GUTHRIE — Crowds multiplied on the streets of downtown Guthrie during day two of the Gentlemen of the Road Stopover, and Trey Woods saw his business at Hoboken Coffee Roasters filled to overflowing.
It was a story that echoed throughout the town as 35,000 extra people poured into Guthrie on Saturday to see Mumford & Sons, Alabama Shakes, Haim, The Vaccines and other bands at Cottonwood Flats, and spent money with downtown merchants on their way to the festival.
It finally got so crazy at Hoboken, Woods and his wife, Mallory, who opened the coffee bar in 2012, shut their doors early.
“The amount of business we experienced is probably equal to four Saturdays packed into six hours,” Woods said, finally relaxing while listening to mandolinist Jeff Austin's fleet-fingered picking on the Downtown Stage. “Saturday is our best day, so it was like a month of our best days rolled into one.”
And it was not just a phenomenon for suppliers of in-demand caffeinated beverages.
Byron Berline's Double Stop Fiddle Shop and Music Hall was teeming with customers as musicians stopped in to check out the rows and rows of stringed instruments. When asked how business was going that afternoon, Berline proudly waved his hand at all the people jamming and listening.
“Well, you can see,” Berline said, laughing as a virtuoso fiddle player sawed in the background. “A lot of times it's so full in here you can't turn around. “There's thousands of people here and a lot of them are into music, so they're gravitating to our shop.”
Some of those customers happen to be the most famous musicians at the festival.
Just as the Gentlemen of the Road Stopover was ramping up, Berline received a visit from headliners Mumford & Sons.
“They came off the plane and came right here,” said Berline, a respected fiddler who has played with Vince Gill and The Rolling Stones. He then pointed toward one of the fiddlers playing in his store. It was Ross Holmes, who is playing with Mumford & Sons as a sideman on this tour.
“I've known him since he was 12 years old,” he said.
Business also was brisk at the many “pop-up stores” that were created specifically for the event. The 51st Street Speakeasy, an Oklahoma City bar and music venue, opened two pop-up locations in downtown Guthrie: a beer garden near the trolley stop, and an inside bar at 116 W Harrison, the former location of Kenney's Irish Pub. Co-owner Greg Bustamante booked several local musicians to play at that location throughout the event, including rapper Josh Sallee.
Similarly, Tree & Leaf Clothing, a successful T-shirt and screen printing company in Oklahoma City's Plaza District, set up such a store just outside Prairie Wolf Spirits at 124 E Oklahoma.
Co-owner and designer Dusty Gilpin, who was selling Tree & Leaf clothes out of a van emblazoned with “GOTR” graffiti art, said it is an exciting time for Guthrie — a time that will continue long after the Gentlemen of the Road Stopover moves on. He said there are parallels between what he sees as a Plaza District merchant and the new activity in downtown Guthrie.
“Now, in Guthrie, you have Hancock Creative Shop, you have Prairie Gothic and new restaurants and the distillery,” Gilpin said. “I think it's definitely on track. It's got the momentum.”