ABC Self Storage in Pittsburgh has become the go-to spot for local bands seeking rehearsal space. The facility at 1109 Arlington Ave. in Allentown is in a converted electric-supply warehouse. Thirty bands currently rent custom-sized rooms on the first and second floors, which offer 24-hour access to the musicians, according to the source.
Rehearsal-space rentals range from $130 per month for three-piece bands to $300 per month for larger groups. The concept has proved so popular, the facility often has a waiting list of bands waiting to get in, the source reported.
“Being it’s an old warehouse, it’s got very thick walls. You can crank up your amps at four in the morning if you want,” facility manager Dan Split told the source. “Basically, it’s freedom to come and go as you please. There’s a lot of other rehearsal rooms [elsewhere] that have time limits, and you have to share.”
Split came up with the idea when he was in a band and working for facility owner Mike Barry’s moving company. “He was a teenager working for my moving company, and he kept getting thrown out of garages and other places,” Barry said. “When I bought this building [in 1996], he kind of begged me to put something together for him.”
Barry also houses about 30 bands at his ABC-EZ commercial-dumpster rental business in McKees Rocks, Pa., according to the source.
The idea has been embraced by local bands as well as established groups, including Anti-Flag and members of Rusted Root. Musicians like the ability to practice at any time of day, as well as the social aspect of the facility and its central location.
“The advantages are that it’s pretty centrally located to any part of the city, about 10 minutes away from everywhere,” musician Russ Tompkins told the source. “The prices are fair, the rooms are sizable for the money, and my big thing was repair. Anytime we needed anything, Dan or Mike would be there. We have 24/7 access to the building, too. It doesn’t matter what time you get home from work; you can find time to practice.”
Several of the bands that use ABC Self Storage for rehearsal space have wound up sharing gigs after connecting at the facility, Tompkins said.
- South Pittsburgh Reporter: Local Bands Find a Quiet Space to Practice in Allentown Storage Facility