WA’s iconic music venue Mojos Bar has reopened its doors, with a new female-led management team looking to reinvent the institution following allegations recently made against the former programmer.
After its temporary closure, Mojos announced Amber Jean Hatton had been appointed program director.
She says she’s committed to creating events and spaces that are inclusive and safe for everyone.
“I think it’s really important for people to feel incredibly safe and included in any space they’re in, especially in a music venue,” says Ms Hatton.
“We’re working with other community organisations to bring more diversity into the venue as well, it’s high on my agenda to work with communities that don’t play at Mojos and try give them a platform.”
Ms Hatton says local artists are helping rebuild the institution by painting murals at the back of the building to establish a welcoming environment.
“It really does take a community to make a special music institution what it is and I’m very grateful for everyone’s efforts in reviving the venue,” she says.
Grace Barbè led an all-female line-up for the opening gig last Friday night to welcome patrons back to the venue.
Jamie Searle is the guitarist, producer and manager for Barbè and says the gig was a big success.
“I thought it was great and important that it was essentially a female-led line up and the new booking agent is a female, and we support that,” Mr Searle says.
“Under the circumstances, I realise why they did that.”
Mr Searle says Mojos is the most important venue in the state and it is pivotal in establishing emerging artists.
“Bands need to practice before they get good, so they need to do six months of Wednesday nights or Tuesday nights and Mojos was the most consistent place for that,” he says.
Dr Laura Glitsos is a lecturer in media and cultural Studies at Edith Cowan University and says Mojos has made a move in the right direction.
“It’s absolutely vital to the lifeblood of the West Australian music scene and I’m so happy they’ve been able to work through the recent problems and come out better on the other side.
“The appointment of Amber Jean Hatton just goes to show there is a huge movement towards inclusivity, understanding, safe spaces,” she says.
“It’s this groundswell from the younger people that is coming through in this new generation, it’s just so incredible to see.”
Ms Hatton says Mojos now joins the Rosemount Hotel and The Bird in operating with female program managers.
“What feels like it was a very male-dominated space for programming, booking and promoting, so many females are coming to the front now and are in positions of creative control.
“There is a shift and that can be really exciting for the younger generation because it wasn’t possible for a long time.”