The PR in OVO Fest


Drake has the biggest bash every year with several of his friends. People all around Ontario save up whatever they can and try to attend the party of the summer. This annual event goes by OVO Fest, named after his record label.

Most celebrities just have tours around the world. But not Drake. Drake not only has tours, but also a festival dedicated to him and his home city, Toronto. He calls it he’s love letter to the 6 (the number 6 refers to the Toronto area code 416).

I myself have always wanted to go. There have always been big celebrities guest performers and considering it’s not too far from Ottawa, I’m not sure why I haven’t gone yet. OVO Fest this year had Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa and they had  Rihanna as a surprise guest performer amongst and so many more A-listers.


OVO Fest’s Publicity  

I’m sad I’ve missed last summer’s festival because it was one of the biggest ones yet.  Drake newly released his album Views and was number 1 on Billboard Artist 100.  It was certainly a  big celebration. Therefore, it brought a lot of attention and publicity to him. Which was beneficial for OVO fest coming up.

He used all the attention from his latest album and exploited it to OVO Fest which brought  more attendees, they were sold out of a 6,300-capacity venue. Which made last summers attendance one of the biggest ones.

Dvsn made a cover of Micheal Jaskson’s song Billie Jean as the opening act for Drake performance. As Drake did his first performance, he came out singing his latest single Revenge while newly debuting the Raptors jersey. This created even more publicity  and buzz around him and OVO Fest.



The Reputation and Advertisement of OVO Fest!

As OVO fest and the Summer Sixteen tour were very close to one another dates wise, how did Drake manage to get as many people to come to OVO Fest?  Both events are about him, so if you love Drake you’ll love OVO Fest and Summer Sixteen. But what differentiates the two is OVO fest is more of a gift to Toronto in Drake’s eyes. As on the other hand Summer Sixteen is less personal. Drake states,

  “You know how much I love my city. It’s The 6 — you deserve to be spoiled.”

Last year’s OVO fest, Drake made a Caribana weekend gift to the city. He moved the festival in doors in to the Air Canada Center and added another night to the festival. Which featured all surprise appearances and extravagant theatrics. To spoil his crowd he brings surprise guests like, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Future, Pharrell in addition to Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa and  Rihanna. In doing this Drake gave the festival a reputation for having the biggest celebrities attend. Drake therefore advertised his Festival through his line ups. As it is what everyone anticipates to see. He also had Baseball caps and T-shirt emblazoned with the brand OVO in stores in L.A and Toronto to promte the festival and his brand.


OVO Fest has Created Sustainable ‘Tourism’ Development

From a PR point of view OVO Fest has provided numerous benefits for Toronto’s tourism which increased visitation to the city and expenditure. Even Will Smith took a selfie in the city saying “loving the 6”.


Toronto’s economy has benefited from a low of $5 million to a high of $20 million. OVO has help build more of a community pride because of all the A-lister who have come to visit, and of course Drake himself being born and raised in Toronto shows so much love to his city. It has created an impact which now has North America as one of the most important Hip hop festivals.

OVO Fest’s Corporate Philanthropy

Unfortunately, two lives have been lost at OVO Fest’s after party in Toronto August 4th. A man and a woman have both been shot at Muzik night club.

The man was pronounced dead at the Murzik outdoor patio and the woman was shot and immediately collapsed to the ground and died. Drake took time to speak on what happened even though he was advised not to. He released a letter stating:

“I am used to the fact that my life and the things I say to my fans are‎ closely watched. It’s tough in situations like this where there’s a tragedy and I consider the advice of my trusted advisors and counsel who worry that anything I might say could be misinterpreted.

However, today I am choosing to follow my heart.

I am plagued and pained by the violence that continues to escalate in our city. I stare into the eyes of so many young people and I wish to see them all shine as bright as they possibly can in this lifetime. I encourage my generation to show as much value and gratitude as you can for the lives we have been gifted.

My deepest condolences go out to the Navarro-Fenoy and Hibbert families for their loss of Ariela and Duvel. Along with them I send my condolences to all of the families that have lost loved ones to the senseless violence that has and continues to occur in our city.”

In his letter Drake has given his condolence to the families on behalf of OVO Fest despite professional advice and showed his viewers that he cares and hopes the best for the loved one have been affect by this tragedy.

OVO Fest has only started in 2010, so it’s a fairly new Festival. From an aspiring  PR perspectives, with all the attention it has received, the good and bad, it has always handle all situation accordingly.

Best wishes,

Amal Elmi



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