Getting To Know Your Pollstar Live! Panelists: Jahn ‘Boxer’ Hardison

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Pollstar Live!, the world’s largest gathering of live entertainment professionals, returns to the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, Feb. 21-23. The three-day conference is a flagship event for Pollstar magazine with compelling keynotes, panels, roundtables and the Pollstar Awards, celebrating the best in the business, along with plenty of opportunities to network and engage in insightful discussions.

Pollstar Live! kicks off with Production Live!, the one-day companion conference that features panels on all topics related to staging live events including lighting, video, stage management, sound technique, concert production, video, regulations, security and more.

Click these links for the Production Live! schedule and the Pollstar Live! schedule. Register for Pollstar Live! here.

Getting To Know Your Pollstar Live! Panelists

Jahn “Boxer” Hardison
Founder, President of Bigger Hammer;
Co-Founder of Services Overdrive Energy Solutions

Panel: Building Crews With Culture, Competence & Opportunity For All
Date/Time: Tuesday, Feb. 21 / 10:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. PT (Production Live!)

Bio: Jahn Hardison, known to most as Boxer, is the founder and president of Bigger Hammer Production Services. He founded Bigger Hammer in 1996 and he’s been at the helm since, fostering its growth while partnering with production managers, clients and vendors to provide crew, rigging and additional production support for a wide range of events. He’s focuses on strong customer service and prioritizing event safety.

His career in event production includes concert and theatrical tours across the globe. He enjoys one-offs in interesting locales, but no longer tours regularly. He really enjoys Stage Managing festivals; getting that last band off the stage exactly on-time (a minute or 2 early really) and getting on with load-out!

Boxer is on the Event Safety Alliance Board of Directors and is currently Treasurer. He’s also a long-time supporter of the Entertainment Services and Technology Association and serves on ETSA’s Member Advisory Committee. Boxer has long been an advocate for sustainability, equity & anti-racism, and animal rights. He is also the Co-founder of startup, Overdrive Energy Solutions, bringing sustainable energy to live events.

Boxer pic

Why must everyone go to your panel?
Almost everyone in live events had their workforce decimated during the initial 18-month pandemic lockdown. I’ve read estimates that the industry lost 30-40% of its workforce, as workers pivoted to other industries while they had little or no work for 18 months and tons of uncertainty.

What story will you tell during the panel?
I will discuss Bigger Hammer’s journey to rebuild our workforce and ability to work though crew shortages across the country. Talk about our process and plans.

What’s the story you won’t tell?
I won’t say, “Here’s this one weird trick for building crews with culture, competence & opportunity for all.”

What may cause tempers to flare?

What was the best part of your 2022?
2022 was very tough on everyone coming back from the pandemic shutdown. The best part was revamping our office team and providing opportunities for fresh faces to join our business. We were challenged to get back to what we do and pull off very tough shows, usually on short notice.

Your predictions for 2023’s live industry highlights?
It is going to be busy, probably busier than 2022. Unless it isn’t…

Career tent poles you are most proud of?
• I’m most proud of building lasting relationships, helping launch careers, working to improve industry safety, equity and sustainability.
• Being a stage manager Lakers parade Three-Peat era.
• Traveling the world with good friends, as Tour Manager for Hepcat much of the last 30 years.
• Founding Bigger Hammer in 1996 and being a trusted vendor for over 26 years.
• Being on the board of directors of the Event Safety Alliance and co-founding Overdrive Energy Solutions.