World Cafe Live, an intimate club that’s been part of the Philadelphia music scene for 15 years, will soon become a non-profit venue.
Owner Hal Real announced that the space will now be owned by his non-profit organization Live Connections, which has aimed to benefit music education in Philadelphia schools for more than a decade. Speaking with the Philadelphia Inquirer, Real reassured concertgoers that the venue will continue to provide the same experience but with a different value.
“What will change is that they’ll know that every dollar they’re spending will be reinvested in the programming,” Real told the publication. “Also, it will be going into the facilities, so we can maintain this on a quality level and don’t have to be compromised because we’re trying to compete with a Live Nation or AEG venue when they’ve got such deep pockets.”
World Cafe Live will retain its name and continue to host hundreds of events annually, whether it be ticketed concerts or freebies like open mic-nights and University of Pennsylvania-sponsored events. However, its transition into becoming a non-profit venue has been in the works for some time.
Real’s Live Connections organization has frequently collaborated with the venue. He noted that in 2019 alone, World Cafe Live has hosted music programs and workshops for more than 5,000 students in Philly schools. Its revenue had paid for transportation, participants and other necessary factors to pull off each event.
World Cafe Live boasts a 250-capacity upstairs space as well as a main space downstairs, which accommodates up to 650 patrons. Its annual calendar features up to 600 shows, both ticketed and free to the public.