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Saturday, December 09, 2023

The smell of sweat and body odor lingers in the small two-room record store. Boxes are in piles strewn about the floor, and a dusty P.A. system rests in the corner, waiting to be used.

Nonprofit record store and music venue Wayward Council is closing its doors after 14 years.

There will be a farewell show Thursday featuring more than five bands. The event is $5 and will begin at 9 p.m.

“It kind of ends when it ends,“ said Gabrielle Keane, a 23-year-old Wayward Council volunteer.

Wayward Council is completely volunteer based — Keane has been involved for about eight months, and there are roughly 15 other volunteers. There is no set schedule. All workers have keys and put their names down on available time slots.

Matt Sweeting, the remaining co-founder, reminisced as he loaded boxes.

“The first day, I remember there was a line to get in. We had so many people that wanted to shop that we had to give people numbers,” he said. “I was sitting there with a core of people, they were all freaking out, and I said ‘I told you’.”

Wayward’s goal is to have everything cleared out by Thursday for the show and be officially out of the space by Monday when keys will be turned in.

The merchandise, which includes books, stickers, magazines, records, patches, tapes, CDs and T-shirts, are being sold and donated throughout the week. The items were a broad range of local art and music, objects from touring bands and older music dating anywhere from the 1960s to the 1990s.

“A lot of things are on the free table, the rest will eventually be donated,” said Keane. “Other things are going to be stored in case there is another project similar to this started, that way there will already be a stock.”

Wayward also collected items for Books to Prisoners, an organization that gives donated books to incarcerated residents. Keane said the representative for the organization could not be reached. The accumulation of books will be stored for a month, and if no one claims them the books will be donated to the Friends of the Library.

Keane foresees the show being packed with people coming from out of town and those wanting to be a part of the last show.

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“It’s going to be cool visually and acoustically to be empty, its never been empty in here before,” she said.

Sweeting posed under a skylight for a photo holding Polaroid’s of the other three co-starters of Wayward Council. “I am the only one left, so I thought I would do a little reunion.”

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