By Shelley Hill Young
When tour managers for bands first meet Janna Jeffcoat, the general manager of the Music Farm, they are sometimes surprised to find a petite woman in charge of the 800-person-capacity venue. A few have told her that they’ve never worked with a female venue manager before.
“Well, you’re working with me today,” she tells them.
Once, a female artist mistook her for a bartender.
“It’s just a quick assumption for some people,” Janna says. “She quickly apologized.”
When people call her cute, Janna says, “thank you” and gets back to business.
It’s clear Janna is confident and in control. She is not one to be easily intimidated. She’s friendly but tough when she needs to be. Her attention to detail means she is prepared for just about any situation that might pop up.
Janna started working at the Music Farm as an intern when she was a psychology and communications student at the College of Charleston. She didn’t expect it to turn into a full-time job after she graduated. But she “fell in love with all the hecticness of putting together a show.” She was hired as a social media and hospitality manager and was promoted to general manager about a year ago.
She says the hardest part of the job is making sure fans are having the best time, while also keeping them safe.
“You do have to be tough sometimes,” she says. “You have to put your foot down.”
The security guards and other men Janna works with call her “Boss Lady.”
She has recently taken up yoga to help relax, and there are times when she prefers silence so she drives without the radio turned on. But music remains one of her passions. She is trying to teach herself how to play guitar. She bought a pink Fender electric.
She recalls that on her first day of the job, the lighting guy told her she wouldn’t like music anymore after working at the venue for a while. “He hasn’t won that one yet,” she says proudly.