Ten years on, KUTX 98.9 continues to create connections through music discovery
Yearlong celebration includes concerts, lookbacks, 10th birthday merch
AUSTIN, Texas – Jan 2, 2023 – KUTX 98.9, The Austin Music Experience, is celebrating its 10th birthday with a yearlong celebration, featuring concerts, a special 10th birthday vinyl compilation of exclusive performances, an oral history, deep-dives into the archives, commemorative merchandise and more.
KUTX 98.9 launched Jan. 2, 2013, with Willie Nelson’s “Bloody Mary Morning,” after KUT 90.5 became a full-time news and information service, shifting its music to the 98.9 FM frequency.
Since then, the station has embraced its tagline, “The Austin Music Experience,” by championing local artists and fostering community through music-focused experiences.
Named “Best Radio Station” in the “Austin Chronicle” Music Awards eight times, KUTX – a community-supported, public radio station – has climbed the ratings to consistently rank among the top 10 stations in Austin and has become the community’s trusted source for music that reflects Austin’s diverse and evolving music scene.
In celebration of the station’s 10th birthday, Austin Mayor Adler proclaimed Jan. 2, 2023, “KUTX 98.9, The Austin Music Experience Day,” to recognize a decade of championing the Austin music scene.
[KUTX 98.9’s historical timeline is available here]
A yearlong celebration is in the works with concerts featuring Margo Price, Big Thief, Caramelo Haze, Night Drive, Why Bonnie and Sun June, with many other artists to be announced.
Throughout the year, staff will dig into the KUTX vault of studio 1A performance recordings and videos, and resurface artist portraits, “My KUTX” guest DJ sessions and more. Listeners are invited to record a birthday greeting to air on 98.9. And a Billie Buck-designed T-shirt will debut during the spring membership drive.
Championing Local Artists, Sparking Connections, Building Community
Through its Artist of the Month spotlight, KUTX has showcased dozens of local musicians over the past decade by providing heavy airplay, along with a Song of the Day feature, a guest DJ set, and a Studio 1A performance.
“KUTX has supported my music ever since I put my first single out in 2016,” said singer-songwriter Molly Burch. “As a California native, they welcomed me with open arms and always made me feel like a proud Texan. Everyone at KUTX is so sweet and passionate about music. I’ve always thought they do an amazing job at really finding and highlighting local music which is so important for a community like Austin.”
[find more quotes on KUTX 98.9’s 10th birthday here]
KUTX recognizes music’s ability to connect people and build community, and prides itself on helping to strengthen connections between artists, fans, venues and the overall local music ecosystem.
For example, in partnership with the Austin Music Foundation and the City of Austin Music and Entertainment Division, KUTX organizes the annual “Love Austin Music Month,” a concerted effort to support Austin music during January – typically a slow time for Austin music venues.
“It’s been both gratifying and humbling to be a connector for the Austin music scene over our first decade. I’m a big believer in the idea that deepening the relationships between audience and artist, artist and audience, and audience to audience creates a stronger music scene,” said KUTX Program Director Matt Reilly. “It also makes Austin a more fun place to live and do business. Hopefully, we can keep this up for many decades to come.”
Additionally, KUTX hand-curates an Austin-only music stream – The Austin Music Experience. The free, all-Austin music stream is available on KUTX HD2, radio streaming apps and at the Austin Bergstrom International Airport. The Texas Music Experience, an exclusively Texas music mix celebrating the diversity of Texas music, is available on KUTX HD3, radio streaming apps and worldwide at TMX.fm.
As a non-profit, public radio service, KUTX’s community of donors – particularly Concert Club members – is what gives the station the freedom to take chances on emerging artists, celebrate and support local artists, and play what hosts want to play.
About KUTX 98.9, the Austin Music Experience Named “Best Radio Station” in the Austin Music Awards poll eight times (and counting), KUTX 98.9 is the destination for new music from the artists driving the sound of Austin today, from local and emergent artists to music that has stood the test of time. Programming includes more than 300 live, one-of-a-kind performances in Studio 1A each year; “The Austin Music Minute,” the KUTX Artist of the Month and the KUTX “Song of the Day,” as well as KUTX Live events that connect music fans to local and national talent. More at kutx.org.
Media contact: Erin Geisler (512) 475-8071