New concert venue: The Stage at Suffolk Downs

The outdoor concert venue is getting ready to welcome local music lovers. Here’s what to know about The Stage at Suffolk Downs, from the opening weekend lineup to its history as a former racetrack.

An aerial shot of The Track with the Boston skyline in the distance.

The stage will be 68-ft wide and 40-ft deep with a roof over it.

Photo via The HYM Investment Group, LLC; Graphic by BOStoday

The former East Boston racetrack Suffolk Downs is currently transforming into The Stage at Suffolk Downs, a seasonal, outdoor concert space with capacity for up to 8,500 guests.

Here’s what to know about the new venue, located at the infield of The Track at 525 William F. McClellan Hwy.

Who’s taking the stage?

The Stage at Suffolk Downs kicks off its season Friday, June 16-Sunday, June 18 with the touring Re:SET series. The headliners include Steve Lacy, LCD Soundsystem, and Boygenius (Note: Sunday’s show is sold out).

Plus, the Breakaway Boston music festival is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 15-Saturday, Sept. 16 with performances from artists like Griz, Lane 8, and Porter Robinson.

Tell me more about the venue.

This East Boston space has seen a rich racing and musical history. Some fast facts:

  • The Track was built in 1935 by 3,000 workers in just 62 days.
  • Famous thoroughbred race horses in The Track’s history include Seabiscuit, Whirlaway, John Henry, Cigar, and Skip Away.
  • The first concert performance at the venue was The Beatles in 1966.

The Jackson 5, Radiohead, and Bjork have all performed at Boston’s historic racetrack.

Photo via The Bowery Presents

Now, visitors will find plenty of room to spread out on the lawn + listen to music during warmer months (likely May-October in future years).

Concertgoers can bring blankets, but will need to leave folding chairs at home. No food or drink is allowed in the venue, but concessions will be available on site, including local eateries like Pazza on Porter.

Parking is available for 1,500 cars, with lots opening an hour and a half before doors open. The venue is also a ~10-minute walk from Suffolk Downs Station on the Blue Line.

Who’s involved in this project?

The Stage at Suffolk Downs is a venture of The Bowery Presents + The HYM Investment Group LLC. You might recognize The Bowery Presents from its other Boston-area venues: Roadrunner, The Sinclair, and Royale.

HYM is the real estate group leading the redevelopment of the Suffolk Downs area.

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