By Nancy Azzam
April 14 to 23, the Coachella Music and Arts Festival showcased various artists, including headliners Bad Bunny, Blackpink, and Frank Ocean, who performed for the first time in over six years. While fans were excited to see him, the performance did not meet their expectations.
There were many flaws in Ocean’s performance during the first weekend of the festival. An elaborate ice rink performance was planned but suddenly called off. The performance was also delayed by about an hour, causing frustration among fans. These changes were allegedly due to Ocean acquiring a leg injury during the festival which affected the show’s execution.
Additionally, the live stream for the performance was canceled at the last minute, disappointing those who could not afford or were unable to attend the live performance.
Although the execution of the show may not have been what Ocean or his fans expected, he was able to connect and be vulnerable on stage as he spoke of his brother, someone who used to attend Coachella with him, who passed in 2020 at the age of 18.
“I know he would have been so excited to be here with all of us,” Ocean said during his performance at Coachella.
Additionally, Ocean hinted in his set that there is potentially a new album in the works, his last being “Blond” in 2016. However, many fans were left disappointed, feeling let down that he left out many hit songs and just used a vocal track for others. Following what many classified as a “listening party” rather than a concert, Ocean later took the stage to announce that it was over due to Coachella’s strict Sunday midnight curfew.
Despite the backlash he received following his first performance, singers like Justin Beiber praised the singer for what he has been able to accomplish.
“I was blown away by Frank Ocean’s Coachella performance,” Bieber wrote on Instagram. “His artistry is simply unmatched, his style, his taste, his voice, his attention to detail. I was deeply moved. It made me want to keep going and get better as an artist. He continues to set the bar high and gave me a night I will never forget!”
Despite the mixed reviews of his performance, the singer did not return to the second weekend due to two fractures and a sprain in his left leg. This is the second year in a row a Coachella headliner has dropped out, after Kanye West pulled out of the festival in April 2022 without naming a reason.