Forest Hills Stadium on Monday unveiled its 2019 concert and event lineup, featuring a number of returning acts like Elvis Costello, Interpol, Nathaniel Rateliff and the EEEEEATSCON food festival.
"This year, what’s cool is that we have two bands, Interpol and Nathaniel Rateliff, who each sold out the stadium on their own last summer, coming back and playing with heroes of theirs. Nathaniel with Willie Nelson and Interpol with Morrissey," says Mike Luba, partner in Madison House Presents, the concert promoter at the stadium since 2013. "For us, that’s the dream of multigenerational bands connecting at this place that’s been around for almost 100 years."
The Queens stadium has been undergoing renovations since 2013, which Luba says has helped it become a go-to stop on notable artists’ East Coast tours.
"New York is blessed with competitive venues across the city, from The Garden to Barclays to Central Park. The artists have a lot of choices," he says, "but what we’ve found is when it’s nice out at Forest Hills, there’s something so magical about the place that it’s as good or better as anywhere else on the planet."
The venue entered the 2018 outdoor concert season with its biggest upgrade yet: bathrooms with working plumbing. "That was a big one for us," Luba says. "You can’t take your wife or your grandma to see Bob Dylan and expect them to use a crappy Porta Potty!"
The venue’s infrastructure was also reinforced while its 96-year-old charm was preserved. While no big upgrades are planned for this season, Luba says Forest Hills Stadium will continue to renovate on a smaller scale.
"We’re down to just cosmetics to keep making it a little bit better each year," he says. "It was a mess and now it’s truly really nice. The goal is each summer for people to come back and notice little or big changes so it feels like a new event each time you come."
As for plans to become a "year-round" attraction, we’re not quite there yet.
The stadium will soon feature an ice-skating rink, which is set to become the main attraction of a planned "Winter Wonderland" experience aiming to bring New Yorkers to the venue in the colder months. But, it most likely won’t be ready in time for the 2019 holiday season.
"This year we did a real power upgrade to support a world-class ice rink … At some point, we’re really focused on making it a year-round community spot."
Forest Hills Stadium 2019 schedule
Saturday, May 25: Greta Van Fleet
Saturday, June 15: Death Cab for Cutie with Jenny Lewis
Saturday, June 22: ALT 92.3 Summer Open (Day 1) featuring The Lumineers with The Revivalists, Sharon Van Etten and Catfish and the Bottlemen
Sunday, June 23: ALT 92.3 Summer Open (Day 2) featuring The Head and The Heart, Young The Giant, Fitz and the Tantrums, a special acoustic performance by Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional and Smith and Thell
Sunday, July 14: Lynyrd Skynyrd with Hank Williams, Jr.
Saturday, July 20: “Weird Al” Yankovic with Queens Symphony Orchestra
Sunday, July 21: Nickelodeon’s JoJo Siwa D.R.E.A.M. The Tour
Wednesday, July 24: Elvis Costello & The Imposters and Blondie
Thursday, Aug. 1: The Chemical Brothers
Friday, Aug. 2: Sarah McLachlan and The New York Pops
Saturday, Aug. 10: My Morning Jacket with Warpaint
Saturday, Aug. 17: Beck and Cage The Elephant with Spoon
Saturday, Sept. 7: Morrissey with Interpol
Wednesday, Sept. 11: Outlaw Music Festival featuring Willie Nelson & Family with Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Alison Krauss, and Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real
Saturday, Sept. 14: Ian Anderson Presents Jethro Tull 50th Anniversary Tour
Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 5 and 6 — The Infatuation presents EEEEEATSCON NY
IF YOU GO: Tickets are available at foresthillsstadium.com.