Nate treated me to an amazing weekend of music in Guthrie the first weekend in September. Generally I would say I’m not a music festival person, but this was a different story. I was pretty unsure of how it would go because one, it was a music festival and two, the information available, other than the long list of things not to bring, wasn’t very plentiful.
We headed up to Guthrie around 2 p.m. on Friday and were pleasantly surprised that traffic wasn’t an issue at all. We’d worked out a plan with our friend Traci to stay, along with some friends, at her house for the weekend because of the convenient location of her house a mile from the festival grounds. Even with 35,000+ people in town for the weekend I didn’t hear of many people having traffic issues which is impressive.
Security and the Crowd
Despite the list of forbidden items the bag search before entering the venue was near nonexistent. Had we known we would have carried in much more water, snacks, and I might have even tried to get my fancy camera in. Oh well. The crowd was super mellow and friendly, and I didn’t witness any problems or fights. One of the main reasons I don’t care for festivals is because usually there are lots of really drunk and really high people who have no respect for your personal space. While it was frustrating when people would chose a walking path across the middle of our blankets there were a lot of people to navigate through and I just couldn’t hate too much.
They had an awesome set up of local and out of town food vendors with a wide range of choices from corn dogs and pizza to pad Thai and portobello wraps. Not surprisingly it was quite expensive. I purchased a really delicious black bean and spinach quesadilla on Friday, but after not much of a bag search, Saturday I carried in my own food.
Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros were awesome and did a bit of crowd participation which is always entertaining. I picked a couple new bands to like in the bands Phosphorescent and The Vaccines. The Alabama shakes were great performers and people went crazy for Brittany. And Mumford and Sons capped everything off with a fantastic set. One of the best parts of their show was the very last song. They brought everyone back out on stage (which was a ton of people), and sang a cover of With a Little Help from My Friends.
I think one of the goals of GOTR was for people to discover a new town that they’d hopefully return to. Guthrie really rolled out the red carpet for everyone. A few of us went into town on Saturday to get some GOTR merchandise, and I regret not having more time to check out everything they had going in addition to the actual festival. Despite living less than 30 minutes from Guthrie I’ve never been up to check the town out. So my interest was successfully peaked, and I’m looking forward to a return trip to check the town out.
Cottonwood Flats was a great set up. Big enough to accommodate everyone, close to the space they had people camping in, super close to downtown where even more stuff was happening, and close to the huge field where they were parking everyone (and to some city streets where residents were parking people in their yards).
It was a hot, dry weekend. While it was hot and really dusty I was thankful it wasn’t raining and muddy. We used sunscreen and drank lots of water (they provided a free water filling station which was nice, but they could’ve used 2 or 3 on Saturday when the lines got long), and our group came away not too worse for the wear. We had a pretty close to the stage spot Friday, but opted for something further back that would be in the shade sooner for Saturday.
I could go on and on about how organized everything seemed, how awesome the music and lineup were, and what a great crowd it was. The weekend changed my mind on festivals, and given the right bands they can bring out a really cool crowd and make for a really fantastic and fun weekend of music. So good job Mumford and Sons!