Forest Hills reopened w/ Mumford & Sons, The Vaccines, fans turned away, residents complaining & more drama (pics)
photos by Diana Wong
Forest Hills Tennis Stadium - 8/28/13
"Yes, Forest Hills, Queens, New York. We just can't believe you all came. This is amazing," keyboardist Ben Lovett said. "We were like, 'Are you sure you can invite 17,000 people to a tennis court?' It hasn't happened in a long time." [ABC News]
After years of not hosting music, Queens' Forest Hills Tennis Stadium (which had booked The Beatles, The Stones, and others back in the day) reopened as a music venue on Wednesday (8/28) with a show from Mumford & Sons, The Vaccines, and Bear's Den. With more shows being planned for the next two summers, this one acted as a bit of a test run, and it wasn't without its obstacles.
Certain fans who had already purchased tickets were reportedly turned away from the show, not because it was oversold, but because the venue was having trouble getting people up to the second deck. For those who were turned away, the promoters are offering refunds on tickets. A statement (via Jambands.com) reads:
We are writing to acknowledge some issues with tonight's Mumford & Sons concert at Forest Hills Stadium. As many of you know, this was the first show in many years at the stadium, and we collectively experienced the growing pains that come with re-opening a new venue.
We hope you enjoyed the show, but we will gladly offer full refunds to those of you who did not have an optimal experience at the stadium. We can assure you that we are working with City Officials and City Agencies to improve conditions and make sure everyone who comes to a show in Forest Hills has the best experience possible.
If you would like a refund, please contact Front Gate Tickets Support.
On behalf of the West Side Tennis Club, WSTC Events, Bowery Presents and Mumford & Sons, we apologize for any difficulties and thank you for taking the chance on joining us for this historic concert.
We hope to see you again soon.
The park is on a residential street, and some residents who live in the area were not too happy about the show either. One resident, Tracey Joseph, compared the event to what VMAs did to Brooklyn, writing (via Patch):
I just want to know who the genius was that let a TV show and a concert block traffic and take up parking all in the same week. And residents are mostly annoyed because they gave us no notice about the traffic and parking until a Gardens email yesterday afternoon.
Another Patch reader, Superkitty87, emailed them saying:
We are being told that we will not be allowed in the park during the concert. Furthermore, we will not be allowed out on the sidewalks or in the streets for the duration of the day. We will only be allowed to leave the neighborhood and return home to our apartments. We have every right to be there as we have been every day and will continue to be. We will not stand for this, so than an already overpriced tennis club can make more money.
Other residents reacted more kindly, including some who were interviewed in a NY1 video, who seemed to support the idea of the concerts.
Mixed reviews came from inside the venue too. One attendee emailed Gothamist, writing:
The bathroom and beer lines were insane, and with all the volunteer help, no one seemed to care what happened. Lots of people were smoking around us and they even let my boyfriend and his friend walk in smoking cigars.
It was a fantastic show and lots of fun, even with the girls next to us who spent the entire concert screaming at each other for long periods of time and then dancing entirely too frantically. The band was so fun, they forgot lyrics, jumped over their equipment that they knocked over and just had an amazing time.
Did you go to the show? Or did you experience it from living nearby? If so, how do you think it all went down?
More pictures from the show below...
Mumford and Sons