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  • Writer's pictureNik Engerer

What Went Wrong With Frank Ocean’s Coachella Headliner Performance?

The Original Plan

Frank Ocean (also known as Christopher Breaux) has been on a music hiatus since about 2020. The pandemic hit & completely shattered his plans on releasing a 4-year awaited album. Piled onto that, his brother Ryan Breaux tragically died in a car crash in 2020.

This meant no tours & performances - & 
his fans have been waiting ever since. So, when news came out that he was headlining this year’s Coachella, his supporters naturally freaked out.

According to sources, he planned on having an ice skating rink on stage with performers skating on it. Everything was going to plan until…

What Happened Before?

Just a couple of hours before his performance, Frank decided that he didn’t want this setup anymore. He threatened not to perform that night if Coachella didn’t comply. The ice had to be melted & the stage setup was changed.

All the trained ice skaters were given different stage directions & told to just walk in single-file lines around the stage.

Another last minute change was that the performance wasn’t streamed on YouTube (even though all the other festival acts were). Frank’s performance was meant to start at 10:05pm but was delayed until 10.55pm.

Fans were confused when they saw people drilling on stage & Frank was nowhere to be seen.

He opened his performance with no microphone while a track was playing as if someone just queued it on Spotify. Not right.

How Did This Affect His Performance?

Most people that couldn’t afford to attend the festival resorted to watching his performance via Instagram users who were streaming the concert themselves. Fans were left confused, mainly because the supposed 2-hour-long performance was cut short after only an hour due to Coachella’s midnight curfew.

It seems as though a lot of these issues & delays were caused by Frank’s last minute decisions.

He was lip-syncing most of his tracks & gave up 15 minutes of his performance to another DJ for a rave-like set that seemed out of place. These moves left a lot of fans unsatisfied after all the money & time they spent to see Frank perform.

Who Is To Blame?

On one hand, Frank has been grieving the loss of his brother & hasn’t been in the best place mentally recently. On the other hand, this performance was handled very poorly & was supposed to be dedicated to his late brother.

One of Frank's representatives said that he injured his leg in the week leading up to his performance, which is why things were reworked in 72 hours. But many are saying this doesn’t match up to certain decisions being left until the last minute.

Going to Coachella is very expensive, especially if you don’t live in America. What happened during his set was a major letdown to people that spent thousands just to see him.

Performance Cancellation

Because of his injuries, Frank has now cancelled his 2nd performance for Coachella Weekend 2. Blink-182 will now be taking his headline spot.

Regarding his Weekend 1 performance, Frank said: “It was chaotic. There is some beauty in chaos. It isn’t what I intended to show but I enjoy being out there & I’ll see you soon.” (reported via Pop Things on Twitter).

While Frank did tease that new music is on the way, the way his Coachella performance was handled has left his fans feeling a bit let down. It puts into question what his return to music will look like & if he can move past this.


What Do You Think Of Frank Ocean’s 2023 Coachella Performance?

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