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Pearl Jam Fans Raise Nearly $40K to Bring Rockers to Forest Hills Stadium

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | November 17, 2014 12:48pm
 Pearl Jams fans would like to see the band play at Forest Hills Stadium next summer.
Pearl Jams fans would like to see the band play at Forest Hills Stadium next summer.
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QUEENS — A group of Pearl Jam fans are crowdfunding cash to get their favorite band to play in Forest Hills — and they've raised nearly $40,000 in less than two weeks. 

The group would like the Seattle-based rockers, known for hits like "Even Flow," "Alive" and "Jeremy," perform at the historic Forest Hills Stadium sometime next summer, they said.

“People love Pearl Jam and we’ve had an overwhelming turnout,” said Dan Sheffer, 33, who started the campaign.

Since Nov. 5, about 370 people donated more than $37,000 to the campaign on Tilt, a crowdfunding site, Sheffer said. Some gave as little as $1, but eight people pledged $1,000 in exchange for tickets to the show — if it even happens.

Sheffer said the group is planning to reach out to Pearl Jam after collecting $100,000. If the band agrees to perform in Queens, the group will continue to raise money.

The cash would go towards costs involved in bring the band to Queens, the group said.

If they don't, fans will get their money refunded, the group said.

The stadium, which opened in 1923, hosted superstar acts in the past including performances by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Frank Sinatra.

Most concerts stopped by the late 1980s after opposition from local residents.

But last year, the stadium organized its first concert in 15 years with a sold-out performance by Mumford & Sons.

Concert organizers said Sunday they have “no affiliation" with the group campaining to bring Pearl Jam to Forest Hills, nor with "the platform they are using for fundraising."

“We do however appreciate their enthusiasm for both the band and the stadium and hope to one day see Pearl Jam in Forest Hills,” said Jon McMillan, one of the concert organizers.

The next summer season lineup is still being worked out, but the organizers have announced that The Who is scheduled to play there on May 30.

Among the performers that played there this summer were Zac Brown Band, Drake, Modest Mouse, Brand New and The Replacements.

Sheffer, an IT analyst, who grew up in Forest Hills, said he has been a fan of the Seattle band since he was 11. He noted that after going to 19 Pearl Jam concerts around the country, it has become his dream to bring the band to the Queens stadium.

"It would be great to have Pearl Jam here," he said.

Sheffer added that he got inspired to organize the campaign, which was first reported by The Queens Courier, after reading about a successful crowdfunding initiative to bring Foo Fighers to Richmond, Va., earlier this year.

Sheffer said the campaign has received donations from fans from around the world, including Mexico, Colombia and even Italy.

Representatives for Pearl Jam did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.