If part of the college experience is about entrepreneurship and independence, as is so often said, then Temple University’s Dave Silver has got to be pleased with his education.
Silver, 21, is the founder of Broad Street Music Group, an events company that specializes in small concerts for local up-and-coming musicians. Perhaps more impressive than the idea itself is the resolve that Silver showed in keeping his dream alive. Battling everything from frustrated fraternity brothers to a fussy landlord, Silver has remained ever-committed to his company.
Founded in February 2012 as Broad Street Music Lounge, Silver had initially converted the basement of his fraternity house into a small venue.
“We had this huge basement, and we had a stage and sound equipment. I really wanted to figure out a way to utilize our resources,” explains Silver. “I thought, ‘Let’s have some open mics in there. Let’s have a little venue.’ The next thing you know, three weeks later we had planned our first event. We had 150 people in our basement for a music showcase.”
After that, Broad Street Music Lounge became a regular staple of the local music scene, with small concerts and open mics being held in the fraternity basement regularly. The repute of the performers began to change too, as the open mics gave way larger concerts by groups like Ground Up and even Chiddy Bang.
But by 2013 Silver had to put a halt to his music venture. Despite the success of the project, some of the fraternity brothers demanded that the concerts stop. “People were complaining about the noise, people were trying to study,” says Silver. There were also issues with the house’s insurance policy, along with tricky zoning permits.
When asked about his relationship with his fraternity brothers after this uncomfortable situation, Silver didn’t sound too bitter: “Not everyone was for it, but I also didn’t expect everyone to be for it. I would say it was a good 50-50 push… My fraternity has a lot of respect for me and what I do.”
Left without a venue, Silver, an Advertising major, had to plot his next move.
“It didn’t make sense to just stop. We had a database of over 80 artists, we had a crew of people dedicated to throwing these events. And I was determined to keep this alive. So I turned it from the Broad Street Music Lounge into the newly-named Broad Street Music Group,” explains Silver.
With Broad Street Music Group serving as a showcase for both young and veteran performers, Silver is still able to foster local talent in Philadelphia. By hosting events across the city, Broad Street Music Group provides musicians with a viable means of reaching a larger audience. And as Broad Street Music Group grows – with contracts to host events at different venues across the city already in place – Silver has once again seen a huge wellspring of support from local musicians
With Philadelphia in dire need of a better support system for its ‘greener’ musicians, it looks as if Broad Street Music Group might offer that framework.
At the very least, it made for one awesome college experiment.