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Queens Chronicle

Concert goes off without a hitch

Tennis club’s first show in years hits almost no sour notes with community

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Posted: Thursday, September 5, 2013 10:30 am

The Mumford and Sons concert held in the historic West Side Tennis Club appears to have gone off without a hitch, according to elected officials and community leaders.

The show is the first concert the Forest Hills stadium — which once had music staples such as Frank Sinatra, Jimi Hendrix and the Beetles rock out on their stage — has had in 17 years.

Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) attended the concert held on the evening of Aug. 28 and was happy with the outcome.

“I am relieved that the first concert at the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium went without any major problems or security issues,” Koslowitz said.

The councilwoman added that she still would like to hear feedback from members of the community to ensure everyone was comfortable with how the night unfurled.

“My overall thoughts on the concert will be decided based on the feedback and concerns I receive from my constituents, especially those living nearby,” she said. “Their input is very important and will be taken into consideration in deciding future events.”

Community Board 6 District Manager Frank Gulluscio said that he was also pleased with how the concert was handled.

“I was there with the councilwoman that night and I have to say that they handled everything pretty well,” he said. “The feedback we’ve been getting in the office so far has been 99 percent positive, which is good.”

Gulluscio added that he and other community leaders will be meeting with the WSTC board and the concert promoter for a debriefing session to go over any problems that may have arisen.

“I really think they wanted to get this right,” the district manager said. “They were talking about bringing a bunch of concerts here and there was some pushback originally. They did a good job in making sure everyone was in the loop as far as I can tell.”

The whole stadium was abuzz the day of the concert as fans began to line up along Burns Street at 5 a.m.

“I live right over here and I noticed there was a line to get in but they were all quiet and just enjoying the sunshine,” Elaina Garcia, a Forest Hills resident, said. “They were out of the way and didn’t seem drunk or high or anything so if they run future concerts the way they ran this one, I don’t mind having more shows here at all.”

As the stadium is located in Forest Hills Gardens, there is no public street parking so many fans used public transportation as recommended by CB 6, the WSTC board and other community groups.

The one complaint that was posted online was the lack of bathrooms. The WSTC provided port-a-potties but with almost 20,000 people packed into the old stadium, lines to the bathroom were long. It was also difficult for fans to return to their seats if they got up to go to the restrooms or buy refreshments.

“At one point they weren’t letting people get up to the stands if they went to get a drink or whatever,” one attendee said. “I think they were worried that people would steal someone’s seat because there wasn’t assigned seating, but I think that got solved pretty fast. It was a good time. I really liked that it was close by and I love the band so it was definitely worth it, for sure.”

Future concerts, including the Mumford and Sons show, will help pay for restoring the old stadium. Minor work was completed just before the day of the show but the WSTC board members are looking to update the eroding concrete stands.

The club has assured that all future musical acts will live up to the standards of the community.

Welcome to the discussion.

1 comment:

  • headhuntnyc posted at 11:12 am on Mon, Sep 9, 2013.

    headhuntnyc Posts: 2

    This "reporting" seems a bit more (and no more) than a recap from a West Side Tennis Club press release. From those there at the concert, I heard consistent complaints about lack of crowd control, lack of bathrooms, inability to move around safely, inability to access stairs. Where was the fire marshall???