|Address:||1 Tennis Pl, Forest Hills, NY 11375, USA|
Think twice before attending an event at this open air venue, where the majority of events coincide with the height of thunderstorm season. I bought tickets to see Paul Simon, and on the day of the concert heavy thunderstorms were predicted AND there was a tornado watch for the area. I can tell you that ticket holders were on Twitter hours before the performance, horrified that management wouldnt reschedule. Thats where I learned that umbrellas are not allowed inside (though many smart folks seemed to have brought and used them anyway.) The weatherman got it right -- heavy rain with hail began just as the concert was about to start. Chumps like me who followed their rules and left our umbrellas at home were pelted and drenched. We ended up running for shelter. Imagine the chaos of thousands of people panicking and heading for cover, and you can guess how much fun that was, not to mention dangerous. We waited an hour in the rain. Fans were angry, and verbally lashed out at hapless employees. My family and I eventually squeezed into a throng of patrons hiding under the bleachers. The concert went on, even thought that meant exceeding the towns evening curfew. Paul Simon was wonderful, and the sound system was excellent, so I cant fault that part of the experience. But we were still drenched and stressed, and the continuous lightning around the stadium did little to reassure. By the end of the concert, each strike was closely followed by a thunderclap. When the next downpour started just as the finale was beginning, we ran for the exit. We had to listen to the encores from our upstairs bedroom window (we live nearby). My wife was saddened to have missed some of her favorite songs. But we still had tickets to Louis CK in a few weeks, so I prayed for good weather. Day of the event, guess what the forecast was? I left my umbrella in my work bag, figuring the venue hadnt cared at the last event, but apparently I guessed wrong. Security wouldnt allow me inside with it. Had I thought they actually cared, I would have brought a cheap one, but I happened to have an expensive umbrella that I bought in London as a souvenir. So I was refused entry (management didnt provide for the possibility of leaving the line, so I was forced to backtrack through the crowd). I had to run off and stash my umbrella, only to have to wait in line and go through security a second time. I can see how the venue has the right to disallow using umbrellas, but confiscating them? They didnt allow cell phone photos at this event, but they werent exactly taking your phones away. We were lucky that day, since the predicted thunderstorms passed us by. Anyway, to recap: A) if weather threatens, they will not reschedule (although if lightning kills you, I imagine they would refund your ticket), B) be prepared to bring a wet suit, because my raincoat was no match for the pelting I received, and with no umbrellas allowed, I was soaked from the waist down. The management at this venue has a history of being reactive and not proactive, meaning that their first Forest Hills concert was a disaster of such epic proportions that the town formed a committee to prevent anything like it from happening again. It was only under pressure that the venue provided the proper and necessary bathroom accommodations (so fans didnt wander out into the streets and pee on private lawns), sound-proofing (Im no prude, but their rap events had every grade school kid in the neighborhood listening to profanity), and traffic control. Its only a matter of time before someone is injured during a weather event, either by lightning, or the chaos of tens of thousands of people running for cover from a downpour.
Came here to watch Flight of the Conchords (They were phenomenal!) But I definitely dont have much love for the venue. Lines were handled relatively smoothly but we hit our first snag when we couldnt bring our umbrellas inside. "Could be used as a thrown weapon" security said. I guess I could understand that if there werent other items that can be thrown which can be purchased right inside (Various food/utensils/food packaging). Not to mention its an outdoor venue, thank God it was clear skies. The food options themselves varied. The burgers were just like something you get at grade school lunch (For 9 bucks! and thats ONLY the burger. Fries were an additional 5 bucks IIRC but those were okay). Yes yes I know, buying food at a show is going to be expensive but quality of said burger subpar. Rice balls were good though. Anywho, show was great and not dumb crowded. Gotta throw some shade on the fellow audience members though; I dont care for MJ smoke but its getting kinda ridiculous now thats its been decriminalized here. Enjoy what you want but just know that smoke can affect people with more sensitive lungs and asthmatics. ALSO the floor was left filthy by said audience. Youd imagine middle class yuppies and hipsters would pick up their own trash but no. Bathrooms were nice. Theyre souped up portapotties, which were cool. As we were leaving, we were forced to walk all the way around to get back to our car. Also staff was completely unhelpful as they corralled us out. Disappointed!
We saw the Replacements here the other night. The band was really good. The venue was horrible. First, crowd control was really bad. Scary bad. We were stuck in huge crowds, funneled through tiny pathways. Really a disaster waiting to happen. I found myself scanning for safe hiding places or ways to get over the barbed wire just in case of a panic. Beyond that ... outhouses? No running water? Come on. How much did we pay for this? This was no free concert in the park. And all the concessions were outside the stadium, of course ... but no way am I dealing with that bottleneck getting down the stairs, then up again. Have some people walking around the stands with beers or something. Finally, and YMMV on this, but the sound was way too quiet, I assume because of the neighborhood, and directed only forward. Our seats were over on the side, and it sounded awful. We moved to the middle, farther away but in front of the speakers, and it was better. But still not really loud enough. You might like it less loud than I do, but probably 20% of the seats were far enough to the side to be getting the bad sound we had at first.
Signs and staff are lined up blocks away directing you towards the stadium. Once youre nearing the entrance theres a booth for will call tickets. If you already have yours, keep heading down the long road. At the entrance the security will do a very brief bag check, maybe a pat down, then send you along to show your ticket/have it printed it if you used Flash Seats. If youre in the GA pit you get a wristband. When youre finally in youre surrounded by food vendors with a few scattered merch booths. There are plenty of portable toilets and a hand washing station (not exactly sinks) in each area. There are water dispensers offering free water and best of all, your food is allowed in the actual stadium. The stadium consists of countless rows of low, crowded, backless benches. Youre always going to be accidentally touching the person below and next to you. Upon leaving, the vendors and merch booths are all still up so enjoy seconds!
The place is awesome. And if youre from the area you must understand and be grateful that this historic place was almost bulldozed for a hi-rise. I cant understand some of the gripes here. One person above bitched that she got rained on, and mgt. wouldnt accommodate her. HELLO!! did this genius read what she was buying a ticket to? Its an OUTDOOR stadium, and it says Rain or Shine in at least two places on the ticket. The port-o-johns are no worse than any other venue. And Oh My God!! I have to walk to the train!! Ever go to the Nassau Coliseum? THAT is a lot of walking. First the parking lot, then a mile and a half jjust to find your seat. I went to the Nile Rogers show in the rain. It was what it was. It rained. And my umbrella was right where I left it before the show. Miserable people should just buy a DVD concert and stay home.