Mumford & Sons' North American tour last year proved to be rather unorthodox, so the British songwriters will continue to askew the traditional performance schedule with their Gentlemen of the Road Stopovers this summer.
The group has announced four one-day, mini-music festivals for August, with different lineups featured at each. The Mumfords will headline every night in Portland, Maine; Bristol, Va.; Dixon, Ill; and Monterey, Calif., and will be sharing the stage with "friends" like Gogol Bordello, St. Vincent, Dawes, the Maccabees, Justin Townes Earle and Two Gallants.
"The Gentlemen of the Road Stopover is based loosely upon our favorite festivals like Colorado's Telluride Bluegrass and Scotland's Loopallu Festivals. We want to stop off in towns where bands don't usually tour, and celebrate the local people, food and music," said Mumford & Sons in a statement. "We're keen to promote the town's local businesses, and we'll be using the local bars and venues for after-show parties, whilst working closely with the local people to get everyone involved in making these shows spectacular.
"There will be a host of our friends playing too, and the vibe falls somewhere between 'traveling Victorian circus' and 'Victorian traveling circus.'"
If the Railroad Revival tour was any template, you can expect the acts to crossover into each others' sets, too, with Mumfords guesting on some songs, and other bands' members stepping up on theirs.
Tickets are up for Monterey, Portland and Bristol on Friday (June 1) at 10 a.m. local time while Dixon's go on sale June 9 at 10 a.m. CST. Gentlemen of the Road Stopover costs $69 for each, sold exclusively through the tour's website.
The move resembles what many big touring acts have done recently, too, in cutting down the number of stops and curating more complete dates and bills, like Dave Matthews Band's Caravan series in 2011.
The Mumfords have yet to release their sophomore set, but considering the runaway success of "Sigh No More," the next set has become one of the most anticipated of 2012. Their tours have been exceptionally well-received and their fanbase has crossed over into Americana and some jam circles due to their close association with Old Crow Medicine Show and Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros.
I like the general lineup of ecclectic acts, as outlined below, so in a way the Mumfords are curating a playlist for their fans to be turned on to, in turn. Plus, they alone don't have to carry a show -- the stomp and clap of Gogol Bordello's actually mashes up well with the Mumfords in my head.
Mumford & Sons as-yet-untitled new album is expected to drop this fall.
Here are the Gentlemen of the Road Stopover details:
August 4 - Gentlemen of the Road Stopover In Portland, ME (The Eastern Promenade) - Mumford & Sons + St. Vincent, Dawes, The Maccabees, Apache Relay, Simone Felice, Haim
August 11 - Gentlemen of the Road Stopover In Bristol, VA/TN (Off State Street in Downtown Bristol) - Mumford & Sons + Dawes, JEFF The Brotherhood, The Very Best, Justin Townes Earle, Apache Relay, Simone Felice, Haim
August 18 - Gentlemen of the Road Stopover In Dixon, IL (Page Park) - Mumford & Sons + Gogol Bordello, Dawes, Abigail Washburn, The Very Best, Apache Relay, Haim
August 25 - Gentlemen of the Road Stopover In Monterey, CA (Monterey County Fairgrounds) - Mumford & Sons + Gogol Bordello, The Very Best, Grouplove, Two Gallants, Apache Relay, Haim