the bill, as was Justin Bieber. In the years following, I continued to work the New York show as well as Philadelphia and Boston. I couldn’t get enough. Editing is so fun. Even if you aren’t sitting in the arena watching the show, you get to live the moments through someone else’s beautiful captures. What was different about 2016, though, was being able to shoot as well as edit. That said, here are my personal highlights from 2016’s Jingle Ball Tour.


Highlight: Britney Spears and Tinashe

My first show of the tour was LA, where I edited. The highlight was stepping out from the production room to watch Tinashe, who is such a star, join Britney Spears for their collaboration on “Slumber Party.” It was also Britney Spears’ birthday.


Highlight: All Access Lounge

After LA, I headed back to New York for a relatively normal week of work. The All-Access Lounge at Hammerstein Ballroom was a great way to start New York’s Z100/iHeartRadio Jingle Ball! A ton of fans come out for the free event and got swag from all of the sponsor activations. It was a long day, but so worth it to see acts like Jordan Fisher, Los 5, Tinashe, Sabrina Carpenter, and more!

Onstage at The Hammerstein Ballroom in New York

Highlight: Annual Squad Goals Photo

Next, I headed to MSG to grab some food from catering— I always look forward to the butternut squash ravioli. The show typically passes by pretty quickly even though this stop on the tour had the most performers and we edit into the early hours of the morning. We wrapped around 4 a.m. Each year, we try to take a squad goals pic of the editors, who are usually the last ones left along with the IT guys!

Editor photos in the production room after #Z100JingleBall at Madison Square Garden in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016!


When I woke up the next day, it was time to go to Boston. The Boston team always treats me like family, and everyone else that I met along the way during my mini-tour was so friendly. It was great to finally put faces to some of the names who I email all the time.

Highlight: Ariana Grande’s Wintery Set

Queen Ari got us all in the holiday spirit by performing a medley of songs from her EP, Christmas & Chill. She really dressed the part in a white winter coat.

Onstage at #KISS108JingleBall at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

Highlight: DNCE’s Wild Energy

You can always count on DNCE to deliver a groovy set. At every show, Joe runs through the crowd and climbs up the back of the arena getting up close and personal with fans. Dangerous? Yes. Awesome? Also yes. It goes without question that bass player Cole Whittle is wild and crazy onstage, and one of the most dynamic musicians to photograph these days.

Onstage at #KISS108JingleBall at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

Highlight: Alessia Cara Was ‘Here’

​Alessia was one of my favorite artists to work with in 2016. Especially when I got to shadow her during the second night of Coldplay’s ‘A Head Full of Dreams Tour’ at MetLife Stadium for Unfiltered. So to wrap up December seeing her a couple more times was cool. Just a little while later, her third single, “Scars To Your Beautiful,” went platinum!

Onstage at #KISS108JingleBall at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

Highlight: Ellie Goulding’s Epic Jump

​Ellie has so much energy, dancing and jumping around every inch of the stage.

Onstage at #KISS108JingleBall at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

Highlight: Shawn Mendes Closing the Show

​This was one big sing-a-long and all of the cell phone lights were a sight to see. I’ve photographed Shawn in concert a bunch of times over the years and the ‘Mendes Army’ just keeps getting bigger and stronger.

Onstage at #KISS108JingleBall at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

Check out more highlights here!​​​