Guthrie proves hospitable to the Gentlemen of the Road

Photo by Liz Bryant used under Creative Commons license
Photo by Liz Bryant used under Creative Commons license

Clay Milford, Staff Writer

   On September 6th and 7th, Guthrie, Oklahoma played host to twelve main stage bands, including Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Alabama Shakes and Mumford & Sons, plus over twenty side stage acts as a part of the 2013 Gentlemen of the Road Stopover Tour. The original capital of the Sooner state happened to be one of five places in the world that was chosen to partake in the event. The Stopover proved to be a cultural and musical sensation, as over 40,000 people listened, sang and, yes, even danced their hearts out.

   Maia Brown, senior, was able to attend the festival and describes the event as “two words: hot and diverse. We got there around one and stayed until ten-thirty, and let me just say, it was worth the 100-degree heat for the experience we had. It was amazing to see not only the diversity in the music but also the diversity in the people. There were over 40,000 there, and I saw families with their children, 70-year-old couples, people from all over the nation and every kind of hipster you can think of.”

   Spirits were high as a result of the gathering, and many people, like Maia, took away from the night more than simply a fun time of listening to music. “During the last song, every single band from the festival went on stage and sang ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’ by The Beatles. Also, before the encore, all the bands Mumford & Sons have been touring with got on stage and sang ‘Come Together.’ It was cool to hear all different kinds of people from different backgrounds come to one place and sing along to Mumford & Sons’ songs. There are spiritual aspects to their lyrics, and it was amazing to hear all of the people sing along to them. God is so cool, He can teach you in really crazy ways.” When asked if she would attend again next year, Maia responded, “Absolutely. Yes. Why wouldn’t I go back?”

   The Stopover was not only a cultural success, but also with the influx of people due to the concerts, Guthrie experienced a financial boom, which brought in an estimated hundreds of thousands of dollars to local hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Within two days, the town of 10,191 people more than quadrupled, making it an overnight metropolis. I am certain that the people of the city most notable for its brief stint as Oklahoma’s capital would love to welcome the Gentlemen of the Road back again next year.