Frank Ocean walks away from Coachella 2023’s second weekend: “It’s not what I wanted to show,”

Caroline Carreon, Student Writer

Frank Ocean pulled out from Coachella 2023’s second weekend.

EW has verified that the musician will no longer headline the festival on Sunday, April 23

According to officials for Ocean, “Frank Ocean was unable to perform the intended show but was still intent on performing after suffering an injury to his leg on festival grounds in the week preceding weekend 1; however, the show was reworked in 72 hours out of necessity.” Due to two fractures and a sprain in his left leg, the artist cannot perform weekend two on the doctor’s advice.

Ocean described it as chaotic in a statement. “Chaos can be beautiful in certain ways. Though it wasn’t what I had in mind to display, I had fun being outside and hope to see you again soon.”

A few hours before he was set to play, YouTube stated that his show would no longer be live-streamed, unlike the previous two nights’ headliners, Blackpink and Bad Bunny. The fact that signs were put up at the event later on Sunday informing festival-goers that there would be no Ocean goods for sale—unusual for a headliner of the enormous fest—fueled rumors that the erratic and unreliable singer-songwriter might not even turn up.

An hour after his scheduled 10:05 p.m. PT start time, Ocean eventually took the stage. Still, he was scarcely noticeable because he was seated far back on the platform, had his hood up, and was continually facing the audience. He made no mention of the holdup. Many of his other songs were lip-synced by him rather than performed live. He also invited a young pianist named Josiah to lip-synch one of his songs to represent his “inner child,” and DJ Crystallmess played an extended EDM remix of several of his songs after Ocean exited the stage.

“Guys, I’m being told it’s a curfew, so that’s the end of our show,” he said after a second of awkwardly long silence. I greatly appreciate it. As fans realized that was all Ocean would give them and that his delay had caused him to shorten his set, their confusion quickly turned to fury and disappointment. There was immediate speculation about whether Ocean even wanted to be there, whether he would cancel the second weekend, which is scheduled for April 21–23, and whether Coachella would replace him due to the criticism.

Then on Monday, rumors started to circulate that an ice rink had been constructed for the scene but that Ocean had abruptly chosen to cancel it, leading to the hour-long wait while the rink was being demolished. These allegations claim that Ocean also decided to axe the live stream, damaging his relationship with the festival’s organizers. The production was altered to suit the injury, according to a source familiar with the matter, who said Ocean hurt his ankle while riding a bike around the festival in the days before his performance.