In the Spirit of Giving, Houston Appreciation Weekend Kicks Off

Photo by Marco Torres
Somewhere in Europe, Houston Appreciation Weekend was born.

Drake's tour manager, Jamil Davis, says the Toronto rapper was still traveling for his Would You Like A Tour? tour when he decided he wanted to have a special event in Houston, the city he holds close to his heart. (See: "November 18th.")

"He always just starts with ideas, and then we just execute them," Davis says. "There's a lot of ideas, but the big ones, like events, they get executed. More times than none, they get executed."

So here it is. After Drake announced Houston Appreciation Weekend via his Instagram account in March, the special weekend has kicked off. Starting June 5, people began volunteering in the Houston area through an organization called RockCorps. That's the only way to get a ticket to HAW's biggest event, the Warehouse Live concert.

REWIND: A Full Rundown of Drake's Houston Appreciation Weekend

Photo by Aaron Reiss
RockCorps organizer Kat Minett, far right, and Drake's tour manager, Jamil Davis, hand out tickets to volunteers.

Volunteering for tickets -- it's an idea that, according to Davis, Drizzy said was "perfect." And it's a concept that RockCorps specializes in.

RockCorps is an organization that works with music artists to host concerts for which the price of admission is four hours of volunteer work. It has held shows for Maroon 5 in Mexico City, Vampire Weekend in Manchester and Kanye West in New York.

But Drake is different. According to RockCorps organizer Kat Minett, the organization typically reaches out to artists about performing for volunteers. Drake contacted RockCorps.

"[This is] particularly special because Drake asked us to do this," Minett says. "He loves Houston, and wanted to come and give back."

Davis explains that for HAW, Drake only wanted to perform at Warehouse Live, the spot of one of his most famous performances. The venue's limited size, and the weekend's mission to give back to the city, stirred the question: who comes to the concert and how do they get tickets?

"How do we try to figure out if we sell the tickets?" Davis says of the discussion Drake's management had. "Do we give those profits to charity? What's the best way to do it? So, finally, we were like, We should do volunteer service."

While Drake isn't gardening for Southeast Houston Transformation Alliance, stocking shelves at the Houston Food Bank or working with Keeping Houston Beautiful like his concertgoers are, "through his show, it's facilitating work throughout the entire city," Davis notes.

Story continues on the next page.

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