The 5 Biggest Moments at Drake's OVO Fest So Far

Drake has blessed fans with some major moments at OVO Fest over the years.


Image via Getty/George Pimentel


Music festivals are some of the biggest stages available to artists today. Drake's OVO Fest, held each year in Toronto, is one of the most focused and local platforms out, but it still makes noise the way Lollapalooza or Coachella can in the rap world.

At this point, any Drake performance is a potential news-maker, but he always makes room for something extra special during OVO Fest in his hometown. Fans don't know what to expect or who Drake may bring out, but they are guaranteed to leave having witnessed one of the biggest moments of the year in hip-hop. With the eighth annual event on the horizon, here are some of the biggest moments to take place at OVO Fest.

Stevie Wonder Makes a Surprise Appearance in 2011

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OVO Fest 2011 marked the second year event and found Drake on the cusp of superstardom. He hadn't yet released his blockbuster sophomore album, Take Care, but he was already seen as one of the biggest names in hip-hop.

The second annual OVO Fest featured performances from Rick Ross and the Weeknd, among others, but none was more surprising than Stevie Wonder making a surprise appearance to perform for a half-hour. The legendary soul singer performed a medley of "I Wish," "Ribbon in the Sky," "Signed, Sealed, Delivered," and "Superstitious." Of course, this foreshadowed Stevie Wonder's harmonica solo on "Doing It Wrong."

A Rare Lauryn Hill Performance in 2014

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The fifth annual OVO Fest, in 2014, captured Drake at the top of the hip-hop mountain. This was Drake with nothing left to prove, coming off of the massive success of his third album Nothing Was the Same.

Following the release of the the album, Drake released a handful of loosies, including "Draft Day," which sampled Lauryn Hill's "Doo Wop (That Thing)." So of course Drake had to bring out Lauryn Hill. The famously late performer made it to the stage before nightfall and performed classic records like "Ready or Not" and "Lost Ones" before being joined by Drake to perform "Doo Wop" and "Draft Day."

Drake Brings Out Eminem and Jay Z

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In a way, the first annual OVO Fest, in 2010, doubled as an official stamp of approval from Drake's rap predecessors. It's one thing to throw a massive music festival in your hometown of Toronto—a city that has not been known as a hip-hop hotbed—but it's something else entirely to get two of the biggest rappers ever to perform alongside you. That is what happened when Drake first surprised fans with Eminem, who performed his verse from their hit collaboration "Forever," and Jay Z, who performed "Run This Town."

Kanye West Performs at 2013 OVO Fest

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Kanye West and Drake's relationship has a history of ups and downs, but summer 2013 appeared to be one of the moments where both were on the same page. Mr. West made an appearance at the fourth annual OVO Fest that summer on the heels of his polarizing sixth solo album Yeezus.

While Kanye's performance of tracks such as "New Slaves" and "All of the Lights" rocked the crowd, his appearance will be best remembered for what Kanye told the crowd. On stage, he explained that he and  Jay-Z wouldn't have recorded Watch The Throne if not for the pressure Drake put on them with his dominance. Drake said  that Kanye was "a major influence, if not the biggest influence" in his career to that point. It felt like Kanye got to be the big brother in that moment.

Drake Performs "Back to Back" at 2015 OVO Fest

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The most anticipated installment in the festival's brief history, the sixth annual OVO Fest in 2015 had the entire world fixated on Drake and his response to Meek Mill's ghostwriting allegations. The top rapper in the game had never been called outlike this before and Drake needed to do something spectacular to save face. Drake initially responded to the allegations on "Charged Up," and then two days later got even more direct with "Back to Back."

Less than a week later, Drake took the stage at OVO Fest and delivered one of the most memorable hip-hop performances in recent memory, performing "Back to Back" with memes of Meek Mill going up on the screen behind him. This was Drake's "Summer Jam screen" moment.

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