SCARBOROUGH — Thirteen-year-old Julianna Poppavasiliou of Saco can’t make Saturday’s Gentlemen of the Road Stopover festival featuring the British folk-rock band Mumford & Sons. However, she did get to attend the next-best thing: an intimate performance by the band at Bull Moose Music on Friday.

“I just like them because they’re different from everyone else,” said Poppavasiliou, who was first in line for the in-store appearance with her father.

Friday’s performance gave 200 fans a short preview of Saturday’s festival, which has become one of the hottest tickets in Maine and garnered national attention. As many as 16,000 people are expected to attend the sold-out event on Portland’s Eastern Promenade, which will also include seven other bands on two stages.

Portland is the first stop for the festival, and it’s one of only four cities on the U.S. leg. (Mumford & Sons is also conducting a regular U.S. tour in addition to the GOTR festival.)

People were granted tickets in July to the Scarborough show by pre-ordering a copy of Mumford’s new CD “Babel,” due out in September, at Bull Moose stores. Tickets to Friday’s show were gone within 15 minutes.

The doors opened at 1:15 p.m., although many had waited in extreme heat for hours ahead of time to secure a good spot. Staff from Bull Moose provided relief in the form of popsicles, candy and bottled water.

Chris Brown, marketing director of the Bull Moose Music chain, was thrilled to play host to the day’s unique event. “We do these things as a give-back to our customers who support us all year long,” he said.

Fans poured in, scrambled for spaces and stood shoulder to shoulder. There was no shortage of enthusiasm or camera phones.

Like Poppavasiliou, 19-year-old Whitney Williams from Marblehead, Mass., won’t be going to Saturday’s show because she couldn’t get a ticket. She wasn’t able to get a ticket for Friday’s show, either, so she and her friend paid an online scalper $70 each.

But to her, it was worth it, even though she’s seen Mumford & Sons perform in Montreal. She considers herself a huge fan.

“I just love the soul of their music. I could listen to them all the time,” she said.

Minutes after the fans poured into the store, the band — Marcus Mumford, Winston Marshall, Ben Lovett and Ted Dwane — took the stage. They kicked off their four-song set with “I Will Wait,” from the forthcoming album “Babel,” and followed it with another new song, “Ghosts That We Knew.”

“We just arrived in America, and are still sculpting our senses of humor around American senses of humor,” explained Mumford after a laughter-inducing “I love you!” was shouted out by a fan.

He also said the band couldn’t be happier to be in Maine. “We get to spend the whole weekend in Portland. It’s awesome, and we’re gonna eat lobster,” he said.

Mumford & Sons closed out their set with “Awake My Soul” from their hit debut album, “Sigh No More.” Several fans quietly sang along.

Upon leaving the performance, everyone was presented with a silk-screened poster commemorating the Scarborough appearance.

When asked how she liked the performance, Poppavasiliou got right to the point: “I thought it was awesome.”

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