Live: Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, New York

The first of two performances, the second of which took place the following night, in front of 16,000 fans at the Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, New York City.

The Beatles had landed at 3.02am that morning at Kennedy Airport, and were greeted by 3,000 waiting fans. They were driven to the Delmonico Hotel on Park Avenue and 59th Street where more fans were waiting, even though their stay was supposed to be a secret.

One fan, Angie McGowan, snatched Ringo Starr's St Christopher medallion as he made his way inside the hotel, although she returned it later that day at their pre-show press conference. The fans were dispersed by police at 4am. By the time The Beatles awoke later that morning thousands more fans were outside.

The Beatles were flown to the stadium by helicopter, which departed late as the pilot didn't have permission to depart. They took to the stage at 9.50pm, later than expeced.

Tickets for each of the venue's 15,983 seats were sold out, and extra ones were added at the high price of $6.50. The audience were kept from the stage by an eight-foot high fence topped with barbed wire.

The Beatles performed their standard 12-song set for the US tour: Twist And Shout, You Can't Do That, All My Loving, She Loves You, Things We Said Today, Roll Over Beethoven, Can't Buy Me Love, If I Fell, I Want To Hold Your Hand, Boys, A Hard Day's Night and Long Tall Sally.

Poster for The Beatles' concerts at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, New York, 28-29 August 1964

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27 responses on “Live: Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, New York

  1. Tom Hooper

    I was at the Beatles concert at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium on August 28, 1964 from Levittown. I went with 3 girls, my girlfriend, her friend, and her cousin. We were in the first row stage right. My photo was on the front page of the Long Island Press the next day shown restraining my girlfriend. Does anyone know where I can get an archive copy of that front page? Thanks.

    1. Jonas Svensson

      Try the local newspaper, they should have a photo archive. Or a library or university that keep newspapers on microfilm or even digital format, but perhaps you need to apply for access.

  2. Anne Mayhew

    I was at this concert on August 28, 1964 and I’ve been looking for the poster for the concert for years. Where can I get a hold of it. Please let me know. I would love it

  3. Robert

    my sister was at the concert one of those nights – not sure which but she snuck an 8mm movie camera in – so we have about 5 minutes of film from the concert.

  4. Anne Mayhew

    Robert, what a wonderful memento from the concert. Your sister should convert it to a dvd and put it up for sale. If it’s in good condition she could make some money from it.

  5. Terri Lynn

    I was there, too.
    I think I was 10 years old.
    Girls were rushing up to the stage only to be plucked by NY policemen.
    When the show was over the Beatles left by helicpoter and girls were screaming, crying and fainting.
    I loved it!

    1. Barbara

      I was there with my sister. I was 12, and she was 16. When our parnets dropped us off at the gate, my mother told my sister not to let me burst a blood vessel screaming! And scream I did.

  6. Martin King

    My brother and I bribed a gatekeeper with five or ten dollars to let us in. We just happened to be walking home that evening. Our seats were way up high. It was a waste of money since the girls’ screaming was so loud you couldn’t hear any singing.

  7. Gail Prusslin

    I was at one of these shows w my parents and two older brothers. I was five years old. I remember it well.
    I cried the whole time and wanted to leave because of all the noise from the screaming girls. Don’t worry, I became (and remain) a Beatles fan. And how cool were my parents to bring the whole family?!

  8. Janet Matthews

    I, too, attended the Beatles concert at the Forest Hill Tennis Stadium with my best friend at the time, Barbara. We were so excited. These childhood memories are some of the most cherished memories I have. I remember they added seats on the tennis courts so our seats, if I recall correctly, were in the first row, center, of the actual stadium seats after the court seats. I can still recall vividly the Beatles arriving in the helicopter. Because my friend and I were in the stadium seats that were higher up, it seemed as if the helicopter was quite low. We could see the Beatles in the helicopter and they were waving as they were coming in. So exciting for young girls who were so mesmerized by these four young men who burst onto America’s shores with their new style of music and charm!

