Frank Ocean’s Coachella performance gains controversy after delayed set


Kim Erlandsen | Flickr

Jahlil Rush, Production Assistant

2023 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival headliner Frank Ocean was a trending topic over the weekend, but for the wrong reasons.

Rather than meeting fans with excitement, Ocean performed a delayed set that some fans saw as lackluster.

Earlier in the festival’s timeline, YouTube announced via Twitter  that Ocean’s set would not livestream on the website like the festival’s other performances.

Many users reacted with memes expressing disappointment under YouTube’s tweet.,  One Twitter user  said, “This is the worst thing that could have happened to me. My final straw, thanks youtube. It’s been nice knowing you.”

“This will be coming up in therapy,” said another tweet.

According to Festival Owl, Ocean decided to pull the livestream.

Fans on Twitter theorized about Ocean’s performance before, during and after the set.

According to Complex correspondents Ecleen Luzmila Caraballo and Ben Felderstein, the crowd’s excitement and energy evolved throughout the night.

“Prior, there was definitely an air of anticipation,” Caraballo said. “During, it was one of confusion with moments of bliss, because, despite what we were seeing, for those who traveled and waited all these years, Frank’s songs are about feeling.”

Ocean opened his performance with “Novacane” sometime after 11 p.m., one hour after he was supposed to arrive. His setlist included hits such as “Chanel”, “Crack Rock”, “Nikes,” “Pink + White” and “Bad Religion.”

Some Ocean fans, dubbed “Oceanographers on the internet, hoped Ocean would debut new music at Coachella like he has in the past, but he did not.

He instead addressed the crowd and hinted at the possibility of a new album, NPR reported.

Coachella announced Ocean would not perform during the festival’s second weekend.

Rock band Blink-182 took Ocean’s slot for the rest of the festival.

Frank Ocean’s publicist cited a leg injury “on festival grounds” during the week of the artist’s performance as the reason behind the delayed set.

Ocean also spoke about the cancellation.. “It was chaotic. There is some beauty in chaos. It isn’t what I intended to show but I did enjoy being out there and I’ll see you soon,” he said.

Other production issues included the dismantling of an ice rink he initially wanted on the stage. The singer changed his mind at the last minute and asked Coachella to melt the rink.

Ocean’s performance ended early around 12:25 a.m. per the festival’s curfew. Coachella’s curfew is around 1:00 a.m. Pacific on Fridays and Saturdays, and midnight Pacific on Sundays.

Ocean’s lackluster Coachella performance left many people questioning what truly happened behind the scenes. Ocean’s past record of crowd pleasing shows does not compare to his recent Coachella comeback.