Upon first contact with Dave Hinkley, founder of 802 Music located at One Main Street in downtown Springfield, I knew right away this gentleman was not your average 20-year- old.
In fact, this was a young entrepreneur with a vision to create a local music scene for his generation. Hinkley may or may not see it this way, but this editor certainly does.
"It is simple, 802 Music is dedicated to helping revive the local music scene and making it stronger," Hinkley said in a recent interview.
"We have worked really hard with this venture and I would like people to learn about us, before making any judgement.
"With a new business, especially one that deals with the local music scene in general, things can be said and judgements made without knowing all the facts.
"Therefore, I would simply like people to come visit and check out our facilities for themselves and make their own assessment."
Confident words from this visionary, indeed.
802 Music was originally launched last August by Hinkely and a group of friends, who believe they can create a local, positive musical atmosphere for all ages.
The space is a non-alcoholic venue for live music with various other entities, everything from the hosting of open mic nights, to providing guitar lessons and selling local merchandise.
802 Music is also involved with the local Chamber of Commerce with the common goal to draw more attention to the cultural downtown Springfield area.
"Through education and community involvement, we are dedicated to empowering our music scene," Hinkley added.
"We offer two-plus nights a week of live music and another great aspect is that we are always evolving.
"We will have local bands and special guests performing one week, then a completely different artist or musical genre the next week. We always try to be as diverse as possible as to appeal to everyone."
Another big addition to the 802 Music facility is the opening of their next door coffee shop over the winter, offering over 30 varieties of hot and cold beverages.
"We also partner with the fine people at Pizza Stone Vermont in Chester, allowing us to offer patrons slices of their quality pizza."
The coffee shop is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Mon. through Thurs. and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Fri. and Sat.
To learn more about 802 Music and their cultural offerings, visit them at One Main Street in Springfield or call toll free at 800-395-6815.