Frank Ocean lost in the heat of it all: Coachella 2023.
April 26, 2023
On April 16th Frank Ocean, famed alternative R&B artist, was scheduled to perform on weekend one day three of Coachella. Being his first performance in almost six years, fans were heavily anticipating his set. This anticipation, however, was soon turned into disappointment.
An hour past the supposed start time for Ocean’s show, he was nowhere to be seen on stage. Ocean had been in a biking accident that injured his ankle prior to his show, leading him to put into effect extreme changes to his set in order for him to perform at all. Ocean’s wishes had caused Coachella and its workers to begin deconstruction of vital parts of the stage such as an ice rink, vital parts that were approved for use months in advance.
Not only did Ocean’s last minute changes affect workers and performers, it also left a sour taste in the mouths of his fans and audience. Set to go on at 10:00 PM PST, fans had been lining up since the morning. To the fans’ disappointment, the show did not begin until an hour after the expected time.
Despite the start delay, there were many other concerns with Ocean’s performance that are being pointed out by fans. One of the biggest upset was the fact that, no matter where you were in the audience, you had little to no view of Ocean. A large video screen was one of the only viewpoints of the performance, and the picture was often unclear. Live vocals were also kept to a minimum, showing Ocean frequently not singing or lip-syncing while the full track played behind him. While there was a portion of the performance where Ocean got up and danced around, for a majority of the set he was seated.
With Coachella being a two-weekend festival, Ocean was also originally scheduled to perform the following weekend, on April 23rd. Three days after his first performance, it was announced that Ocean would be pulling out of Coachella weekend two. Band Blink-182 took place as the day three headliner.
Many fans are speculating whether or not Ocean’s ankle injury is the true cause of the mishaps of weekend one and the pull out of weekend two. It is hypothesized that perhaps Ocean simply did not want to do the show. It is no secret that the performance would be stressful, being Ocean’s first performance in nearly six years, however he committed to the event two years ago in fall of 2021. It is also apparent that Coachella is dear to Ocean’s heart, as he and his late brother used to attend the festival together. “My brother and I came to this festival a lot, I felt like I was dragged out here half the time because I hated the dust,” and “I know he would’ve been so excited to be here with all of us,” shared Ocean during his performance.
No matter the reason for Ocean’s upsets, it is no question that it was a disappointment to Coachella attendees, Ocean’s fans, and music lovers in general.