Women in Pro Audio: Meegan Holmes Women in Pro Audio: Meegan Holmes...
“I love to help people figure out their goals and achieve them. I find that to be the most rewarding part of my job.“ – Meegan Holmes
It’s a summer of festivals, tours, and live shows. And what would these live events be without the hardworking crew making these shows and festivals happen? Especially the women.
This month, for our Women in Pro Audio series, L-Acoustics had the pleasure of interviewing the talented and industry-seasoned Meegan Holmes, General Manager and Sales Executive for Clair Global and 8th Day Sound. Meegan assists the executive team in the hiring process for their warehouse team along with many other warehouse-related tasks like booking landscapers and plumbers. “I share the GM role with Don Garber. The sales position is for our rentals division, where I put together pricing for touring clients worldwide. I bring the dreams and visions of others to life!”
Before working with Clair Global, Meegan was an aspiring composer and musician. “I wanted to be a professional composer/musician. I mean, more than anything, I just wanted to be happy in everything I did, both professionally and personally. But it wasn’t until my second year in college at CalArts that I realized that I wouldn’t make a lot of money as a musician. So, I pivoted into the technical theater program and studied Sound Design. I helped with all the live music productions and developed a passion for being part of a live production team. Because of that, I had a job waiting for me when I graduated.”
In the 90s
Meegan was quite the trailblazer when she first started out in the industry in the 90s because, as most females in the pro audio world have recounted, there weren’t very many of them.
“Luckily, I was never afraid of hard work, so the only real struggle I faced was being taken seriously both because I was young and a woman: Which, in the 1990s, was both rare in the audio world. In those earlier years, I knew there were some missed opportunities due to my gender. There weren’t as many open-minded people back then as there are now. But luckily, I was too stubborn and driven to let it bother me. I figured I would go where I was welcomed and wanted. It was not hard to find that, thankfully.”
Mentors and Resources
“I’ve had multiple mentors throughout my career. I have and always will lean on them for support when there is a challenge. My current position is great because I never have to tackle a problem alone. I have the best support system on the planet, and I strongly feel there is nothing I cannot overcome. As far as resources, YouTube and Pollstar are really great for audio. YouTube for information related to equipment, and Pollstar for the information related to tours on the road and industry news in general. If someone offers you an opportunity to learn something, take it! And to other women out there, if you want to do this for a living, be patient with yourself. There is a ton to learn, most of it through experience. Let the work speak for itself. Remember that cultivating relationships is how our industry is driven. If you isolate yourself, you are shutting doors.”
“I love to help people figure out their goals and achieve them. I find that to be the most rewarding part of my job. The craziest thing? Being trusted to start an international audio company branch in a major US market.”
Every show and tour stays with you. For Meegan, it was her first tour which was Lollapalooza in 1997. “I loved every second of it. It was some of the most challenging but incredibly rewarding work I’ve ever done. I have done decades of turntable-style festivals, which are always extremely rewarding and challenging in many ways. Each one I manage to get through leaves me with a sense of accomplishment.”
Another of Meegan’s favorite things is how she’s been able to see 8th Day Sound grow since its inception in 2016. “While it isn’t a production perse, starting the west coast branch for 8th Day Sound and watching it grow into a successful operation has also been equally, if not more gratifying.”
When asked about what changes she’d like to see in the industry, Meegan stated: “Fundamentally, I want to see how people are treated change. I want to see the industry become even more inclusive than it already is. I want to see engineers not get pigeonholed for mixing a particular genre of music. I want the folks dressed in black to be truly seen for their hard work and dedication—and to be compensated for—properly. I want the promises of mental health awareness that many were preaching during the pandemic to actually move into action.”
“Getting hired to start the west coast branch for 8th Day Sound in 2016 is what I’m most proud of. They believed in me, and I have been so honored to be a part of its growth. My position remained once Clair Global acquired 8th Day, and I have been once again honored to be part of the growth of our west coast location.”
The Future of Pro Audio
“I hope to see more people becoming interested in what we do and putting on live shows. I feel like our industry took a real hit during the pandemic, and we are only just starting to recover. Fortunately for me, my employer, whom I appreciate deeply, kept me going through the pandemic. Our employees kept their benefits, which is a testament to who we work for and how much they care about our well-being.
“Industry-wide, I would like to see more compassion towards our crews and their work. The long days and travel are brutal; the standards are high, so more balance would be outstanding.”