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KUT/KUTX Won't Be Running The Cactus Cafe Anymore

KUT/KUTX will no longer manage the Cactus Cafe, the live music venue and bar on the UT Austin campus it has run for the last decade.

“Financial considerations led the station to decline to renew the agreement,” UT spokesperson J.B. Bird said in a statement.

The KUT newsroom reached out to management for comment, but was told to direct questions to the university, which holds the stations' licenses.

For the last 10 years, the Cactus has been run through a partnership between the stations and UT’s University Unions division.

As first reported by The Austin Chronicle, KUT/KUTX decided to end negotiations. The 10-year agreement expired near the end of last year but was extended into 2021 as the parties continued discussions, according to the Chronicle.

Though KUT/KUTX won’t be booking shows at the venue going forward, Bird said, “UT Austin remains committed to continuing musical programming at the Cactus for years to come while creating a sustainable path forward for its operations.”

Cactus Manager Matt Muñoz and Assistant Manager Amy Chambless have been on furlough since the venue temporarily closed at the beginning of the pandemic.

The Cactus Cafe opened in 1979 and has hosted a number of well-known artists over the years, including Townes Van Zandt and Lyle Lovett.

The university had plans to close the Cactus Cafe in 2010, citing budget concerns. KUT and the University Unions division formed the partnership as a way to keep the venue afloat.

Marisa Charpentier is KUT's assistant digital editor. Got a tip? Email her at Follow her on Twitter @marisacharp.
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