The crowd went wild when English folk rock band Mumford and Sons took the stage Saturday night for its well-anticipated Gentlemen of the Road Stopover Tour.
Frontman Marcus Mumford told the thousands in the audience: “We came here for a party train, Ohio.”
The band followed the Old Crow Medicine Show, which worked the crowd into a frenzy with banjo, fiddle, horn and steel guitar play. With Marcus Mumford on stage, Old Crow led a singalong to its hit song “Wagon Wheel.”
Mumford and Sons member Winston Marshall called Troy beautiful, and thanked the audience for turning out.
“We are really grateful you are here with us,” he said to the crowd. The band then drove the crowd wild with its performance of “I Will Wait,” with many singing along in the audience.
For three days the Miami County city of about 25,000 residents was at the center of the music universe, drawing an estimated 40,000 people to the Gentlemen of the Road Stopover shows and downtown street affair. Mumford and Sons was the headliner to nearly a dozen musical national acts, also including Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zero and Half Moon Run.
About 20 regional and local bands also performed on stages set up on Market and Main streets. Musicians, who were not only confined to stages, played the sidewalks, bars and restaurants throughout the festival. Troy was one selected as one of five stops on the national tour.
Looking toward the future
Karin Manovich, executive director of Troy Main Street Inc., hopes the momentum the sparked by the festival will continue.
“It has been so enormous and epic and so different from anything that has been in Troy in some years,” Manovich said.
She said people will talk about the weekend for years to come. The excitement it generated has been compared to when Elvis played Troy in 1956.
“In the euphoria” of the event, business owners expressed a desire to host another music event, Manovich said. “That’s something we can look at in the future.”
People from 48 states and six countries attended
Troy Main Street President Patty Rose, the co-owner of Fitness Institute of Troy, The Art Vault Gallery and Leaf and Vine Bar, opened the Mumford Sundries store to cater to visiting music fans.
Rose called Mumford fans “absolutely charming.” “It is 92 degrees, 95 percent humidity and there is nobody grumpy,” she said. “Everyone is smiling and thanking and (saying) ‘love your place.’ ”
Her bar was packed from the time it opened at 10 a.m. Friday to its closing at 2 a.m. There was a line at the front door when Rose arrived at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.
“That’s an all-time first,” she said with a laugh. “All the businesses are aglow in all of this.”
Law enforcement officials reported few problems. Several dozen people were treated for dehydration and mostly similar afflictions.
Like other downtown business owners, Rose said visitors have told her they plan to come back to Troy.
“Any town wants to be a destination and we have created that in maybe one of the biggest ways you can go about doing it,” she said.
Troy on the map
Erin Paulson of Washington Twp. was embarrassed that she had never visited Troy before the stopover tour.
It is cute and quaint. I love the little shops. They still have the “mom and pop” feel,” she said. “They are like a northern Oakwood and no one gives them that credit.”
Many festivalgoers said they especially like that Mumford and Sons typically selects small towns to host its stopover tours.
“(It is) exposing everyone to local culture, local food and everything,” said Megan Freer of St. Louis. “It is really cool to invade a small town and be a part of all of this. It is really, really amazing.” The Troy festival was Freer’s second Gentlemen of the Road; last year she went to the Dixon, Ill., stopover.
Shannon Evans of Chicago and boyfriend Eric Green of Cincinnati — both originally from the Dayton area — said they were impressed by how well the event was organized and the buy-in of Troy businesses.
“I like how all the local shops have kind of gotten the mustaches and different signs. We felt really welcome here,” Evans said. Mustaches are a part of the Gentlemen of the Road Stopover Tour theme.
“It is something special for the small towns,” Green said. “It probably brought a lot of business to it.”
Jack Carter, a volunteer for the Troy Historical Society, said he spoke with a man from New York who had gone to three prior stopover tours and had seen Mumford and Sons in concert 20 times.
“He said this is the best of the four he has visited,” Carter said. “This really puts Troy on the map as a hometown local with a really awesome history and beautiful downtown buildings. It is a great family environment here.”
Rickelle and Shane Kallenberger from Bloomington, Ind.,were among 10,000 people who camped out near the stadium during the festival. Besides losing their car keys — Rickelle’s parents drove in a spare pair from Indiana — the couple said they had a great time in Troy.
“They definitely went all out for this,” Shane Kallenberger said of Troy. “It is cool to see.”