"Don’t let anyone trick you into believing that kindness equals weakness": 5 Minutes With Slam Dunk's Jasmine Hussain #IWD22

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In celebration of International Women's Day 2022, we're celebrating all of the best and most talented women in the events industry. Be it musicians, comedians, or industry workers who play an integral part in keeping the world of events running smoothly, we thought we'd take the opportunity to speak to women from all corners of the industry. We wanted to find out about their experiences and, most of all, sing their praises!

In the latest of our International Women's Day series, we spoke to Jasmine Hussain, PA & Assistant Project Coordinator at Slam Dunk Music. Jasmine's been a part of the music industry since her time at university, from her days working in the box office at Birmingham's O2 Institute, to freelance roles at major festivals such as Download and Reading & Leeds. As part of the team responsible for giving us Slam Dunk Festival, the UK's biggest pop punk festival, Jasmine gladly shoulders the weight of many different roles and has worked her way through the music and festival scene over the years to become as an integral part of the Slam Dunk Music family.

Check out what we had to chat about in our International Women's Day interview...

Tell us about your route into the music industry.

I first started working behind the bar at the O2 Institute in Birmingham whilst I was at university. From there I started doing shifts in the box office and shadowing whoever I could in the venue to learn as much as I could. I then worked in ticketing for a few years whilst picking up extra production freelance work at major festivals such as Download, Reading and Leeds and Latitude before freelancing at Slam Dunk in 2018. I secured a full time job with them shortly after that!

What does your job role entail, day to day?

I know it’s cliché to say, but I am a wearer of many hats in my role.  I deal with everything from marketing, ticketing, sponsorship, festival logistics, staffing... On top of that I also attempt to keep our director in check as his personal assistant.

What part of your job do you enjoy the most, and why?

Again, I hate to be a massive walking cliché here, but if I wasn’t still working from home I’d genuinely skip into work every day. I enjoy pretty much most aspects of my job. I think this is mainly because we are such a small team we all feel like we are integral to the success of the festival and the company as whole. But if I was to give an answer I will always say being onsite at the festival, especially in Hatfield on the last day when the majority of the work has been done and we get to actually take in what we have achieved.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Being able to pull off Slam Dunk 2021 after SO many reschedules and constantly changing guidelines and line-ups certainly had me feeling all kinds of ways. I think by that point during the pandemic everyone needed to feel some sort of normality and being able to bring that to people was incredible. A big cry was had when that one was over!

 

During your career, do you personally feel you’ve had to fight any battles because of your gender? How did you overcome it?

All the time. Whether it be tour managers onsite or at venues assuming I am just there as someone’s girlfriend, people assuming I won’t or can’t assist with load-in / carrying crates of water etc. There have been numerous times where my authority has been questioned purely because I am a woman. I’ve seen crew members go and ask the exact same question to my male counterparts and they have been given the exact same answer only that time they accept it because they heard it from a male.

In your time working as a woman in the music and events industry, what have you considered to be your most valuable lesson?

If you need help or if you’re unsure, ask. Also, if you make a mistake, own it. People in the music industry are the quickest problem solvers you’ll ever meet. People will be more appreciative of you owning up to a mistake straight away so there is more time to rectify it.

What words of wisdom would you pass on to others hoping to follow in your footsteps?

Kindness is key but don’t let anyone trick you into believing that kindness is equal to weakness.  Shadow everyone you can and ask all the questions you can.  Take every opportunity that is given to you and never be afraid to network and get your name out there.

What do you feel that women bring to the industry that men can’t, or haven’t?

I feel like regardless of gender here, you have to have a certain drive and determination to work in music and events. It’s certainly not a job you get into just as a nine to five, as it feels all-encompassing a lot of the time!

What - if anything - do you think can be done to address the gender imbalance in live music, if you believe there is one?

Representation is king here. And I don’t just mean highlighting the women on our stages, I mean highlighting their managers, tour managers, photographers, videographers, promoters, the list goes on. There is an army of incredible, powerful people behind every artist and I know from experience that seeing people like me in those roles from a young age is absolutely paramount for diversifying this industry.

 

Check out all the shows currently on sale from Slam Dunk Music, including this year's epic Slam Dunk Festival, taking place in June!

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I'm Sarah: Digital Marketing Manager at See Tickets, Journalism graduate, and parent to two disobedient cats named after Pokémon. A life-long music fan, I flitter happily between emo, R&B, pop and alt music. As I approach 30, I can often be found complaining of back pain at gigs and festivals across the UK and beyond, or wielding my camera at any event that will have me.

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