Already known for bringing much of their audience into banjo-music territory for the first time, Mumford & Sons are now hoping fans will follow them into a rural corner of northeastern Iowa that probably never would have factored into their summer vacation plans.
The British folk-rock kingpins have picked Waverly, Iowa — three hours southeast of the Twin Cities — as one of four small towns across the country to host their roaming Gentlemen of the Road pop-up festival, on June 19-20.
Kentucky indie-rock favorites My Morning Jacket and Oklahoma psychedelic heroes the Flaming Lips are also on the lineup for the one-time-only, two-night musical campout, which will also feature Dawes, Jenny Lewis and others.
Tickets will go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. via the website GentlemenoftheRoad.com, where details on camping are also available. Tickets will cost $199.
Waverly, home to 9,874 residents and private Wartburg College, joins a list of host Gentlemen pop-up fest cities including Seaside Heights, N.J.; Salida, Colo., and Walla Walla, Wash. Waverly is two hours from Des Moines and about five hours from Chicago.
It’s not clear how or why Waverly was picked, but it fits this description the band gave for choosing stops on its 2013 Gentlemen of the Road festivals: “We get to put them on in towns not normally frequented by touring bands in buses or splitter vans. We deliberately look for towns that have something unique, or some vibe of which they are proud, explore them and enjoy what they have to offer.”
Waverly apparently wasn’t the first choice for an Iowa stop. Decorah, home of Luther College, was targeted, according to the college newspaper, but school administrators weren’t hip to hosting the event.
The booking could set up a dilemma for Twin Cities music lovers, since it falls on the same weekend as Rock the Garden at the Walker Art Center.
Rock the Garden organizers have moved up the announcement of their lineup by more than a month to next week Tuesday.
Mumford & Sons will release their third album, “Wilder Mind,” on May 4. It follows the band’s breakthrough record, 2012’s “Babel,” which has sold nearly 3 million copies in the United States and earned the Grammy for album of the year.