STORY WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN
@brianbingaman on Twitter
Named after a syndicated public radio program produced by WXPN in Philadelphia, World Cafe Live is celebrating its 10th anniversary as a live music venue this month.
Located at 3025 Walnut St. in Philly, WCL is a private-public collaboration between Real Entertainment Group, founded by entrepreneur Hal Real, and XPN — a multi-level performance, restaurant and events complex with two main stages, an in-house video system and production suite, plus the station’s offices and studios.
Since its 2004 debut, WCL has hosted both local and national acts, from Pete Seeger to Adele.
In a press release from the venue, Real commented: “The idea behind World Cafe Live seemed simple at the time: to create a cool clubhouse where music lovers of all ages could enjoy a first-rate live concert and a great meal under one roof. The collaboration with WXPN stemmed from a shared commitment to offering diverse music and providing listeners with an all-access experience, one that truly brought the radio station’s airwaves to life.”
To celebrate the milestone, special events have been planned throughout October, beginning with a sold out 10th Anniversary Show Oct. 1 featuring Valerie June and Sean Hayes. On Thursday, Oct. 2, XPN hosts a special concert for its major campaign supporters. On Sunday, Oct. 5 at 8:30 a.m. is the inaugural XPN 5K Run to benefit the Musicians On Call program. There will be live music throughout the race course in Penn Park, followed by a post-run dance party. An afternoon of live music showcases at WCL for campaign donors follows.
The radio station’s general manger, Roger LaMay, said in the statement: “Together with World Cafe Live, we’ve created the model for both the 21st century community radio station and music venue – a place that truly connects artists with audiences. This partnership, along with our important donor support, has allowed WXPN the space and ability to offer weekly onsite Free at Noon live concerts and broadcasts, and to organize and host annual, national events such as NonComm and KindieComm that bolster our leadership position in our industry.”
And don’t forget about Peanut Butter & Jams, a Saturday morning concert series for “kids under 10 and the people who drive them.”