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Forest Hills Stadium grounds revamped before summer concerts

A rendering of Forest Hills Stadium, which will

A rendering of Forest Hills Stadium, which will have grass surfaces throughout the venue. Credit: Madison House Presents

This year, Forest Hills Stadium will be green again.

Since concerts returned to the historic stadium in 2013, the grounds have been covered by hard plastic sheets during shows to protect the grass tennis courts. But thanks to a new, long-term deal with the West Side Tennis Club, where the stadium is based, one of this season’s major renovations will be new grass surfaces throughout the grounds.

“Instead of walking in and immediately on plastic-covered red clay courts, you really feel like you’re walking into a green field, which is more the vibe we’re trying to create here,” says Mike Luba, partner in Madison House Presents, the concert promoter at the stadium. “It should be great.”

The venue will also add more of its secret VIP areas — building four more to add to the five areas they opened last year, which included one where you entered through a fake porta potty — as well as a larger concourse for food vendors and dining.

Another change is a partnership with WFUV, who will broadcast several concerts live from the stadium, including The xx show on May 19. (There is even a special deal that includes a free LIRR ticket to and from the venue when you use the code “FHS2017” when you buy the concert ticket.)

Of course, the programming is the main focus at Forest Hills and this year’s slate runs the gamut from The Chainsmokers to Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. “It’s a very focused, curated attempt to show that the most contemporary, cutting edge stuff can exist with Tom Petty’s 40th anniversary,” says Luba, an Albertson native. “We keep in mind what the season posters will look like 30 years from now, the way our older posters had people like The Beatles and The Who.”

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Upcoming concerts:

May 19-20: The xx

June 8: The New York Pops plays The Music of John Williams

June 9-10: The Chainsmokers

June 14: Jack Johnson

June 16: Daryl Hall & John Oates and Tears For Fears

June 17: Sigur Rós

July 6: Dispatch

July 11: John Mellencamp with Emmylou Harris and Carlene Carter

July 15: My Morning Jacket with Gary Clark Jr.

July 26-27: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

Oct. 6: The National

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