BY JON CRONIN
Like most Queens residents have realized, the summer is coming fast and this year Forest Hills Stadium has brought some big acts to the world’s borough to help us celebrate.
“We’ve been pretty happy about the line up,” said Jon McMillan, general manager of Tie Breaker Productions, who book acts for the stadium.
“Paul Simon is coming back to his hometown,” said McMillan. Simon has not played in Forest Hills since he performed there with his long-time collaborator Art Garfunkel in 1971.
This year’s acts also feature, the one and only folk/rock’s poet laureate, the living icon, Bob Dylan, Mumford and Sons, folk-comedy duo Flight of the Conchords, the New York Pops Orchestra and Disclosure.
“I love the diversity of this year’s program,” said McMillan. He noted that when they were re-opening the stadium in 2013, they had a top five dream list of acts and Simon and Dylan were on it. This year, he said, they got a bit lucky with their touring schedules. With the advancements they made with the stadium over the past few years, he believes more acts consider Forest Hills when scheduling the New York leg of their tours.
In the past three years, the stadium has come back from an almost two decade slumber. In 2013 the stadium had a multi-million dollar overhaul. They had a complete structural renovation and replaced aging seats, railing, walkways, and a new stage.
Mumford and Sons was the inaugural concert in 2013. “That was a wild show,” said McMillan. “Mumford and Sons fan will have a completely different experience,” after experiencing all the new amenities.
The Forest Hills Stadium has seen the likes some of the most iconic musical acts of the last 60 years; The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, Jimmi Hendrix, Frank Sinatra, The Monkees, Barbara Streisand, Bob Dylan, The Talking Heads, Diana Ross, and The Who have all played to sold-out concerts.
The Beatles played two sold out shows there. They arrived by helicopter and landed in the grass courts.
At the press conference last spring to announce the New York Pops inaugural season, Roland Meier, president of the West Side Tennis Club and proprietor of the stadium said “Could you believe Jimi Hendrix was booed off stage here?”, because “they wanted to see The Monkees.”
The West Side Tennis Club was created in 1923 and was home to U.S. Open and Davis Cup. Tennis stars like John McEnroe, Billie Jean King, Arthur Ashe, and Jimmy Connors all played there.
Reach Reporter Jon Cronin at (718) 357-7400 x125, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JonathanSCronin