International Women’s Day with Emma Hawkes

Backstage with Live



Wednesday, 8th March


Tell us a bit about your role and how you got into this business?

I recently took on a exciting role with Look Out Kid Management as Touring and Logistics Manager, acting as Tour Director for their Australian and international artist roster. I also work as a freelance production manager, tour manager and stage manager for festivals and artists. I began my career about 17 years ago after studying a diploma of music industry technical production in Adelaide. I started out mixing bands, wrangling backline and artists around Australia on Arts Festivals and touring music festivals.


Would you say the pathways for female Production Managers have changed since you first started in the industry?

I think people are more open to seeing females in this role. In the past it was a rare sight which could be intimidating.


What or who inspires or motivates you, working in this industry today?

The bands I work with inspire me constantly. Their ambition and motivation and their attitude to touring crew and logistics inspires me. Working for an artist that cares about a diverse and talented crew shows a lot of character and maturity and inspires growth. It makes me proud to work in an industry in a role that can create inclusive workplaces and conditions for everyone.


Do you find there is comradery and advocacy amongst your female peers in the industry, and what drives that?

I do now. lol. 10 years ago it felt like everyone was trying to prove something as a female. That has definitely changed.

Personally, Im always keen to see more women in our workforce and am regularly approached by managements or artists for recommendations for female crew.


You’ve toured extensively abroad and across Australia. What is your favourite place you have toured to and what made it so special

It’s hard to pick a favourite! Anywhere where you can be on the road for longer than a few weekend warriors is good 👍


You’re currently over in Europe. How has your experience of touring in Europe changed post Covid and post BREXIT?

Carnets carnets carnets – a new love hate relationship. Its definitely added to the workload and the time spent waiting for processing on the road between UK & EU.


Between your artists and festivals, you spend a lot of time on the road. What do you enjoy doing in your downtime?

I love to hang out with my dog, surf and get out into nature whether it be in Australia or overseas.


Covid has obviously had a massive impact on the industry. Looking forward, what do you see as the biggest challenges or opportunities over the next 2-3 years?

Understanding inflation, new costs, rules & budgeting for this. Finding skilled crew and getting new people involved in the industry. The last year has been tough in securing resources and crew as the market was over saturated with events starting back up again. Adopting the ‘new normal’ is the biggest challenge our industry faces.


We have worked with you for a number of years at Live Event Logistics. What role does tour trucking, freight, and logistics play amongst the myriad of components that need to come together when planning a tour?

They are actually one of the most important elements in my mind. There is no show if you can’t get gear from A to B. For both festivals and tours its one of the first things I’m looking to lock in – it also plays a big part in show routing and those initial event planning processes. Chris and Andrew and the team at LEL always help me with my questions or concerns and its great to see an independent company on the road that supports both small emerging and larger established touring artists and shows.


What is the best piece of advice you can give for the next generation of women wanting to get into Touring and Technical Production ?

We are all equal, don’t waste time worrying about that. All you can do is your best. Being respectful & having a good attitude goes a long way. Say yes to everything (at least once) and always try to maintain a work life balance … as hard as that can be. Never be afraid to ask questions … send that email, pick up the phone or ask for help – I gather so much strength, support and knowledge from my peers.


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