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 Anwyn Williams. As well as being a musician who's been gigging around Nottingham since arriving in the city as a student, Anwyn is now Head of Marketing at DHP Family - a Nottingham based music and festival promoter. Having worked her way up from an entry level position seven years ago, Anwyn now heads up the marketing team, who are responsible for promoting festivals, concerts and events around the UK, including Splendour Festival in Nottingham, and Dot To Dot Festival in Nottingham and Bristol.
Check out what we had to chat about in our International Women's Day interview...
Tell us about your route into the music industry.
When I first moved to Nottingham in 2010, I got involved with the local music scene through performing at open mics and small gigs of my own. Not long after I graduated, I applied for a junior marketing job at DHP Family. I’ve been here ever since! I didn’t have heaps of marketing experience when I first applied to work here. But, I was able to show a lot of passion for live music through all my “extra-curricular” activities, which helped me get my foot in the door and prove I was the right person for the job.
What does your job role entail, day to day?
I work across DHP’s festivals and biggest concerts & tours, as well as managing/overseeing the marketing team. Recently, we have announced our first wave of artists for Dot To Dot Festival and the line-up for our newly two-day Splendour Festival. So, the last month or so has been about working with the marketing team and wider DHP team on getting those announcements ready and ensuring we had good launches for both!
What part of your job do you enjoy the most, and why?
I love that I get to work on a show/tour/festival from when it first announces up to it actually happening, and especially so when I get to see the show itself which is something that I find very rewarding; it’s great to see people enjoying something you’ve worked so hard on. I particularly love working on our festivals and big shows.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I don’t know if I have one specific moment that I’d say is a highlight. I’ve worked on loads of great events over the years and really love being at DHP Family/in the music industry. So, it all feels like lots of good times rolled into one! If I had to choose something I am particularly proud of, I would say coming through the ranks in the marketing team over the last seven years, from starting as a Marketing Assistant in 2014 to now being Head of Marketing.
During your career, do you personally feel you’ve had to fight any battles because of your gender? How did you overcome it?
I feel quite lucky in that I don’t believe I’ve had many or any issues in my professional life due to my gender. There have been plenty of times where I’ve been referred to as “he/him” because of my ambiguous name (and presumably my position), though! At first it used to annoy me, but now I just find it funny when there’s the awkward moment of realisation that I’m a woman!
In your time working as a woman in the music and events industry, what have you considered to be your most valuable lesson?
Not to get too stressed or annoyed about things that are out of my control.
What words of wisdom would you pass on to others hoping to follow in your footsteps?
Make sure you stay passionate about whatever you’re doing. The music industry especially can be stressful sometimes. But when you’re passionate about it (and when you get to see that live show!), it’ll all feel worth it. I think being passionate can be especially important in marketing – it’s all about pushing and promoting something, so if you’re already enthusiastic about whatever it is you’re selling, it can make things a lot easier! When we recruit, we are always looking for someone who has a great attitude and can demonstrate a love of live music.
What do you feel that women bring to this industry that men can’t, or haven’t?
I don’t necessarily think it’s about what women can bring that men don’t. I think it’s more important to work collaboratively and listen to a range of voices to understand more perspectives and keep new ideas developing and improving.
What - if anything - do you think can be done to address the imbalance in the industry, if you believe there is one?
Keep empowering and supporting women who already work in music. And, show off how great the industry is for people of all genders – just like you’re doing with this IWD feature! I think the music industry has come a long way from being very male dominated, but it sometimes still has that reputation. We need to shout about the awesome work that women are doing right now, so that young people view it as a welcoming industry and a viable career path for them - no matter what gender they identify as.
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