Silo Venue to Excess Controversy

Posted on October 12, 2012 by

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Ever since the 2007 homicide of Wilvin Rosado-Albarran, 25, The Silo’s good reputation has been in question by authorities and residents of Reading and surrounding cities.

Due to the 1 April shooting of 3 men–Bryheem Alston, 30; Julian Acosta, 25; and Silo security supervisor, Bobby Newton, 38–and the public release of news on the matter, The Silo’s then questionable reputation has hit an all-time low.

For the past few decades, local Bernsville police officers have been receiving annual calls from irritated neighbors complaining of excessive noise and nuisance The Silo has been generating. Eight of those neighbors have claimed that The Silo affected not only their property values but their quality of life as well.

But The Silo wasn’t always this way.

“[I] used to work at The Silo back in the 90’s, and it was a good place. It had its problem, but what club doesn’t? [It] was a good place to go and chill, listen to a good band, and have a great time with my friends,” Cellus said.

Following the shooting on 1 April, Berks County District Attorney John T. Adams took legal action and began to seek a county court order to close down the nightclub. Adams’ request cites about 180 incidents at the club and Route 183 since 1989, including the fatal shooting of Rosado-Albarran; police reports responding to complaints of drugs, rape, fights; and underage drinkin with six citations by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board for violating liquor laws. During the shooting investigation, the staff of The Silo reported that the security equipment had not been functioning properly that evening.

In hope of keeping the club up and running, Silo’s attorney, Kurt B. Geishauser, who represents the operators, Maria Faust and Dena Limberiou, settled on 10 July. The settlement required the venue to install metal detectors, a new security system, and a fence, along with the agreement to reduce noise and pick up litter.

According to Bern Township police, following a 21 July show, the club neglected to live up to its part of the settlement and testified that their security system was not up to par.

Judge Jeffrey K. Sprecher granted the prosecutors’ request to close the club with a troubled history until the following hearing on 11 October.

With bad rumors circulating, one may think that closing The Silo might be in everyone’s best interest. That assumption sounds false to numerous Fleetwood Area High School students and students of surrounding school districts, including Colin Underwood, a 2012 Fleetwood Graduate and lead vocals of United We Fall as well as bassist for No Regrets.

“The Silo was more or less my home, regardless of its name to everyone who had a misinformed fear of it as a place of violence and drama. In the countless shows it has held, not a single shooting has occurred, and yet people like myself are left locked outside its doors because of the club scene, a complete different scene from the venue’s main floor itself,” Underwood said. “What people fail to realize is that there is a brotherhood with musicians.  You support each other, and you support your venue.  When The Silo shut down, people didn’t just disagree, but there were shows and funds that were put in place to support our home, our pride. To some, it wasn’t much, but to us it was a place to call ours, and the club scene with the local scum that actually did cause the trouble is the reason the Silo’s closed. Not the music.”

Underwood is also not the only one to take part in the brotherly love at the Silo.

“Everyone who worked there treated you like family. It was never anything but pure fun,” junior Andy Cleaver said.

The Rap/Hip-Hop scene has taken most of the blame for the overall closing of The Silo.

“They only closed it down because of the violence that happened when the rap/dance parties happened upstairs,” Nick Drey, a 2011 Brandywine graduate and bassist of Have Faith Within said.

“The only problem at The Silo was the rap shows. They could have just put a ban on the rap shows. Everyone in the metal scene there was as close to a family as you could get,” Fleetwood Senior, Logan Fox, d lead guitarist of Have Faith Within said.

In regards to the overall effect that the closing of The Silo had, it was no surprise to Senior Thomas Hirneisen.

“I think it was nice, but [it] was managed by incompetent people that didn’t really care about the place,” Hirneisen said.

“The service and hospitality at The Silo is better than any other place I’ve been to, but really the sad thing is I believe the owners could care less,” Fox said.

The outcome of whether or not The Silo will be able to keep its doors open has many on the edge of their seats, but is there any way The Silo could become a rock-based nightclub?

“If [The Silo] would have stopped booking hip-hop shows, it would still be open today,” Cleaver said.

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