International Women’s Day | Get to know the women behind DHP | Round 2

In celebration of International Women’s Day we sat down and had a chat to some of the amazingly talented women that work within DHP to find out a little about what they do and how they got there. In this second round of interviews we spoke with Production Manager Maddy Chamberlain, Deputy General Manager Demi Schwartz Walsh, Assistant Deputy Manager Georgia Rostron, and Maintenance Assistant Esme Barnaville. 

Production Manager

Maddy Chamberlain

What does a day in your job involve?  

Every day is so different which is what I love about my job! There are lots of different aspects from advancing upcoming shows to make sure everything is prepared on the venue and band ends for each show, venue duty managing, repping shows running around looking after bands, and booking support acts and lovely local artists for our festivals 😊

What kind of experience did you need to enter into the role?

0! I was about to finish university in 2017 and had no idea what I wanted to do other than be involved in the music industry somehow. So I started on the bar at Bodega, a few months later I applied to be training assistant manager and 6 months after that I went into the production side of things. It’s much more about having a great interest and passion for music!

Have you had any boundaries that you have had to overcome and if so how did you do this?

When I started this job I didn’t have heaps of confidence and was fairly shy (I know hard to believe now haha) but I had a bunch of determination to learn. Over the years, without even realising until looking back now this was a massive boundary I’ve overcome, now I’m much more confident in myself, my abilities, and my decisions. I think mostly this was through throwing myself into situations I might not necessarily feel super confident in or necessarily be the person who knows the most in the room, but eventually these don’t seem to daunting! This was also helped by having lots of amazing women in head roles within DHP, an encouraging tangible sign that you’d be taken seriously.

Describe your role in three words.

Fun. Challenging. Diverse.

What is your favourite thing about your role?

Ooo I’m not going to lie I’m a bit of an organisation freak so I love the advancing side of shows and repping, making sure everything is fully prepped so that artists are able to have the best time at our venues and everything goes smoothly on the day. But also a massive part of my job that fills my heart is promoting local bands and watching them grow over the years, it’s so amazing to watch. From getting them on support slots for small shows to seeing them play Rock City main stage at festivals and beyond is something very special.

Who is your favourite female artist / female fronted band at the minute?

LA LUZ. Hands down, their album Floating Features is just everything I’ve ever needed. If you don’t know, I beg you go have a listen + they’re playing The Bodega in April and I’ve never been more excited for a show here.



Deputy General Manager at Thekla

Demi Schwartz Walsh

What does your job at Thekla involve?

I’m the deputy general manager of Thekla so a bit of everything really, I mainly manage club events and rep live shows, I am responsible for stock control and placing orders for the venue. On top of this there’s also customer welfare and first aid, and of course the things that come only with working on a venue like Thekla, like becoming overly familiar with the boats bilge & sump pumps. I wear many hats.

What kind of experience did you need to enter into the role?

I didn’t have much prior experience when I first started working at Thekla. I had come from a retail background, but this was my first job behind a bar and in a music venue. I started behind the bar back in 2014 and slowly worked my way up the ranks, training and learning on the job. I’ve now been repping gigs and running club nights for nearly 6 years.

Have you had any boundaries that you have had to overcome and if so, how did you do this?

Being a 4”9’ tall woman I feel I come into things on a bit of a back foot, as most women feel. Over the years I’ve been faced with people not taking me seriously, talking down to me, and assuming I’m not the one in any position of authority, but it doesn’t take long for them to realise that I know my stuff and can hold my own. I’ve never really felt the need to prove myself to anyone I just let my let my knowledge and actions speak for themselves.

Describe your role in three words.

Problem solving babysitter. 

Do you have any advice for women looking to work in the industry?

If you want to do it, then do it, even if it feels a little daunting at first. I think the best advice is to just be confident and don’t let the idea that ‘it’s a man’s industry’ shake you. I’ve never once thought I couldn’t do my job due to being a woman, and while yes there has been obstacles and at times some unpleasant situations, it hasn’t and won’t stop me.

Who is your favourite female artist / female fronted band at the minute?

Vukovi – Female fronted Scottish rock band, I first saw them support for another band back in 2015 and have loved them since.


Assistant Deputy Manager at Rescue Rooms

Georgia Rostron


What does your job involve?

