The Underground is hosting its last show before closing its doors for good. Before longtime manager-owner Nick Woodruff pulls the plug, he’s booked “The Farewell Party,” which finds roughly a dozen familiar faces – Steve Burton, Creakside Skye, Goodtime Pat, Alister, H A I, Last Rite, Down 2 Grind, Rigged Records, Mike Risner, In Hell & Fury, Ignite The Borealis and Russett Burbank – playing the Go Coast Venue on Saturday night.
Funcoast.com talked to Woodruff about “The Farewell Party,” the decision to close the joint and how he hopes it’ll be remembered.
It’s time for “The Farewell Party.” What do you have planned for Saturday night?
A lot of the bands that have frequently played the venue and helped it become a music venue will be performing. There aren’t too many local bands left in town, the music scene started to go away and that’s part of the reason why we’re closing. So we have 13 or 14 acts starting at 5 p.m. on Saturday. The style will range from acoustic and rock to metal and hip-hop. It’s a little bit of everything we’ve done over the years. We’ve invited a lot of different bands back for the last weekend.
Naturally that includes your band Russet Burbank.
Yes, we will be closing the night. We probably played there the most. I’m sure if someone is keeping a running tab, we’re just narrowly in the lead by a few performances over other bands that are playing that night.
What are some other acts of note playing on Saturday?
4 1 9 has been there a lot. They are a staple of the Sandusky music scene. We asked them back. We have a couple of good acoustic performers. Mike Risner played there a lot over the years. He’s amazing. We have a couple of out of town acts. On Friday night, we have the band Know Lyfe performing with national band 40 Below Summer. Then on Saturday night we’ve got a band from Capitol Records called Ignite The Borealis. They already played here once this year.
It sounds like this weekend is going to be bittersweet.
That’s exactly what it is. I’m thrilled it’s closing and of course I’m very sad. It’s very bittersweet. It’s had a difficult run. I haven’t paid myself since the second year I bought the place, 2010. It’s a rough business. I’ve always put everything back into it. I lost my house last year. It’s been difficult. I just don’t think there is much of a music scene anymore. No one really supports what we do. If I have a big event people will come out, but it costs me so much money it’s still not worth doing. And if it’s not a big event, people don’t come out.
What are you most looking forward to this weekend?
Seeing the place full of people that really did support it for a long time and made it the music venue we tried to make it. Also, seeing the people who haven’t been out here in a couple of years. That’s the thing that’s upsetting. I’ve gotten so many emails and calls saying, “Don’t close.” But they haven’t been here in a year and a half. And they say it’s their favorite place.
Finally, how do you hope The Underground is remembered?
I want people to remember that I brought rock music to Sandusky that no one else did. It was a home for original music when there wasn’t another one. And I hope someone picks up the slack and takes it somewhere else and that the music scene can continue but it hasn’t been going well. Hopefully someone will step up and take charge.
Want to go?
WHEN: 5 p.m. Sept 28
WHERE: The Underground, 224 E. Water St., Sandusky
TICKETS: $5 ($8 under 21)