Professional Sound - October 2017 - Page 27

I THE 8 TH ANNUAL OVO FEST By Michael Raine magine a “Best of Rap/R&B” play- list on Apple Music. Now imagine bringing it to life, and having the genre’s biggest star emcee the show. That is OVO Fest. For eight years, the self-de- clared Six God has bestowed on his city one of the most unique concert events in mod- ern music. It’s a labour of love for rap/R&B superstar Drake, who envisioned and funds this annual gift to his hometown fans. And it’s a gift that keeps on giving, growing big- ger year-over-year to where it’s now much more than a typical concert or music festival. Held this year at the 16,000-capacity outdoor Budweiser Stage (formerly the Mol- son Canadian Amphitheatre) on Lake Ontario near downtown Toronto, OVO Fest is regular- ly the hottest ticket in the city. It’s a relatively intimate setting for an event of this magni- tude, as organizers could surely pack a bigger venue if desired, so it’s no surprise that tick- ets to this year’s event sold out in minutes while resellers were fetching well over $1,000 per ticket on the secondary market. What makes that stunning is that aside from Drake himself and the opening acts tak- en from the roster of his OVO Sound imprint, the people paying big money for tickets don’t even know who they’re going to see on stage. Unlike a typical festival that unveils its lineup well ahead of time, OVO Fest is all about the element of surprise, as every year, Drake brings out the who’s who of rap and R&B hit makers for surprise sets. “For me, this is my eighth one, and I’m amazed every year. Whether it’s the guest artists, the set, it’s something that you’ve never seen,” enthuses Drake’s longtime FOH engineer, Demetrius Moore. The event began with a bang in 2010 when, for its first year, Drake brought out Jay-Z, Eminem, and Rick Ross, among oth- ers. Seriously, how do you top that? Well, how about in OVO Fest’s second year, when Stevie Wonder made a surprise appearance and played for a half hour, overshadowing other surprises from the likes of Nas and Lil’ Wayne. Then there was OVO Fest’s fourth year when Drake brought out TLC, Puff Dad- dy, Mase, J. Cole, A$AP Rocky, The Weeknd, and K RvW7B( ėN( 