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By Chyrisse Tabone, Rock At Night Tampa
Interview: Katie Pedretty, Director of PR., Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, Florida
Rock At Night has a “Behind the Scene” column in our print magazine and occasionally airs the interviews in our audio podcast. Many think an artist just shows up at a venue, performs for a couple of hours, and goes on to the next gig, without considering the effort involved in “making it happen”. In light of this crazy COVID year, people need to consider there is a whole shadow industry being effected at concert venues (e.g., security, print shops, catering businesses, sound engineers, lighting techs, FOH engineers, and public relations). Just our two cents.
Rock At Night had the pleasure of speaking with Ms. Katie Pedretty, Director of Public Relations, with Ruth Eckerd Hall (REH) and the Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre (Bilheimer Cap), located in Clearwater, Florida. She is responsible for setting up interviews with the artists, either directly or through artist management. You will often see her assisting the artist during the onsite “Meet & Greet” sessions. She is the face of the venue when the media arrive to cover an event or interview an artist. Having personally worked with Ms. Pedretty for years, I just recently discovered her experience in public relations goes back 40 years, with roots in the radio industry, such as KROQ-FM, as well as record labels, such as Mercury.
In the interview, Ms. Pedretty discusses her start at KROQ-FM (she was studying to be an attorney and worked at an ad agency at the time she interviewed with the General Sales Manager, Jeff Freeman); her experience working in the 1980s, the time of “Valley Girls” and MTV; feeling awestruck in the presence of legends such as Bob Dylan and her favorite band as a teen, The Tubes; the changes she has observed through the years in the record industry; and working in the music industry during COVID.
Rock At Night will feature an in-depth article on Ms. Pedretty in our upcoming Summer 2021 issue, which will be released on June 20th.
Rock At Night’s theme song is “Get On Down If You Feel Up To It” by Billy “Bass” Alford