Madison House Presents and M Theory, who are working together to bring music artists like the Zac Brown Band to the tennis stadium, did their best to ease the concerns of the local business owners who were not impressed with some aspects of the Mumford and Sons concert last summer.
Meeting attendees commented on getting more tickets to local residents, making sure local businesses besides bars and restaurants were advertised and would benefit from the concerts, and keeping the disruption to the community on the day of the concert reasonable.
“I have a lot of customers who are not going, and they’re not happy about it, and they live in the neighborhood,” Mike Mansfield, owner of Banter Irish Bar and Kitchen, said.
“I think the best way to do it is to make sure you take care of the people here first,” Mansfield added, “If you make them happy, then they’re not going to be as upset if they see something. They won’t say anything about the noise leaving the stadium if they’re the ones leaving the stadium.”
President of Madison House Presents Mike Luba said that in the future they will send out a pre-sale link to people in the immediate vicinity of the stadium, which will hopefully assist in getting people from the neighborhood more tickets to the shows.
Meanwhile, president of the Chamber of Commerce Leslie Brown wants to try to find a way to bring benefits to other businesses in Forest Hills.
“We’re excited about it. We know already from the first [concert] that they had that it’s a great, great boost to the bars and restaurants,” Brown said. “They were just thrilled with the amount of business they had. As far as the other stores go, it doesn’t really have an impact on them because people really want to get to the concert. We’re hoping the exposure will get people back to the Forest Hills area.”
Raquel Diaz and Susana Giberga, who own Dirty Pierre’s and The Other Place and will be serving their own food at the concert, confirmed the excitement shared by bars and restaurants in the area.
In particular, business owners are excited to have the opportunity to have food stands at the concert grounds, which was not an option offered to them last year.
“It looks promising, more than we ever had approached to us last year,” Diaz said. “So it’s getting better.”
For other businesses, advertising opportunities are available through the concert series using multiple avenues ranging from printed ads in the concerts’ newsletters to VIP gifting or complimentary tickets for giveaways.
While a number of business owners walked away feeling the meeting had been helpful, everyone seemed to acknowledge that it was only the beginning.
“I think any conversation is productive,” Luba said. “It was the first step in the right direction.”
The first show of the summer is the Zac Brown Band on June 21.