Doug Fir assistant booker Nicole Warren recently left for law school. Meet her replacement, Julia Fernandez.
What did you do before you got the Doug Fir job?
I worked for Greyday, a local label run by my friend Todd [Berry]. My official title was in-house booking agent, but I tried to lend a hand wherever I could. Before that I did pricing and appraisals at Powell's. I've always done a lot of music-related projects on the side: zines, college radio, and such.
Why do you think they hired you?
I think it was mainly because I knew how much work it would be, but they said that they liked that I was a "self-starter," so to speak. When Greyday asked me to do booking there had been no one there to show me how or give me contacts, I just went home, read up on the process, and started researching venues, so I'm used to just sinking my teeth in when I start a new project.
Definitely. One strange thing was that I was so focused on what a great job this would be that it took a long time to hit me that it's also a "cool job." When I worked my first night shift, a great band called Cloud Cult played and I realized how awesome it was going to be to get to see bands virtually every night.
How's it been so far?
Tough, but fun. It's a lot of work with pretty long hours but when you're doing something you love that's not really an issue. The people here are great as well, everyone has been very friendly and welcoming.
How do you think Doug Fir stacks up in comparison to other venues?
Having worked with a lot of venues across the country I would rank us with some of my favorite clubs I've dealt with. We're really fair to bands, and Alicia [Rose] and I make a point of having one of us at nearly every show in case problems arise. Not all clubs have the luxury of being able to do that, so I'm very happy that we can. It doesn't hurt that Portland itself is such a great place for live music and I've gotta give props to people like Chantelle [Hylton] and Seann [McKeel] who have really done a huge amount to make Portland a city where people want to play rather than just a way to break up the drive from Seattle to San Francisco.