Best of the Mumford and Sons Gentlemen of the Road Stopover: The Top Hat Awards

Categories: Fiesta!

Sarah Myers
The Very Best's Esau Mwamwaya
See also:
How it happened
Mumford & Sons in Dixon, 8/18/12: Review, Photos and Setlist
The Mumford & Sons-themed Decorations in the Store Fronts of Dixon, Illinois: Photos

Best Sing-Along: The Very Best ft. half the day's bands covering "Will You Be There" (a.k.a. the Free Willy song)
The Very Best probably didn't come in expecting to be demanded to play an encore, and it definitely didn't expect to get cheered back for a second one. Radioclit queued up "Will You Be There," and the band asked to have the lights turned down on stage. By that point half of the rest of the festival's lineup was standing on stage, smiling, sweating and, in several cases, shirtless.

abigail washburn.jpg
Sarah Myers
Best Communist: Abigail Washburn
Abigail Washburn makes the ugliest duckling known to instruments - the banjo - sound like some kind of perfect nature song, and her voice has the warmth of a lullaby, never more than on the song she sang in pitch-perfect Mandarin Chinese.

Best Chicken Tenders (in the World): BBY's
Dixon's most gaudy downtown restaurant is also the purveyor of some amazing chicken tenders. Juicy, served piping hot with a thin coating of batter.

Sarah Myers
Best Manicure: The Festival's MC Reggie Watts

Best Overpriced Souvenir: Afghan
Behind the various Stopover t-shirts, the most popular merch item was a woven black-and-white blanket, roughly five feet by four feet, with the Gentlemen of the Road logo in the center. Asking price: $45

Sarah Myers
Best Freeloaders: Boat Riders in the Rock River

Best Security Guard: The Protector of the Page Park Entrance (Campground Side)
The Mumford & Sons crowd does not offer the greatest security challenge in rock & roll history. That didn't stop one block of muscle guarding the Page Park entrance on the campground side from treating his turf like a demilitarized zone. Pockets were emptied, camera was questioned, junk was groped.

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