Summer Smash aims to be a positive role model in the community, not only leading up to the festival, but all year around. We really do consider ourselves neighbors to the surrounding community because our headquarters are located just a few blocks from Douglass Park.
Although our festival has grown quite a bit since first launching in 2018, community engagement has remained an integral cornerstone to the foundation of Summer Smash and we want to do our part to make this the best fest possible!
Check out some of our bigger projects to learn more about Summer Smash supports the local Douglass Park and greater Chicago community, as well as other opportunities for you to get involved (and earn some free tickets):
DOUGLASS PARK CLEAN-UPS
Since 2018, Summer Smash has hosted monthly CommUnity Clean-ups each summer at Douglass Park.
These events are great opportunities to activate the youth and get them involved in positive community change, while offering free tickets to the festival as a special incentive. Last summer, we are proud to have hosted over 200 local students and nearby residents who participated in the 2021 park program.
This year, we will be hosting our clean-ups from 12pm to 3pm on the following Saturdays listed below. Fans of all ages are welcome to attend but they must RSVP in advance. Participants who attend all 3 summer clean-ups are rewarded with a one-day festival pass of their choosing.
- April 23rd
- May 7th
- June 4th
RSVP today using the link below, although limited spots are available
To help give back to some of their most loyal fans, Summer Smash continues to invest significant time and resources to support local youth sports in and around the park with contributions often including uniform and equipment donations. Some of our recent collaborators include:
North Lawndale Eagles Football Team (2018, 2019, 2021, 2022)
Pilsen Youth Athletic League (2022)
Installation of soccer goals for Douglass Park (2022)
Summer Smash is always looking for more youth sports teams to sponsor at Douglass Park. If interested in partnering together, please contact: Community@thesummersmash.com
FREE COMMUNITY EVENTS
Every year, Summer Smash organizers also work with a different local nonprofit organizations to help sponsor a public event that is hosted in Douglass Park and free to attend for nearby community residents. Some of the more notable local free events include:
- Westside Music Festival (August 2019)
- From The Go Fest (August 2021)
- It Takes A Village’s Juneteenth Event (June 2022)
NEIGHBORHOOD TICKET DONATIONS
Summer Smash regularly extends an invitation to all residents within several blocks from the festival grounds to come and enjoy the weekend event free of charge. Boundaries include are W Arthington to the North, S Spaulding to the West, W Cermak to the South, and S Rockwell to the East.
This year, residents will have the opportunity to register for the free festival passes anytime from Noon to 3pm at a special Summer Smash tent located just outside the Douglass Park Clubhouse (1401 S. Sacramento). Dates include:
- May 7th
- June 4th
To secure their complimentary passes this year, nearby residents will need to come to one of the registration dates with the following documents to verify their identify and address information:
- Driver’s License, State Issued ID, or Passport
- Two pieces of official mail showing proof of residency (ex. Bank statements, Utility bill, Insurance card, Pay stub, etc.)
APPRENTICESHIPS & EDUCATION
Summer Smash’s Apprenticeship program was originally founded by local resident and community activist Kaleb Autman, who continues to run the program each summer.
The educational student-centered program looks to offer aspiring youth a unique opportunity to gain first-hand experience in the different sectors within the live concert industry including production, merch, media, and more.
Each spring, we open applications exclusively to local youth via various community organizations in the area to better ensure benefits are realized within the community. Recent community partners include Village Leadership Academy, Douglass19, Firehouse, 360 Nation, and Free Spirit Media.
SUMMER SMASH SLOT CONTEST
Summer Smash Slot Contest & Rising Stars Showcase: DCASE, SocialWorks, and Summer Smash have teamed up to give three up-and-coming artists the chance to win $1,000 and perform on a Summer Smash stage. If you are an artist between the ages of 18 and 24 years old, this opportunity is for you! Visit socialworkschi.org/slotcontest to enter the contest and learn more. May 13th, 2022 is the deadline for artists to enter.
That’s not all! Ahead of advancing to the Summer Smash stage, the 10 finalists will be required to perform at the Summer Smash Rising Stars Showcase where judges will need help from the audience to select the 3 winners! Come kick off Summer Smash with us and hear from Chicago's top up-and-coming artists! Get your tickets today: https://eventnoire.com/e/summersmash-risingstars.
The Summer Smash Slot Contest and Rising Stars Showcase is presented as part of the Chicago Made Professional Development Series, in collaboration with the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events #ChicagoMade
Local members of the community are encouraged to reach out and learn more about these programs by emailing Community@thesummersmash.com. We are always exploring new opportunities to provide a safe, welcoming, and inclusive experience for all guests, and welcome new ideas to elevate the festival-going experience.