Special to The Sun
Residents of Guthrie and the surrounding area are making final preparations this week for the largest influx of visitors for any single weekend event in recent history.
The Mumford & Sons 2013 Gentlemen of the Road tour is expected to bring an influx of almost 40,000 to the town of just more than 10,000 residents.
One of the new visitors this weekend will be a nine-meter tall structure called the Strongman. The structure will accompany the band on its North American Gentlemen of the Road Stopovers in Simcoe, Ontario, Guthrie and then on to St. Augustine, Fla., before it heads back across the pond for the remaining portion of the band’s U.K. tour.
The Strongman was designed by NEWSUBSTANCE, a U.K.-based agency specializing in show design and performance structures.
The designers describe it like this: An idiosyncratic installation piece, the Strongman captures the mood of the Stopovers, embodying the spirit of a travelling circus where both performers and audience alike are briefly drawn together in fields across the globe to celebrate and entertain each other.
“We love the Strongman. We always travel with the Strongman,” said Adam Tudhope, the Mumford & Sons manager. “We promised surprises and they don’t get much bigger than this guy. He is imposing, a master of all he surveys while retaining an affable charm about him. He has become a much loved member of the Gentlemen of the Road family although you wouldn’t want to steal his lunch!”
The Gentlemen of the Road tour will take over Guthrie’s historic downtown area for a street festival atmosphere that will include performances by several local bands, including bands from the ACM@UCO, the University of Central Oklahoma’s hands-on music program that teaches students both the art and business of music.
ACM@UCO bands performing at the Downtown Street Festival include Bowlsey, folk-infused hip-hop band, from 5–6 p.m. Sept. 5; Ashford, contemporary rock duo, from 10–11 a.m. Sept. 6; Horse Thief, psychedelic folk rock band, from 6:30–7:30 p.m. Sept. 6; Them Apples, folk rock band, from 10–11 a.m. Sept. 7; and Oklahoma Cloud Factory, upbeat folk rock band, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sept. 7.
The Downtown Street Festival will feature local entertainment, plus a wide variety of food and beverages, arts, crafts and fun. The festival is free to those who have purchased a Stopover Passport for the main stage concert with the included wristband. The general public can purchase a wristband for the street festival for $5 (cash only) at a booth located at the intersection of Division and Oklahoma streets in downtown Guthrie.
More tickets were made available in early August for the concert at a price of $109 per ticket. For more information, go to ustickets.gentlemenoftheroad.com. For more information about the Gentlemen of the Road Guthrie Stopover event, visit www.gentlemenoftheroad.com/guthrie/.