  9. Terri

    I was there the first night with my 3 best friends (all of us 13 years old). We were very close to the stage and I remember there were a lot of girls throwing jelly beans at the band. That must have hurt them, as it hurt us. With undying thanks for the efforts of my grandfather (who was there for the Red Cross in the medical tent to take care of all the fainting girls), he actually got me backstage just before the show, and I spoke with Mal Evans and Neil Aspinall. When the band walked by through the hallway to take the stage, I was so shocked I couldn’t say a word – or even breathe! Mr. Evans gave me a postcard signed by all four of them that I have treasured to this day… A night never to be forgotten!

  10. Tony Brannon

    Yes I still have my ticket stub for the FRIDAY night…… The night that changed my life !
    My Dad (originally from Stoke on Trent) used to own a nightclub in Bermuda (The 40 Thieves – Cilla Black, Freddie & The Dreamers, Tom Jones, Rolf Harris, Des O’Connor, Lonnie Donegan, Matt Munro, were just a few of the UK artists that performed there ) and in August 1964 when he was in New York booking acts for Bermuda it just so happened that, via Sid Bernstein, we got to see The Beatles at Forest Hills….Anyway Dad looked into bringing the Beatles to Bermuda and was told they wanted $ 10,000 for one 30 minute show….I was egging him on to bring them….But at the time he was booking acts like Ike & Tina Turner for $ 2500 for a week, 2 shows a night…..He figured that no one in Bermuda would know the Beatles and he would lose his shirt !!! Funny.

  11. Jennifer Stein Flaherty

    I was 12 and my brother was 6. My dear dad, a Brit himself and lover of the Beatles took us to FH Tennis Stadium.
    The stadium shook. The girls screamed and cried and fainted. We could hardly hear The Beatles but it didn’t matter.
    Dad and brother had to begin the descent to leave and found themselves a spot where they were able to watch the band get into the helicopter and depart.

    I’d been very lucky before that. Dad worked at LaGuardia Airport in Queens. The Beatle came into the Marine Terminal
    at 3 or 4 am. I don’t remember the day but the year was 1964. Dad put me in a van right in front of their arriving plane.
    Very few vehicles were there.
    They arrived and came out of the plane wearing the striped suit jackets and then donned the straw hats as they came down the stairs. Huge spotlights like Halogens went on. Photos were taken. They each got into a separate limo. One Beatle threw up out the door of the limo as they departed. I thought it was Ringo because he’d been the sometimes sickly Beatle but dad was told it was Paul. Having had private view was the most exciting to me.

    I was in the 4th grade in Queens. I’d go to the local shop to buy Beatle cards. It was actually a Kodak shop that sold candy.
    A man tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Don’t say I never gave you anything” and handed me a B & W original photo of the Fab Four in front of the Pan Am logo at an airport. That photo is gone. Disappeared during the move out of my home in 1992.

    I received an original B & W photo of The Beatles from the British Beatles Official fan club. It’s actually signed in pen by the Beatles in ink. Except, apparently, it was common to use a repeatograph(sp) machine to make the signatures. The back of the photo has the Official Beatles Fan Club info on it for Britain, Canada & the US. Cherishing that.

    Love Love Love Love The Beatles

  12. Bob Stein

    I lived on Burns Street right off of Yellowstone Blvd., about two blocks away from the stadium and from my terrace saw the helicopter the Beatles were in descend into the stadium. I ran up the hill to the stadium and stood outside thinking I could hear the concert but there was so much noise, shouting and roars of the crowd every time the Beatles performed I couldn’t hear anything.

  13. Anita

    I was there with my cousin Cheryl . It was awesome . Ppl screaming , crying , passing out .my cousin Cheryl was screaming she loved ringo and I loved Paul . I had posters all over my bedroom wall of Paul . I’ll never forget this concert . ??

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