By Myki Angeline
Katie Pederson has a unique career with Live Nation as their Director of Special Event Sales at the House of Blues in Anaheim, California. She began her career with Live Nation in 2011. Currently, Katie manages a team of sales and logistics professionals whose responsibility is to create world-class private events. This consists of combining the best of top of the line entertainment and audio/visual experience with one-of-a-kind atmospheres, the best in culinary options and mixology.
The Women’s International Music Network have held our She Rocks Awards ceremony at the House of Blues Anaheim for the past two years, and appreciate the excellence and professionalism Katie and her team have provided. From our silent auction, to the delicious dinner buffet, and ending with dynamic performances and awards presentation, our experience was without a doubt, world class!
We enjoyed working with Katie so much, we knew we had to feature Ms. Pederson as our next Front and Center woman of the week to learn how she got her start in the music industry, and what advice she has for other women seeking a career like hers.
WiMN: What makes Live Nation stand out to you?
KP: Live Nation is a global powerhouse that hasn’t forgotten its roots or lost its creativity. This company is constantly looking to innovate and grow, something that I’ve found is very hard for other well-established entertainment companies to do after they reach a certain level of success and notoriety, and yet every year we are adding new venues, new artists, new streams of business to our portfolio to make us even more robust. It’s also a company that wants to see its people thrive and find happiness – on a personal note, Live Nation’s commitment to its employees’ health and work-life balance meant that some cutting edge investments in employee fertility benefits have allowed me and my husband to have both our sons via IVF and create the family we always wanted, but may otherwise never have had the option or financial means to have.
WiMN: Where are you originally from, and where do you reside now?
KP: I split my childhood between both Orange County, California and Cincinnati, Ohio and after having also lived for a while in Orlando, Houston and Los Angeles, I’m now a proud resident of Long Beach, Ca.
WiMN: Do you have a musical background?
KP: I have a passion for music but an inability to play or produce it, as I’m sure my middle school band teacher would heartily agree with. I grew up spending a lot of late nights watching early MTV music videos with my dad who is an incredible musician himself having released CDs and opened for some named acts, but I never got the ability or the patience to play an instrument myself. I ended up channeling that passion for music into a degree in entertainment management and eventually a career working with musicians on the booking and event management side.
WiMN: Have you used your influence as a woman in the music industry to help others realize their vision?
KP: I would absolutely like to think that I take the privileged position I have attained to help mentor others, especially women and especially young female students, who are trying to figure out what they want to do with their careers. I enjoy getting the opportunity to mentor other women and see their growth, and strangely enough have amassed a team at HOB that is currently 100% full of strong, capable and determined female professionals.
WiMN: Congratulations on that! Care to share a favorite musical performance or appearance?
KP I had the pleasure of working with Steven Tyler about 4 years ago for a private birthday party we held at our venue. I had spent the day running around with pre-event set-up, and was so focused on the clients who I had brought up on the side of the stage to enjoy his performance that I didn’t realize he was standing right next to me until a hand grabbed my feather & silver drop earrings and asking in a casual tone,
“I really like those… where can I get some of them?”
He wore them went on stage and performed a solid few hours of his top hits before exiting stage, shaking my hand and heading out. As a child of early MTV, needless to say working with such a talented and genuine icon was one of the highlights of my career.
WiMN: What an incredible moment that must have been for you! Tell us, what was your ‘aha’ moment in deciding to pursue a career in the music industry?
KP: I was in school taking on of my first business marketing classes and got the chance to go a Simon & Garfunkel concert with my family. I had always loved to listen to music and see live performances, but without much musical talent myself I never considered I could have a career in the industry. That night though I saw the concert experience with new eyes, thanks to a little bit of background from that class I was taking, noticing the opportunities and careers that could present themselves from everything from retail, to box office operations, production and even artist management. It was then that I really decide that no matter what it took, if I didn’t have musical “talent” I certainly had smarts and could find a way to be in the music industry.
WiMN: Lastly, do you have any advice you wish to share with women who are looking to pursue a career in the music industry, especially pertaining to your field of expertise?
KP: Stay sharp and be tenacious. Ask questions and always look for opportunities to improve the process and yourself. Be willing to hear no – rejection is a part of life – but keeping asking and trying, and eventually the yes’s will far outweigh the no’s. Offer to help, to intern, to volunteer for an unpaid opportunity to shadow someone who does what you want to do – and when people give you that chance say thank you and then be the most kick-ass intern/volunteer/helper you can be. Send your time and energy creating relationships and building bridges, never burn them down – this industry is way too small, you never know who knows who. And last, but certainly not least, be kind to everyone from your line cooks and show loaders to your senior executives – kindness is free, and it will get you further in life than any other trait.