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Mumford & Sons bring their roving festival to Ontario – along with some Canadian friends

Mumford and Sons

Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail

Simcoe, Ontario, sigh no more.

The blockbuster English roots-rock band Mumford & Sons today announced details for the 2013 edition of its Gentlemen of the Road Stopover, a roving festival series with dates this summer in England, the United States and, at the Norfolk County Fairgrounds in Southwestern Ontario. "Travelling and playing is a really fun way to live life," Mumford & Sons multi-instrumentalist Ben Lovett said in an interview on Tuesday, "but that doesn't mean we have to play in the same venues that everyone always plays in."

Last year, the chart-topping Londoners curated seven GOTR Stopovers, with four festivals in the United States, two in Britain and one in Australia. The idea is to bring world-class bands to communities normally not accustomed to roadies, tour buses and backstage passes.

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In Simcoe, a two-day affair is headlined by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros on Aug. 23, with the Mumford quartet playing the following night. Other guests scheduled to participate include Old Crow Medicine Show, the Vaccines and Willy Mason, as well as Newfoundland's passionately rocking Hey Rosetta! and the popular Vancouver troubadour Dan Mangan.

On Feb. 10, the Mumfords are to perform at the Grammy Awards, where they hope to make acceptance speeches for one or more of the six categories for which they received nominations. The band's 2009 debut Sigh No More earned them six noms, but no trophies. The follow-up, Babel, contends for six more prizes this year, including best album.

Other GOTR Stopovers this summer include Lewes, Sussex (July 19-20), Troy, Ohio (Aug. 30-31), Guthrie, Ok. (Sept. 6-7) and St . Augustine, Fla. (Sept. 13-14). A series of smaller events involving local businesses and venues are planned in each location.

Tickets to the Stopovers go on sale on Feb. 8 at gentlemenoftheroad.com.

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About the Author

Brad Wheeler is an arts reporter with The Globe and Mail. More

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