Mumford & Sons will soon be serenading thousands of people right here in Bristol, but with just over two weeks until show time there's a lot of work that has to be done.
Fans will be pouring into Bristol by the thousands for the show. "We had sold tickets to 42 states and four foreign countries," said Leah Ross, executive director of Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion, one of the local organizations helping to coordinate the concert.
With so many new visitors, everyone wants to make a good impression. Ross told News 5 Bristol will be turned into a unique musical atmosphere just for the show. "You'll see lights in the trees. They're bringing in hay bales, straw bales," Ross said.
Downtown businesses like Cranberry Lane are ordering extra merchandise, upping their staff, and doing some decorating of their own hoping to draw in thousands of extra dollars. "We've got some special products that we're going to put in the window and make some really cool displays," said Karen Hester, owner of Cranberry Lane.
Not only are merchants sprucing up their window displays, many are also going to bring their products outside so that everyone has a chance to boost their business. "It's something that we dream of, especially in this slow economy. How exciting to bring all these people here," said Hester.
Almost all fans will be going to one spot. A Bristol, Virginia parking lot will hold 15,000 fans, a 96-foot stage, and one high-profile music group; that's why the lot is on a tight deadline to be re-surfaced. "There's some uneven surfaces out there, and we want to try to reduce or eliminate as much in the way of trip hazards as we can," said Bristol, Virginia's city manager Dewey Cashwell.
Cashwell told News 5 they will also be providing extra security and other personnel, but that tab will be picked up by the concert producers.
The city will wind up paying just over $23,000 for the expenses related to the event, but with revenue dollars expected to pour in, Cashwell isn't worried. "We will cover costs. We need to make the improvements on the parking lot anyway. We felt this was a good time," said Cashwell.
News 5 found out Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion and other organizations need volunteers to help take up tickets and man beverage gardens and information booths, especially from 6 p.m. to midnight. Volunteers will get a free t-shirt.
If you're interested in helping out, click here for more information and to register.