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Photo via Forest Hills Stadium
Photo via Forest Hills Stadium

Queens residents, as well as music lovers throughout the city, are gearing up for the 2016 Forest Hills tennis Stadium concert series. Now in its second year, this season’s lineup is going to be more exciting than ever before!

Seeing your favorite bands and performers live and in-person is always a memorable experience. But when the venue is the beautiful and iconic Forest Hills Stadium, it makes the show even more special.

There is nothing like the stadium anywhere else in the city. Recently refurbished, with new seating, amenities and an impressive, state-of-the-art stage, the Forest Hills Stadium is redefining the outdoor concert experience. Even though the concerts are held in a stadium, Forest Hills is so much more intimate and welcoming than Met Life Stadium, for example. And, if you live in Queens, it is a lot closer. No need to worry about traffic headaches!

The 14,000-seat horseshoe-shaped venue gives concertgoers a gorgeous view of the Manhattan skyline in the distance.

The stadium itself is located in a quiet, residential neighborhood. Around the stadium, there is a park-like ambiance, with trees and grass everywhere you look. When dusk falls and the stadium’s lights are aglow, the scene is picture postcard perfect.

This legendary venue is also home to a great deal of history.

The stadium was built in 1923, specifically to host the U.S. Open tournament and the Davis Cup.

Throughout the decades, the legends of tennis took center stage here. In 1957, Althea Gibson became the first black player to win the Grand Slam event.

Super stars like Billie Jean King, Jimmy Connors, Chris Evert and Arthur Ashe all enthralled the Forest Hills crowd with their exciting brand of play.

During its heyday, the stadium was also the site of the wildly popular Forest Hills Music Festival.

Frank Sinatra, The Doors, Simon and Garfunkel, Diana Ross, The Rolling Stones and The Who are just a few of the performers who graced the stadium stage.

In 1964, The Beatles performed two concerts here. Paul, John, George and Ringo actually arrived by helicopter both nights. Their chopper landed on the grass, near the west side tennis club’s Tudor-style clubhouse. With a police escort, The Beatles walked over to the stage, with a sold-out crowd of screaming fans in attendance. After doing an hour-long set, the band went back to the waiting helicopter and took off.

But, eventually, the glory days of the stadium came to an end. The U.S.Open moved to Flushing Meadows Park in 1978. Concerts were held sporadically at the venue through the early ’90s until it was closed down for good.

Abandoned and in complete disrepair, the once-proud stadium was almost razed in 2010, to make way for a condo development.

But a new lease on life was granted to the stadium in 2013, when concert promoters Madison House reached an agreement with the West Side Tennis club to renovate and re-open the venerable venue. The new promoters addressed community concerns about noise and potentially unruly crowds at several meetings with community residents and civic leaders. After a lot of headaches and red tape, the promoters were given the green light to start booking acts.

Forest Hills Stadium was back in business!

In 2014, The Who, a bit older in years, but still possessing their trademark sound and charisma, made a triumphant return to Forest Hills.

With over 3 million dollars in renovations, the stadium is more cozy and comfortable than ever before. The beautiful retro facade on the outside of the stadium has been burnished up a little, but still looks as nice as it did back in the day.

Though professional tennis is no longer played there, the spirit of competition still lives on at One Tennis Place. Four surfaces, (clay, Har-Tu, hard and grass), are spread out over 38 tennis courts. The grounds also feature a junior Olympic-sized swimming pool.

The 2016 lineup of concerts is as follows:

  • June 16, 2016, and June 17, 2016 (6:30 p.m.) Mumford and Sons
  • June 18, 2016 (5 p.m.) Disclosure Presents Wild Life
  • June 25, 2016 (7 p.m.) Dolly Parton
  • June 30, 2016, and July 1, 2016 (7:30 p.m.) Paul Simon
  • July 7, 2016 (7:30 p.m.) Matthew Morrison with the New York Pops
  • July 8, 2016 (8 p.m.) Bob Dylan
  • July 20, 2016 (7 p.m.) Flight of the Conchords
  • July 22, 2016 (7:30 p.m.) Louis C.K.
  • July 23, 2016 (7 p.m.) Chris Stapleton
  • Aug. 27, 2016 (7 p.m.) Flume
  • Oct. 9, 2016 (7:30 p.m.) Van Morrison

Please keep in mind that Forest Hills is a very residential neighborhood and parking is limited to nonexistent. So public transportation is definitely the way to go!

The E, M, F and R train stations are only a few blocks walk from the stadium, so don’t sweat it. The Long Island Rail Road also has a station nearby.

 

Comments:

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EdJQuigley May 22, 2016 / 08:05PM
Professional tennis actually is returning to Forest Hills Stadium this year. The NY Empires of the World TeamTennis league will play there for 2 weeks from July 31-August 15. Also, the WTT will hold its championship match at Forest Hills Stadium.
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