Music

One Of America’s Most Legendary Music Venues Is Back In Business

Forest Hills Stadium, a New York City landmark where the likes of Bob Dylan and The Beatles once performed, was silent for over a decade until Mumford & Sons performed there Wednesday night.

1. Forest Hills Tennis Stadium in Queens, New York, was established in 1912 as a permanent home for New York’s West Side Tennis Club.

2. From 1915 to 1978, the United States Tennis Association hosted its championships here, including the U.S. Open.

George Silk/Time & Life Pictures / Getty Images

3. Jackie O. and J.F.K. Jr. watch the 1977 U.S. Open at Forest Hills.

Ron Gaella / WireImage

4. The stadium also doubled as a music venue, because of its relatively large capacity (14,000 seats plus standing room) and its accessibility by public transport.

6. It played host to the likes of Frank Sinatra, Neil Diamond, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Who, Diana Ross, The Doors, and Simon & Garfunkel, just to name a few.

Ticket stubs from the ’60s.

8. At the sold-out concert they played here in 1964, The Beatles were mobbed by fans on stage…

9. And they laughed it off and went on with the show…

10. While the NYPD crowd-controlled.

Walter Daran/Time & Life Pictures / Getty Image

11. That same year, Barbra Streisand performed here for $4.95 a ticket.

According to the New York Times, “Miss Streisand communicates. She communicates across yards and yards of beautifully manicured grass tennis courts and up through row on endless row of concrete seats. She communicates not just with her voice, which she projects with such power that it might reach the very last, topmost row on its own— although she was aided by well-balanced amplification.”

12. And Jimi Hendrix hung out casually with The Monkees in their green room, before going on stage.

13. In 1978, when the stadium’s capacity fell behind the demands of the U.S. Open, the championship moved away from Forest Hills and concerts became less frequent as well.

Over time, the stadium fell to disrepair.

14. Save for one Foo Fighters gig in 1997, no major concerts had taken place here until Mumford & Sons reopened the venue on Wednesday night.

Stephen Lovekin / Via Getty Images

15. They played to a sold out audience, as part of their Gentlemen of the Road tour.

Stephen Lovekin / Via Getty Images

16. Letting the audience completely forget that they were standing on tennis courts.

17. They referenced how honored they were to be on a stage so legendary.

Stephen Lovekin / Via Getty Images

18. They made some tennis puns and even attempted to play some tennis.

19. And, all in all, their 90-minute set proved that acoustically and aesthetically, this historical venue is still more than worth the subway ride to Queens.

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