“There were not many women in this field, but I loved it. I felt I had to make a point as a woman.”
Legendary production manager, Jenny Moon, shares her story:
My name is Jenny Moon, but most people in the industry call me Jenny Moon Mother.
I started off in the industry in 1985, managing The Royal Derby Hotel in Fitzroy and renovating the pub into a music venue. After a few years, I moved home to Point Lonsdale to look after my aging grandmother and met a young surfy grunge band called Seaweed Goorillas, who were just starting out.
By 1991, the band had improved from their rehearsing and I decided to book them a gig at the Barwon Club in Geelong. When we arrived, I didn’t realise that we needed a sound engineer, so I jumped both feet in and got hooked to sound. I haven’t looked back!
I very quickly picked up momentum, with many punk and grunge bands in Geelong and Melbourne. All my artists became rock stars. I started a Live & Recording Audio Diploma at Richmond Audio Visual College, and was recording and mixing live gigs and touring.
There were not many women in this field at the time, but I loved it. I felt I had to make a point as a woman. Within the first two years, I was production managing The Falls Festival, Meredith Music Festival and mixing audio both front of house and monitors for Australian and international bands.
To keep myself mentally and physically well, I always took lots of vitamin B and ate fresh healthy food even out on the road. However, the touring lifestyle took its toll on me and I fell into a dark place relying on alcohol and drugs. I was depleted and my self-worth had plummeted.
Trusting and not doubting myself, and knowing that I make the best decisions in life were the fundamentals in helping me to survive. By the late 1990s, there were more women in production and I didn’t feel as alone. I was brave, strong and bold, and once again, kind to myself. I recognised during this time that it’s my journey to always be curious and learn.
There were many challenges throughout my career, like when I used to work the big festivals and my PAs were turned down and half the side of the speakers turned off. I was made to feel like a real joke. I often felt isolated and on my own. It was a very long and disempowering fight for many years.
But since then there have been many experiences that I have found rewarding, from mixing monitors for Iggy Pop, production managing some of the largest Australian festivals, watching young women coming up on my coat tails, and being part of creating concerts and music that change people’s lives.
If I could give my young self any advice, it would be to stay strong, be powerful and fierce. Stay focused and do the best you can every time so you feel good about yourself no matter what. Find like-minded women to help with support.
I love the music industry. I have achieved so much in 35 years and it’s amazing to see how far we have come with so many young women now working in production. We now have so many amazing supporting bodies and associations, including awards such as Australian Women in Music Awards and the industry has allowed me to explore and understand my authentic self-journey, flexible hours suitable for being a mother and a carer for my son.
Our industry is such a large family and it is important as women that we support each other. Women are extremely powerful as has been shown throughout history. Your power, your journey and your story are unique to you and we need this in the world of the feminine.