The story of World Cafe Live starts with a coincidence.
As a dedicated concert-goer, Hal Real had become increasingly disenchanted over the years with the smoky rooms, lousy sight lines, tinny acoustics and inadequate seating that have become the standard live music experience.
And then he heard a voice. Specifically, the voice of David Dye, host of a contemporary music program on public radio called World Cafe. On the Cafe Hal heard everything he'd been missing in the clubs: talented artists in a nurturing environment, free from distractions, taking risks and playing their guts out for an appreciative audience.
At the same time, WXPN, where World Cafe is produced, had outgrown its studios and was seeking a new home. And so the moment Hal called the station to propose joining forces was the moment of conception for World Cafe Live.
Hal's company, Real Entertainment Group and WXPN, which is owned and operated by the University of Pennsylvania, have entered into a unique partnership between a for-profit and a non-profit organization. Sharing work space and a common philosophy, XPN and World Cafe Live have forged what may become a prototype for future relationships between public broadcasters and private enterprise.