Happy 50th Birthday, KEXP!

This Saturday, KEXP radio celebrates fifty years.

From humble beginnings in 1972, with 10 watts of power broadcasting from the University of Washington (as KCMU), to a global force in music today, the station “where the music matters” has served to connect global audiences and help introduce Seattle to listeners across the country and around the world.

Almost ten years ago, on a trip to Iceland, I made a point to visit 12 Tonar, a celebrated indie record store and label in downtown Reyjavik. As I made my way to pay for my finds, I was pretty delighted to see KEXP stickers and labels plastered in prime positions on the register. Felt like home!

This Saturday’s celebration includes live performances beginning at 1pm from !!! (Chk Chk Chk), Sons of Kemet, Thao, Tomo Nakayama, LIVt and special guests. Plus food trucks, a beer garden, DJs broadcasting live from the gathering space and more.

If you’re one of the lucky ones planning to attend in person, you’ll no doubt have a great time with all the other music and KEXP fans. But even if you can’t be there Saturday, you can connect with KEXP online, or through the extensive streaming archives of in-studio performances. And the next time you come to Seattle, plan a visit to the station for a tour, a coffee, a browse through the onsite Light in the Attic Records, and maybe even in in-studio performance if you time it right.

Happy Birthday KEXP! Thanks for making Seattle sound great.


Colorful poster celebrating KEXP50, the radio station's 50th anniversary celebration on August 6, 2022

About the Author

Tracey Wickersham

Tracey Wickersham is the Senior Director of Cultural Tourism at Visit Seattle. A volunteer dj & host of a long running music program on KBCS 91.3 FM, she spent 6 years on the board of 4Culture, supporting arts, heritage, public art and historic preservation in King County. You'll often find her at the Tractor Tavern enjoying great bands, exploring one of the region's beautiful parks with her spunky blue heeler mix, or in one of Seattle's many live theater venues.

More Posts By Tracey Wickersham


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