How much did you pay to be at OVO Fest last night?
I justified not going because of how ridiculously overpriced the tickets seemed at the time.
Now here I sit with my money in one hand, and my regrets in the other.
Last night I did exactly what I said I wouldn’t do: I followed #OVO on Twitter and Instagram, virtually attending via 3.5 inch screen. One after another, the special guests appeared: The Weeknd, Big Sean, French Montana, TLC, Miguel, J Cole, Wale, Diddy, Ma$e, A$AP Rocky, Lil’Wayne, Kanye West.
And one after another, songs comprising the soundtrack to my life at this moment in time – songs I’ve been bumping in my car, in the gym, on the TTC, while I’m working, at parties – were performed live.
Partial Setlist:
Crew Love (The Weeknd)
Clique (Big Sean)
Mercy (Big Sean)
All Me (Big Sean)
Bad (Wale)
The Motion
Girls Love Beyonce
5AM in Toronto
I Get Lonely Too
Waterfalls (TLC)
No Scrubs (TLC w/ Lil Mama)
Nobody’s Perfect (J Cole)
Forbidden Fruit (J Cole)
Power Trip (J Cole and Miguel)
Adorn (Miguel)
Successful
Uptown
Forever
Best I Ever Had
Over
Feel So Good (Diddy and Ma$e)
Mo Money Mo Problems (Diddy and Ma$e)
Fucking Problems (ASAP Rocky)
Goldie (ASAP Rocky)
Wild For the Night (ASAP Rocky)
New Slaves (Kanye West)
All of the Lights (Kanye West)
Can’t Tell Me Nothing (Kanye West)
Versace
No New Friends
Started From the Bottom
All night, I had flashbacks to my internship at Sony Music Entertainment, where my mentor Simon Rayner would share his insights on the future of the turbulent music industry. Among many invaluable lessons, he left me with these three axioms:

  • People will stop paying for anything in physical format
  • People will stop paying for music
  • People will, however, always pay for an experience

Following a frustrating humbling night of refreshing timelines from the discomfort of my home (walking distance from the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre), this hurting fan was left with a few rhetorical questions: what’s the most you would pay for the feeling of sharing a physical space with your favourite artists, friends and thousands of fans, all bound by a love of the music? What’s the price of something you can’t recreate? What’s the market value of time? What are memories going for these days?
What’s the price of an experience?