English folk rockers Mumford & Sons announced Tuesday that they will perform at St. Augustine’s Francis Field in September as a part of their Gentlemen of the Road Stopovers.
The two-day festival event begins Sept. 13 with performances by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros and Willy Mason. On Sept. 14, Mumford & Sons perform along with fun., The Vaccines, Bear’s Den, Half Moon Run and Those Darlins.
The festival atmosphere at Francis Field in Downtown St. Augustine will include other events in the field as well as around town. Tickets allowing access to both days of the festival are $109 and can only be purchased from gentlemenoftheroad.com. Tickets go on sale 11 a.m. Feb. 8.
“This is our chance to do it our way,” Ted Dwane, bassist for Mumford & Sons, told Folio Weekly in a phone interview. “We created this festival last summer. The shows are awesome. It is great engaging a larger audience. We’re expanding the format to be a two-day event. You never know what is going to happen. We have formed these tours around festivals we have been to and loved in the U.K.”
Dwane said the stopovers have been his favorite aspect of the band’s success. He finds the festivals more rewarding because they have some control over the venue and the show.
“It’s a lot to get used to. It’s great but I can honestly say, playing country music in London, we didn’t ever imagine this,” he said. St. Augustine officials expect a major tourism boost.
“This event will help tourism to thrive in September, one of the slowest months of the year,” St. Augustine City Manager John Regan said.
About 25,000 tickets are available for the stopover in St. Augustine, Regan said. The shows will end at 10 p.m. each night, allowing guests to continue their night around town with other live music events at St. Augustine venues after the festival.
Mumford and Sons' latest release, “Babel,” was the top album of 2012, selling 600,000 copies in its first week. The band is nominated for six Grammys, including Album of the Year. Their concerts sell out in minutes around the world.
Dwane said the band is able to write new songs "quite well," despite a busy tour schedule.
"You can’t shut off the creative flow," Dwane said. "This time next year we are going to take a little break. But after a month or so we will be back together working on the next album."
Mumford & Sons "all had different journeys" in evolving musically, Dwane said.
"Some of us were into jazz. I had my stage in my teens that I’d rather not recall when I loved Russian metal," he said. "I met the guys in 2007 and we were all very much in the same place. We didn’t really know anyone else who wanted to play the music we wanted to.”
Mumford & Sons worked with officials at the venues in selecting the other performers at the festival stopovers. The other stopovers are scheduled for July 19-20 in Lewes, United Kingdom; Aug. 23-24 in Simcoe, Ontario; Aug. 30-31 in Troy, Ohio; and Sept. 6-7 in Guthrie, Okla.