In Central Square, a band is set up at the corner of Norfolk Street and Mass Ave. They have instruments, but they aren't playing them. Instead, construction noises are feeding from their amplifiers.

“The joke that maybe only we're getting is that people would rather hear the sound of construction and the artists getting kicked out, than music,” said John Glancy.

Glancy is one of 200 or so tenants being evicted from the nearby EMF building, a music and arts studio space.

As Cambridge gets built up and housing prices increase, affordable art and music spaces in this artsy city are slowly disappearing. EMF was one of the last. Its weathered brick exterior stands out in a slew of new buildings on Brookline Street.

Steve Onderick is a tenant here. He said the building is a creative community that provides more than just a space to practice music.

“It's also a spot for new collaboration to form, for friendships to form; there are just so many non-quantifiable things that come out of a place like this existing," Onderick said. "And, when you get rid of everything that’s like this, then the only places you can go are bars and stores and places where you need to buy things, you lose something.”

EMF stands for electrical motor frequency. For most of its history, workers built electrical devices in the building. A little over 10 years ago, it was converted into artist and music spaces. In one of those spaces is John Taft. He calls his studio New Alliance. He hasn't found a new space to work yet.

“There's nothing centrally located quite like this is, T accessible like this is,” Taft said. “It's difficult to find something in a nice neighborhood that people actually want to go to.”

The city is concerned about these artists, but it's not stepping in to buy or lease the building.

A recent fire inspection report said the building was potentially unsafe.

Its owner, John DiGiovanni, says he won't tear it down, but he's going to rehab it.

“The building has, in its current condition, outlived its useful life and is in a condition that is inappropriate for any use,” said DiGiovanni.

Since announcing the evictions, DiGiovanni has been hearing from tenants and community members — it hasn't always been kind.

“So my response to the negative comments, the personal attacks, is those things are just never helpful,” said DiGiovanni. “It's important to highlight, though, that most of the tenants have acted responsibly, have looked for new studio space, have found new studio space, took advantage of the three months and did so.”

Some of those tenants are renting a space at a new music complex in Malden run by former EMF building manager Bob Logan.

Logan will miss EMF, but he said other communities like Malden have welcomed artists looking to relocate.

“With the amount of growth that we're seeing in the city, I feel like there's potential to be located a little more out of the city for people who just need this in their area,” Logan said.

Glancy is considering moving to Lynn, but even there, it's hard to beat the $400 in rent he pays in Cambridge, which he splits with other artists.

“I've been speaking to a guy in Lynn, which is the nearest jam space I can find that is open and that I can go and play,” said Glancy. “It's not very close, but I grew up in Saugus, so I know the area … and I might end up in Lynn and having to buy a car and commute to Lynn.”

Cambridge Mayor Marc McGovern is working to help relocate tenants.

He says there's a bigger problem of creating affordable art spaces in Cambridge and the city needs to find new ways to deal with it.

“So if we're really going to try and resolve this issue on a permanent, long-term basis we need to have conversations about what the city can do,” said McGovern. “You know, do we provide a building? Do we purchase a building somewhere in the city that we operate?”

While that may be the future, this is now.

Artists have been told to be out of EMF by May 31.