On June 29th and 30th at Chicago's Douglas Park, Lyrical Lemonade hosted their second annual Summer Smash music festival. Lyrical Lemonade is an entertainment and music community created by Cole Bennett. Cole Bennett is currently one of pop culture's biggest leaders in the entertainment industry. He specializes in almost every part of the business side of hip-hop/rap you can imagine. From Chicago himself, he put on quite a show for his city. This post is a review of the 2019 festival.
The lineup this year was a modern day rap lover's heaven. The lineup would appeal to the eyes of almost anyone who listens to rap/hip-hop. It featured artists as big as Playboi Carti and Juice WRLD. But, it also featured smaller up and coming artists with huge potential. On our Intersect 1-10 rating scale, the lineup would get a 10/10 for people who listen to rap/hip-hop.
The retail price for a 2-Day general admission ticket was $149.95. The retail price for a
2-Day VIP ticket was $215. Yes, we are both thinking the same thing; those prices are fabulous for a music festival with all of that talent. However, it always depends on the organization of the event and what access your ticket gives you. Below, we will see the worth of different tickets.
GENERAL ADMISSION ACCESS:
The 2-Day general admission ticket allowed you a one-time entry each day into the festival. With this ticket you could join the excited crowds at each stage, buy food from the vendor stations, drink free from a water station, go to the arcade, and use the porta potty restrooms. Thinking about how much you like being touched and crowded, and how close to the stage you want to be would be ideal before getting a general admission ticket. If you hated being crowded and trampled but still wanted to see the stage clearly, a general admission ticket was not the move. The crowds were rough and tight, and the stage was not easy to get close to. But, you can't expect much different at music festivals with provocative and upbeat music. On our Intersect 1-10 rating scale, the general admission access would get a 8/10. The two points lost would go to the small amount of vendors and lack of visibility when it comes to the stage.
The 2-Day VIP ticket not only allowed you a one-time entry each day into the festival, but entry into 2 large lounge areas cut off for just the VIP guests as well. There was one VIP viewing area at both major stages. The area was cut off so that if you were in VIP, you could get close to the stages and avoid the crowd. It was definitely a more relaxed approach to the festival. Another VIP amenity was that one of the VIP lounges had an "oasis" with mist and a cool breeze to cool off and relax. This oasis came with lounge chairs and lots of open space. Not only did this particular lounge have an oasis, but it had an elevated viewing area so you could see the stage clearer than you would on the ground. In the VIP section there was definitely no problem seeing the stage, and no problems with crowd and discomfort. The fact that a VIP ticket at Summer Smash costed $215, and a General Admission ticket at the competing festival, Rolling Loud Oakland costs $199 gave Summer Smash a huge bonus. On our Intersect 1-10 rating scale, the VIP access would get a 10/10. No points were lost at all, and paying an extra $65 for a VIP access would be worth it.
Douglas Park is on the West Side of Chicago. It features a beautiful view of downtown Chicago, and a decent amount of space to move freely and to not be crowded. However, the venue would limit the festival if a lot more people go in the next few years, which is highly expected. The growing audience would conflict with the smaller/snug size of the park. Douglas Park is also in a lower tier area of Chicago. It is is surrounded by the North Lawndale and Little Village neighborhoods. Crime is heavier in that area, but security was high. On our Intersect 1-10 rating scale, the venue would get a 7/10. The three points lost would go to the size of the venue and the surrounding neighborhoods.
The organization of Summer Smash was quite impressive. The main general admission entrance did security checks and pat downs on everyone yet still moved everyone through in a swift, timely fashion. This was honestly surprising for a second year music festival. As well as the entrances, there were multiple exits around the park for a quick and safe exit after the festival. The security seemed to be in sync and they were polite and helpful for the most part. It was really great that the security did not act like they were talking AT the guests, they were talking TO them as if they were more than just guards. Overall the organization of Summer Smash was phenomenal. On our Intersect 1-10 rating scale, the venue would get a 10/10.
We would definitely recommend going to Lyrical Lemonade's Summer Smash in the future years based off of the 2019 festival. The overall Intersect rating for the festival is a 9/10. The recommended audience for Summer Smash would be people who listen to hip-hop/rap.