Forest Hills Stadium Transforms Into Serious Rock Venue for Mumford & Sons Concerts
From your seat, you're probably just thinking about is how cool it is to see a concert outside at Forest Hills Stadium. But there is a lot that has to happen behind the scenes for the show to go on. And if it's done right, you shouldn't even notice.
"The dream for all of us is for no one to ever know that we were even here," said Mike Luba, the President of Madison House Presents.
To do that, set up begins at the crack of dawn. For a 7 a.m. load-in, there is a start time of 6 a.m to get ready.
“There’s a couple semi-truck trailers full of PA for the audio, there’s 2-3 trucks for lights, there’s set, there’s backline which is instruments and amps and all that,” said Jeff Kicklighter, Madison House Presents’ Head of Production. “At 7 a.m. we started unloading everything and building sound, building lights.”
"So basically the roof is a shell until we get everything hung in there, and then that kind of brings it on otherwise it’s just kind of a canopy until you put sounds and light and video and make a show out of it," Kicklighter said about the stage.
By 3:30 p.m., soundcheck is ready to go. Here, the biggest concern is keeping it loud enough inside the stadium but quiet in the neighborhood.
The shows are rain or shine but of course they prefer shine. Jamie Howieson, the Technical Director at Forest Hills Stadium and a sound designer for Mumford & Sons, described the set-up for rainy weather.
"The sidewalls they all drop down all the way down. We deploy them down, the back walls all come down, seals it all up,” he said. “We have a clear panel that goes in the empty space there, so that would be a completely clear panel so the people in the audience can still see through to the stage," he added.
The bottom line is, though, if it rains you'll be wet. But the performers will dry. "This crowd to be honest if it rains will have a great time. If it's shining they will have a great time," said Luba.
Load out after the concert takes about two hours. And they'll do it all again for the upcoming concerts including Queens native Paul Simon, the NY Pops and many more.