(By: Nicole Di Donato)
Ryerson students are upset that Drake didn’t touch the stage at this year’s 6 Fest.
The past two shows that the Ryerson Students’ Union organized featured Drake as the surprise guest, setting high expectations for festival goers.
Drake last made a surprise appearance in May at Ryerson’s 6 Cent concert alongside rapper Future’s DJ, DJ Esco.
Being the back-to-back special guest for RSU events since September 2015 when he first took the stage with Councillor Norm Kelly, Drake took a moment to assure that this was not just a two-time thing.
“Anytime Ryerson calls my phone, I’m going to touch this stage,” he told the crowd.
The RSU originally promised four A-list headliners as well as surprise guests for their two-day festival. They even held a vote on the festival’s website to give attendees a say on who they would like to see perform. Among the options were Rihanna, The Weeknd, and Kanye West.
6 Fest was pushed back from late September to Thanksgiving weekend, allegedly due to scheduling conflicts with performers.
All signs seemed to point to Drake being one of the special guests as the festival got moved to the weekend during which Drake was performing two shows for his Summer Sixteen tour in Toronto.
“Because [the RSU] changed the date it was even more hyped that Drake was going to come,” said student Melissa Huang.
Drake announced on Oct. 5 that he was postponing one of his two Toronto shows due to a “recent ankle injury,” casting doubts on whether he would be one of the surprise guests.
Later, Drake announced that he was cancelling the rest of his Summer Sixteen tour because of his ankle injury.
Just days before the much anticipated 6 Fest was set to begin, Big Sean and Diplo were announced as the headliners. Big Sean cancelled days later, with Pusha T lined up as his replacement.
Roy Woods and dvsn, who were both openers for Drake’s Summer Sixteen tour and are signed to OVO Sound, performed at the festival, giving Drake fans hope that the 6 God would make a special appearance.
When concert goers were asked who they wanted the special guest to be, Drake was a common answer.
“Because I’m optimistic I’m going to say Drake. If not, then honestly cross my fingers hopefully Big Sean makes a return. We’ll see, we’ll see what happens,” said Hysum Osman.
“Drake, Drake, I’ll f—ing cry if it’s Drake bro,” said Olivia Yap.
Meanwhile, other attendees had other ideas of who the special guest may be.
“Honestly I’ve been hearing J. Cole, I hope it’s my boy J. Cole… who knows, who knows, maybe the 6 God will appear,” said Malton Palomino.
Chubbs, Drake’s head of security, who was wearing an all-red OVO sweatsuit, was chilling stage right as French Montana was performing, giving fans hope that Drake was close by.
At around 10:30 p.m. Chubbs wandered off and appeared backstage. In Toronto, outdoor shows are under an 11 p.m. noise curfew.
Around 10:40pm, a stage hand told Frenchie and his DJ that they had time for one more song.
Eventually, Montana’s single “No Shopping,” featuring Drake, blasted through the speakers. Fans waited anxiously as Drake’s verse came, but were quickly disappointed when the song faded out.
French Montana thanked the crowd for their energy, and exited the stage.
The crowd remained hopeful as the stage lights were still on full blast and music played with no DJ present.
The crowd continued waiting for a couple minutes longer until stage hands confirmed that the show was indeed over and began packing up the set.
Angry fans started chanting “we want Drake” and yelled that they wanted a full refund on their tickets.
6 Fest goers refused to leave the festival and were chanting outside the gates “Riotson, Riotson,” making a clear play-on-words.
Many students felt the RSU didn’t live up to their promise of bringing in special guests.
“Overall I’m a little bit disappointed. They hyped it up way too much and they shouldn’t have told us there were special guests,” said Huang. “Everyone was expecting Drake because he’s come the last two times, so the RSU needs to step up their game.”
“I feel pretty bummed to be honest with you. I wasn’t expecting that because I wanted Drake to show up but it’s really disappointing that the RSU did that to us,” said Julius D’mello.
The cold weather, coupled with the lack of a special guest, didn’t jive well with attendees.
“Kind of a bummer, no lie, especially because we’ve been standing out here for so long waiting for somebody who wasn’t going to come,” said Mariah Murray.
Many attendees also took to Twitter to share their frustration and thoughts about 6 Fest.
On the bright side
Despite the fact that Drake didn’t perform as students had hoped, it was a great show overall that featured local artists such as Thugli, Grandtheft, JDSYN, and Sickick plus big name artists including Pusha T, Diplo, Smoke Dawg, Puffy L’z, Baka, Roy Woods, and dvsn.
“Diplo, unreal, he had the crowd hyped the whole time, it was crazy,” said Palomino.
“I’m a big fan of Pusha T so you know I was singing the lyrics, just vibing with it… it was a good moment,” said Osman.
Sunday headliner French Montana also had a great reception from the crowd, despite performing at a free pop up concert at Ryerson a couple weeks ago.
“It was disappointing that [Drake] didn’t show up but the concert overall was really good,” said Jessica Makrramalla.
What did you think of 6 Fest? Tweet us @RUtvNews and share your thoughts.