By Van Mitchell
Special to The Sun
Guthrie city officials say planning continues to go smoothly for the upcoming Mumford and Sons Gentlemen of the Road Stopover, which hits Guthrie in September.
The concert will be Sept. 6-7 in Guthrie’s Cottonwood Flats. Guthrie is one of three American cities on the tour including Troy, Ohio, and St. Augustine, Fla.
“Things are going great and we are excited to have them in,” said Cody Mosley, economic development director for the City of Guthrie. “This is really going to put Guthrie on the map. I think we are going to do a heck of a job at it and everyone is going to see what this town has to offer.”
Along with Mumford and Sons, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Willy Mason, Alabama Shakes, The Vaccines, Bear’s Den, Half Moon Run and Those Darlins will be performing on the main stage.
Josh Albrecht with Jam Productions, the Chicago company producing the event recently had a televised public forum at Guthrie’s City Hall to talk about how the concert came about.
Albrecht helped his hometown of Dixon, Ill., land last year’s two-day Stopover as he serves as the Dixon Main Street executive. That festival sold 15,000 tickets.
Albrecht was told Mumford and Sons wanted a Stopover in a small town in the Midwest with a piece of land close to the downtown district with camping sites available nearby.
Albrecht said during the public forum that he looked at various small towns and came across Guthrie using the Internet.
Mosley said it wasn’t long before a phone call was placed to the Guthrie Chamber of Commerce to see if Guthrie was a viable fit.
“In early October the Guthrie Chamber got a phone call asking if we would be interested in hosting this festival,” Mosley said.
Mosley said shortly after announcing the Stopover was coming to Guthrie it was a sellout with more than 25,000 tickets sold. He said concert organizers might release more tickets later through a lottery system.
Mosley said the festival likely will have a significant economic impact on Guthrie and the surrounding area.
“We are looking at a very substantial impact,” he said. “We are going to have 25,000 visitors in town and we are looking at tripling our population over this period of time. We are going to have sales tax dollars off of that.”
Mosley said business owners have been updated about the Stopover and how some of the downtown streets will be blocked off during this two-day time period.
He said most of the feedback has been positive from business owners about it.
“It will definitely be higher traffic volume than we are used to in,” Mosley said. “We are hoping it will be painless as possible. We are excited about the festival and it is going to be a great economic impact for the town. We are ready to showcase Guthrie.”
The main concert stage (in the Cottonwood Flats) for the Stopover will be just west of the Cottonwood Creek at Third Street between Logan and Washington Avenue.
The downtown venue’s main stage will be at Second Street and Harrison in front of the State Capital Publishing Museum. The main route connecting the two stages will be Oklahoma Avenue and across Fifth Street.
Mosley said the Stopover is already having an economic impact on the local hotels and bed and breakfasts.
“I believe the local hotels sold out within six hours of us making the announcement and the bed and breakfasts have been sold out the next day,” Mosley said. “The Guthrie Chamber of Commerce got a call from the Edmond Convention and Visitors Bureau just saying thank you for selling out their hotels for the weekend. It’s good to have this partnership with these other communities. We are excited to help them out.”
Mosley said he doesn’t believe security will be an issue for the Stopover with concert organizers providing their own security staff for the event.
“Security really isn’t a major concern for us,” he said. “We are expecting a different kind of concertgoers for this event. They want to be a part of the community and not tear it up.”