In August of 1970, a music venue opened on the corner of Barton Springs Road and South First in Austin, Texas. The building was an old National Guard armory—no air conditioning, no seating, just a giant cavernous space that frankly, was not well suited for music. Yet this local eyesore would go on to change the identity of Austin, culturally, politically, and artistically. Its reverberations would be felt far and wide, helping turn Austin into the Live Music Capital of the World. This is the story of how that happened. This is the story of the Armadillo World Headquarters.
Join KUTX as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of this historic music venue. Hear an hour-long oral history featuring staff, musicians, and fans. They trace the Armadillo’s immense impact as a music incubator, community gathering space, and home to hundreds of life-altering concerts: Willie Nelson to Frank Zappa. The Runaways to the Ramones. Freddie King to the Clash. You’ll learn why 50 years later, the Armadillo World Headquarters is still a beacon for Austin’s past, present, and future.