Play the birthday song: Live Wire Radio is turning 20

The long-running variety show was started in 2004 by two Portlanders with no radio experience; now it’s broadcast weekly on OPB.

Live Wire Radio hosts Luke Burbank (right) and Elena Passarello (center) interview Ari Shapiro on stage in front of a bright red curtain. There are microphones in front of them, as well as a table laden with a water bottle, laptop, and a stack of books. Behind them, musicians sit in the dark.

Live Wire Radio hosts Luke Burbank (right) and Elena Passarello (center) interviewed Ari Shapiro in May 2023.

Photo via Live Wire Radio

Ahem... Is this thing on?

Welcome to Live Wire Radio, the groundbreaking live public radio show that started back in 2004. Since its start in Portland, it has gained a national following with a quirky recipe of sketch comedy, live music, and amplifying unique voices on the airwaves.

On Saturday, March 16, the production will celebrate its 20th anniversary with an all-day festival at Revolution Hall, 2-11 p.m. It will not only be a celebration of the past, but also a fundraiser for the nonprofit’s next 20 years.

Some highlights of the event include:

  • An interview with original host Courtenay Hameister and founders Kate Sokoloff and Robyn Tenenbaum
  • Appearances by writer Cheryl Strayed, comedian Mohaned Elsheiky, cultural commentator W. Kamau Bell, and soul band Ural Thomas & The Pain, with more guests to be announced soon

Want to be in the audience? VIP all-access passes ($150) ensure you won’t miss a second.