How Drake Built the CN Tower on Stage after been rejected by 19 Companies
Toronto rapper, Drake recreated his famed album cover for “Views” Monday night atop a replica CN Tower. The set was built over three weeks in Las Vegas and shipped to Toronto piece by piece in five tractor-trailers for his just concluded OVO Fest. Under a gigantic, glowing replica of his beloved CN Tower, Drake told the Toronto crowd gathered at Monday’s OVO Fest he had called “19 companies” to build it and they all said no.
So when Eric Pearce of Show Group Production Services (SGPS), got the call, he too was a little skeptical it could be done. “They came up with the concept of the design for this show rather late,” said Pearce, owner of Las Vegas-based SGPS the outfit that helped design and build the faux tower. “It’s pretty large.”
Album cover of Drake’s 2016 album, Views.
The idea stemmed from the cover of the rapper’s 2016 album, Views, which features Drake perched atop the CN Tower, a moment he recreated with the replica during the show.
Pearce and his team had about three weeks to take it from design to delivery, working around the clock, seven days a week in their Las Vegas factory to build it on time. They came up with the plans on how to build it in a single weekend.
“We didn’t have time to make any models. We simply looked at photographs,” he said. The rapper’s team provided a scaled reference and imagery of the tower.
SGPS has handled production for Guns N’ Roses, Justin Bieber and Roger Waters’ The Wall tour. They’ve also worked with Drake on his past tours, which is why Pearce decided to say yes despite the time crunch.
It was a “very difficult” task — Pearce said a replica of that size would normally take six to eight weeks to build. The finished product took up the bulk of the stage and was clad with all of the observation deck’s features, including its signature red stripe and the Edge Walk’s trolley equipment. Once the set was built, it was tested in Las Vegas before it was shipped to Toronto for Monday’s show. The tower’s pieces filled up five tractor-trailers, which took a few days to get to Canada. The cargo was kept a tight secret the entire time.
ABOUT THE TOWER
The CN Tower is a 1,815.3 ft-high concrete communications and observation tower in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Built on the former Railway Lands, it was completed in 1976, and held the record for the world’s tallest free-standing structure for 32 years from 1975–2007 and was the world’s tallest tower until 2009 being overtaken by Burj Khalifa (Dubai) and Canton Tower (China), respectively. Its name “CN” originally referred to Canadian National, the railway company that built the tower.
sources: cnc, wikipedia