In late September, roughly twenty bands received an unexpected phone call. Their home away from home band practice spaces had to be cleared out … of everything.
Billerica Rehearsal Studios has long been a staple in the area as one of the few places bands can rent out spaces to practice. The business has previously held spaces throughout Lowell in addition to Billerica, utilizing old mill buildings, but today only Billerica Rehearsal Studios remain. That is, until the other week.
To many bands, this was thought to be related to the two previous fire alarms earlier in the week, and it was no coincidence. After a recent inspection by the Billerica Fire Department, Tory, owner and operator of the business since the early 90s, installed a brand new fire alarm system in an effort to provide updates that were deemed necessary. While there was some confusion as to whether smoking would set off the newly installed alarms, that was soon answered by the first alarm going off. Soon after, smoking was banned from the building entirely, yet two more alarms sounded in the passing weeks. The Billerica Fire Department ordered all rooms to be cleared out until upgrades were made and the removal of potential fire hazards occur.
Tory has since then vowed to make any necessary changes to allow bands to come back and start utilizing the space again. While there is no official time table, we have no doubt that Billerica Rehearsal Studios will return sometime this year to continue to be the reliable practice space it’s always been. – Joel Gray