by: Heath Kalb
Posted: May 23, 2023 / 04:44 PM EDT
Updated: May 23, 2023 / 06:21 PM EDT
NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The Northampton fire chief has ordered a performance venue housed in a historic church in Florence to shut down their live indoor music. 22News went to the Bombyx Center for Arts and Equity Tuesday where five key members of the nonprofit spoke about why they were surprised by this news what this means for the future.
Nearly two weeks ago, Northampton Fire Chief Jon Davine ordered the Bombyx Center for Arts and Equity to cease all its indoor music events until an automatic sprinkler system is installed in the center’s sanctuary, where concerts are held.
“Right now we’ve had a second weekend of economic harm and this is going to very quickly crush our organization and put an end to Bombyx,” said Kyle Homstead, co-director of the Bombyx Center.
Following some noise complaints, the Fire Department inspected the Sanctuary and Fire Chief Davine eventually concluded that Bombyx is considered a nightclub. Part of what’s making this process frustrating for Bombyx is they believe they have done everything right up through this point. The Bombyx staff said they were baffled by this, especially because they have been operating this same way for around two years and have followed every guideline.
“We went through this whole process when Irv was here, an entire long process to make sure we were gonna do everything by the book and by the code, and to allow the time to raise the funds and to actually carry out the work all of that process has been thrown up in the air,” said Marissa Egerstrom, Pastor at Florence Congregational Church.
Bombyx is also a church, synagogue, preschool and more. They said losing any one component will not only hurt them financially but the historic church and nonprofit as a whole.
Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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