My job involves working with a lot of different people, from liaising with bands/ artists to helping a girl find her friends on one of our club/bar nights. There are so many different aspects to my job role that I love and no days the same. I am lucky enough to help put on amazing events and manage them throughout the night, as well as repping for gigs and shows we put on, some of which I have been a fan of the band/artist so being able to show them our venue and help them to enjoy their night and put on a great show is a such an amazing thing to be able to do in my every day job. I also find it rewarding to see people having great night, enjoying themselves, and knowing that I’m a part of that.

What kind of experience did you need to get the role?

When I started working for DHP in 2018 I didn’t have any experience at all apart from waiting tables in my local pub for a year which I hated. Then I saw that rescue rooms were hiring, and I’ve never applied for something as quick. I started on the bar shortly after that and fell in love with my new work environment. All the employees I worked with were great and it was such a good company to work for, so I stayed here, slowly moving my way up to bar supervisor, to shift supervisor and then to management. This just shows that if you work hard enough and really enjoy what you do you can move your way up that ladder, I started off with no experience but soon learnt everything you need to know about the company and bar.  I’m still learning new things every day in my role and it only makes me a stronger worker and an even stronger woman.

Have you had any boundaries that you have had to overcome and if so, how did you do this?

My job challenges me in different ways every day. When I first got the promotion, it was quite scary, and I sometimes felt out my depth, but then I kept reminding myself how much I’ve achieved so far, and I had the power to make changes and be a role model for another woman who worked behind the bar like I used to. We haven’t had a woman manager at Rescue Rooms for a few years until I got promoted and I wanted to be there as a role model for all the girls working here. One of the main boundaries I’ve had to overcome is dealing with spiking reports as its such a horrible thing to see and can be emotionally distressing especially as a woman. I try to make the positives in that we have an opportunity to help a young girl out of that situation and work harder to make sure they are safe, and ultimately be a part of trying to prevent these cases happening in the future. We have a great team here from security to club crew and an onsite medic who all work together as a team to help our female customers feel safe.

Describe your role in 3 words:

Challenging, rewarding and fun.

Do you have any advice for women looking to work in the industry?

My advice to any woman looking to work in the live music/ bar industry would be; Be a role model to other women! It can be scary working in such a busy and lively environment. Be confident in what you do! Never doubt yourself, even if you make mistakes as that’s just part of life, you only learn from your mistakes, and they make you stronger. There’s no such thing as a woman’s or a man’s job, take pride in your work and do what you’re good at. Show the men that we can do it better!

Who is your favourite female artist/ female fronted band at the minute?

I’m obsessed with Remi Wolf at the minute, I love her music and that she’s such a powerful role model for women in music and has an IDGAF attitude. Her songs are fun and catchy and she has an energy about her.


Maintenance at Thekla

Esme Barnaville

What does a day in your job involve?   

An early start and a walk around the boat to make sure everything is in one piece and when it inevitably isn’t (especially after clubnights) I have a cuppa and a think while I write up a list of tasks. Then the day flies by and at the end I’m usually covered in paint, dust, and sweat. Occasionally worse stuff (liquid from the bilge pump behind the bar).

Stopping leaks, rehanging doors, replacing flushes, painting over graffiti, retrieving phones from underneath the smoking deck, painting the roof, replacing bits of floor/wall/door, and a whole host of safety and equipment checks.

What kind of experience did you need to enter into the role?

I’m not sure what clinched it, but I’ve always leaned towards practical things- Painting and decorating, carpentry, fabrication, maintenance, lab tech, allotment, a whole bunch of stuff. I’m currently training as a plumber, so that can’t have hurt!

Have you had any boundaries that you have had to overcome and if so how did you do this?

It’s a twofold thing for me. Attitudes towards women in male-dominated industries were much worse 20 years ago so breaking in proved challenging. I put energy into building up my skills and confidence, and also waited until the barriers became smaller. My experience at Thekla has been overwhelmingly positive and the many (invariably male) contractors I work with listen to me and treat me with respect. 

Describe your role in three words.

The first thing I thought of was “Kneeling in piss” but if you don’t want to put that you can say “mystery leak detector”.

Who is your favourite female artist / female fronted band at the minute?

Picking just one is tricky, but Pleasure Venom are brilliant, also if you haven’t listened to Pussy Mask by Peaches, you should do so immediately.




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