Katie Hasty covers music events across the United States on her blog for HitFix.com. She profiles upcoming releases and festivals with an informative and light-hearted perspective on all things musical.
Q: Can you describe your publication and the work you do for it?
I’m managing editor for HitFix.com, an entertainment website covering television, music and movies. I’m in charge of curating and managing the music section, on top of reporting on movies. I run my own music blog, through HitFix.
Q: How did you get involved with blogging for HitFix.com?
I worked at Billboard magazine for five years and then I was hired full-time at HitFix in 2009. We launched my blog through the site starting in 2010.
Q: How do you gauge which festivals/music events are important to blog about?
We have budgetary priorities and so we attend some of the most widely known and attended music festivals — in the U.S., that’s Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and Coachella. Additionally, I attend South By Southwest, due to its heavy industry attendance. The first three are among the longest-running and are programmed for a national audience, over multiple days, optimal for days of coverage and more opportunities for artist interviews. The latter is helpful for a site like HitFix — a four-year-old startup — in helping to get word out, putting faces to names, and to work among peers.
Q: What other bloggers/journalists do you look to for inspiration?
Joe Gross from Austin American-Statesmen covers not just music but movies and books as well, and write on all of them with abundant clarity and humor. Ann Powers has had a storied career all over different media, from the L.A. Times to NPR and beyond. Maura Johnston writes beautifully about feminism in the pop music sphere. Chris Weingarten is an edgy and hilarious writer, and passionately addresses his subjects.
Q: How would you describe your taste in music?
Eclectic, open, skeptical. My tastes tend toward solid musicianship, and artists with soul and artists that can make a great song even greater, even if its not their own. That’s all genres.
Q: Why did you want to start blogging/writing about music?
I loved music and I loved writing. The first time I combined them was in high school and I thought it was fun.
Q: How would you differentiate blogging from writing for a magazine?
Blogging has an immediate gratification, that what you’ve finished becomes accessible immediately. Magazines have a collaborative aspect, that a single piece of art and criticism has been made possible by a whole team.
Q: How has social media (Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, etc.) influenced the way you blog?
I get feedback through social media, so I imagine an audience or even just my friends reading it with an immediacy. I then write with immediacy, to focus on timely elements, casual language and an awareness of my readership’s short attention span.
Q: What do you expect is in the future for you and the publication you blog for?
I expect further competition in our field, in covering and analyzing entertainment and the business of entertaining for a consumer audience. In the future, we’re going to have to up our game, which I think will mean better editing and consistent coverage of the largest entertainment events. we’ve expanded our staff almost every quarter since launching, but I will always operate assuming we’ll have the same staff and resources tomorrow that we have today. we need to work with a plateau at some point to grow bigger.
Follow Katie on Twitter: @katieaprincess