DECADE MADE: Jamie XX played Forest Hills Stadium Sept. 23 last year. (Bryan Kwon Photos)
Forest Hills Stadium celebrates its 100th anniversary with a summer concert season that includes Dave Matthews Band, Zach Bryan, Kevin Hart, Jason Mraz and Willie Nelson’s Outlaw Festival.
Kicking off May 20 with the inaugural Head in the Clouds Music & Arts Festival, the 30-date season at the historic, outdoor music venue located in the Forest Hills neighborhood of Queens, New York City, runs through Sept. 30 with a diverse slate of music and comedy performances and centennial events.
The classically-styled, acoustically-true 14,000-capacity stadium established its place among iconic American venues during the second half of the 20th Century, when as the home of the U.S. Open, it hosted some of the most important tennis matches of the time including Arthur Ashe and Althea Gibson’s Grand Slam wins, breaking down the sport’s color barrier. As a music venue in the 1960s and ‘70s, it was a must-play for acts at the height of their fame including The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan.
When the U.S. Open moved to larger space in Flushing, Queens in 1977, the architecturally striking, horseshoe-shaped stadium fell into disrepair. In 2013, Madison House Presents partnered with the West Side Tennis Club to renovate and rehabilitate the stadium and bring events back to this storied venue.
Mike Luba, the executive responsible for stadium’s rehabilitation who produces concerts at the venue in coordination with The Bowery Presents, said, “It’s hard to believe that it’s coming up on a full decade since we began the renovation of the stadium. We’ve come a long way since that first show with our brothers in arms Mumford and Sons, who bravely stepped up to play the opening night back in 2013. It’s been incredibly rewarding to ride along with the stadium crew, the hundreds of artists, our invaluable community neighbors and partners as well as the over one million folks who have found their way out to the magic oasis of a stadium smack in the middle of Queens.”
A 15-minute subway train or one stop from Manhattan on the Long Island Rail Road, provides easy access to the stadium. Patrons have a number of ways to spend time before and after concerts with several food and beverage options including Greek cuisine from Nick’s Bistro, hoagies from Stacked Sandwich Shop, brisket and pork from Mighty Quinn’s BBQ, as well as Mexican Ice and sweet treats from Brooklyn-based La NewYorkina.
Forest Hills Stadium supports local initiatives to give back to Queens as well as programs that reduce the venue’s environmental impact on the community.
As of the 2022 season, Forest Hills Stadium is climate positive and carbon negative. In partnership with Anheuser-Busch, the venue will expand and track recycling efforts from concession areas, backstage and beyond all season long. Forest Hills Stadium is committed to making shows as environmentally friendly as possible and offsetting any impact generated.
Recently announced performers for this season include The Strokes, Duran Duran, boygenius, LCD Soundsystem, Fall Out Boy, Maggie Rogers, Weezer, Lane 8, The Smile, Arctic Monkeys, Jungle, plus the return of LL Cool J’s Rock The Bells Festival, celebrating the five decades of hip hop. In addition, the New York Pops — the 78-musician independent pop orchestra — will perform with Mraz as part of the stadium’s ongoing partnership, which began in 2015.