2W7BRbF6RFw2vW&PRWfW"rvB^( &RvrFvWB&RRvrFvWB"d"6vW"&RPvrFvWB&W"&RRvrFvW@&&RRvrFvWBSPWfW"rN( 2W7BRbF6RFw2P'WF6WBF6R6VRG&R6r'W@vFGv7BvWFW"R6VRRwVW7B'BЦ7BGvwVW7B'F7G2"RWfW"r( Ч62&R( FRFr&WBdfW7B2@2'VƖRv&G26rFRǒW'6FBFW2֗r2ח6VbwVW7B'F7G>( ЦVvVW'2֖vB6RB6Fr GvƖR( 6RFF3( 'WBFW"FFBN( 2ƖRvWBF֗VRFBWfW FVvB( BvWBF֗f"dfW7BfP֗VB2բV֖VVfbFFGD27FWfRvFW"RvW7N( bRv2FV6VBFB7FvRvWFW"N( 2f"P6r"vWFW"N( 2֖6WBvR֗FV( ХvV&fW766VBBFRf'7@bGv6fW'6F2vF&RBv0ǒGvF2&Vf&RFR6rBR7FFF( BrvBFRfƖWWvVB&R( F22FRFs6WFW2VRF( @RFV"fƖvG2"vWBFFVB7B֖WFU6RW7BWfW"WfW"r( RVvVBFVv77W&VB&fW766VBF2V v2vrF&R&rRBRv2&vBFRVvFVdfW7Bv2R`FR&vvW7BWBFW&2bFR6VW"V&W bwVW7B'F7G2B67FvR7V7F6RFR7V7F6R6FRG&^( 27GVЦvǒFWFVB4FvW"&WƖ6FPVFƖW2B6WB66VF'W&VBFRv&BFR7&W7B'BbF07&6WBV6SBv2ǒ6֗76V@F&VRvVV2&Vf&RFR6rG&RFBFP7&vBFBR6VB6W2vFFPFVvGW&VBFv&V6W6R`FRVG&FvBFVFƖRVF6rw&W&GV7F6W'f6W24u22fVv22Ц6WFVBFR6VvRखVBFBf2&V( B6Ff&vWBvVFR7W'F6RFvF7F'@FRWfVBG&Rv2W&6VBFFP4FvW"&V7&VFrFR6fW"vRb0#b'VfWw2( 2brBv27&VFV@ǒf"dfW7BvvRWfW"6VRBvvw2( 62&RV6rG&PvG2FRdfW7B6WFr7V6vVB6RFFRW62vVv26BBFRG&RB'&VvBW@BFRV6RvFRFR&fF'WvRVǒ7F&VBF&Vv2BЦW&67672( &FRvBR( ( 6VG'w&"( Ю( R( B( ĆBW'&R( FR&G&֖v0VB( &BB&VV^( B( B6'B( Gv`FR&vvW7B6w2b#rvR&R7&VЦW&Bv2BF&RWFFR'W&f&֖p( &6&VFW2( FW"bF2V.( 2GFW7@G&626&F"6vVBv6R2Rb&( 07BVBWr'&f2BFVFW&PvW&RFRƖW2&6'Fg&V6F&B'GWDF"FR6ƖFVvv2G&^( 2fVrF&F'&VB7WW'7F"FRvVVBख&WGvVVB6WFW2vFFPwVW7B'F7G2FR7F"bFR6rW&f&V@&V6VBG2ƖR( RF6R( ( ħV( ( 6ЧG&( ( 76g'VB( B( ĶrW'6Vb( Ю( ֖FvBFRvB&Vf&Rv2FRf&6( &RFV2&fW766VBfWpF2gFW"FRVrrF6r( Ēv6( Bv'&V@&WBbFVFV66ǒ֖v2@G&f266GBRrvRF( B&VV'6PbFRwVW7B'F7G26vVvWBFFV"66G2FRǒFrFB6&P&w&VB2FRUVB֖7&R@FN( 2&WBB( FW7Frv2FP֖7&W2FRfǒ( FW7Frv0FRG&62FRfǒB֖v2BG&f066GBFW&FW6RWFGVR6BǐFW7FrFRv2BvWGFrFV ֖72&vBvWFW"N( 2vrW"Fv( 0W&V6W6RN( 2BVBVVvBFv&V6W6RFW( &R6Ɨr( 2W2( &WFr@FWFGVRB6VFrWFGVR&6FFR7FvRBFW2&V6RB( Ф6rƖRF2VVG2&r6VBFF6FR&r7V7F6RBƖWWf"F2VvFF6VBv62VGV'FW&V@6WfVBvFff6W2FB7FW7WƖVB76fRF677FV2VvVW&r77FV&R60vrvFFRF6v2'fW066RgFW"2WW&V6RvFBFR7@FRdfW7Bv2VBBFRFVG&P#R7BV.( 2WfVBv2BFR"6ЦF6VG&R( FR7BFRv2B'VGvV6W 7FvUW6VBF6BBv2FRf'7@FR( BWfW"W6VBFRS7V'2vV6v2&vv'FRrVBbFR7V'2BFR֗GW&RbFRSRF&VRvG'VPƖR6W&6R'&5BFRSFvWFW"VBv26vW&gVB6V6W@FRf6v266V"6Bv2'&W f"F2V"( ХFRF6&rFBv2W6VBBdfW7BFVvv26vf6Fǒ&vvW"FPvVBWV7Bf"FVG&RbF26R( dfW7B6VV2F&RVFW"FG6G&R6r&V6W6RVN( 2fW'V@7&vBBdfW7BBRfRF6WFPvFFBW"GF3( &RVB'WB&R6V( $dU544TB( "#